According to an article posted on the website for Recruiting Division, the top paying sales career is in the Financial Services industry. This shouldn't be much of a surprise since the Financial Services Sales industry has been among the highest compensated sales positions for many years.
While practically every sales industry has sales professionals earning much more than the average sales rep earns, those successful in the financial services industry seem to consistently be among the top earners. Why?
Reasons Against this Trend
Watch enough television and you are certain to see at least one commercial from a discount brokerage company, promising ridiculously low commission fees for stock trades. If there were only one or two of these discount brokerage companies, they'd probably not make enough of an impact to negatively affect the commissions earned by full-service brokers.
But there are hundreds of places an investor can go to buy securities and pay very little in the form of fees. With all these low-cost options, it would stand to reason that those in the financial services industry would be losing customers left and right. And those customers that they retain would probably have to be offered discounted fees in order to prevent them from leaving and going to an online or discount brokerage house.
Yet the financial services industry sales reps continue to earn great money.
The Secret to the Industry's Continued Success
Here's the thing about the discount and online brokerage houses: Despite offering plenty of research tools, analysis findings and an easy way to purchase and sell securities, they are impersonal. And when it comes to money, impersonal is a hard sell.
The best in the industry are fantastic at building relationships with their clients. They invest the time it takes to understand a client's needs, wants, dreams, desires, fears and goals. Try telling your online brokerage house why your dream home in Hawaii is so important to you!
Financial services sales professionals earn commissions because their client trusts them. That is reason number one!
Other Reasons for Industry Success
Another reason for the continued success of the financial services sales industry is fear. The stock market can be a very confusing thing, the thought of learning enough about it to feel comfortable investing their hard earned money is daunting, to say the least.
Fear of making a mistake is a huge reason people still go to their brokers as is fear of having to spend the time learning how to invest. While mutual funds have made investing in the market as easy as signing up for automatic withdrawals from your bank account, people with large sums of money seldom stop their investments with mutual funds. This added layer of complexity is yet another reason why the financial service industry continues to produce more six figure earning sales reps than most any other.
Another reason comes down to human nature. People don't like to make mistakes and would rather have someone else to blame when things go sideways. And when it comes to making mistakes, few are as bad as those made with money.
If an investor loses a substantial amount with a broker, she can vent, blame or fire that broker. But if she made the investment herself, she is left not only losing her investment but also having to take the full blame for the loss.
Long Term Outlook
Here's a bold prediction: The market will continue to fluctuate for the next 100 years.
Actually, that's not bold at all and nearly everyone who follows the market will agree: Sometimes the value of a traded company goes up and sometimes it goes down. It is this fluctuation that will ensure continued success of those in the financial services industry who have the expertise to get ahead of trends, to see how what happens in one industry will affect another.
Financial services careers aren't going away. In fact, the more tumultuous the market gets, the more people will pay money to invest with the help of a professional.