Suze Orman on Prospecting: If you have to, you must not be very good at your job

Normally we leave Suze Orman alone, but now I've written a post about her two weeks in a row.  I promise next week not to talk about her at all.

Actually, this piece has been in the works for a while.  Brandon started it a while back when a colleague steered him to yet another video capture from Suze's talk show where “real” callers call in to discuss their financial woes.

Why would anyone do that?  Beats me, but evidently some people are just gluttons for a good tongue lashing from the diva of dinero.

What she does (sell information one could find in 15 minutes on the internet) is way different from what we do (help create solid financial futures and legacies). But we found something (another something) that Suze said on her TV show that was so ridiculous we couldn't help but point out her foolishness.

In a recent show, Suze asserted that if a financial advisor must call on prospects, “dialing for dollars” as she and sales trainers in the industry refer to it, than that advisor doesn't have enough clients, which means he or she must not be very good at his or her job. What?

If you don't believe me, see here:


On top of her over the top claim that calling on prospects is a sign of weakness and somehow related to an advisor's longevity in the business, Suze goes on to lay out attributes that she feels her viewers should look for in a “good” financial advisor.

How Does Suze Orman Define “Good”?

On her list of attributes is an experience hurdle, 15 years minimum.

According to Ms. Orman, no one should work with an advisor with fewer than 15 years experience. Why?

Well her first–and really only–example is that newer, less experienced advisors, wouldn't know what to do in the event of a market correction.


We were around in 2008, and I saw a lot of experienced (i.e. 15+ years) advisors quaking in their boots over the market decline. In fact, Brandon relayed a story to me not too long ago in which he got to witness first hand a 20+ year CFP (certified financial planner) lament the stock market free fall to her administrative assistant (This same CFP completely botched the explanation of an ADR to a new agent, to her credit she went and looked it up afterwards and came back to apologize that she had given him the wrong information).

So much for experience.

Those in the Know…

For those of us with first hand experience in the industry, we know immediately how ridiculous the suggestions that one only work with financial advisors with at least 15 years experience sounds (unless of course you have 15+ years of experience, at which point it probably sounds like a great idea).

The truth is we all start somewhere, and Suze is either delusional about the sort of people she attracts to her show or she has some other incentive…not really sure about that one?  I do know that prospecting for new business is a part of any business.  There are no exceptions to that.

If a business isn't growing, it's dying.  You can't just stay at the same level, that's a myth.

And unfortunately, years of experience has no correlation to competency.  Brandon and I spend a great amount of time helping clients untangle the mess that was created by “veteran” financial advisors.  Sadly, in many cases it seems all these people have gained in their 15+ years in the business is some super awesome sales skills that get people tied up in really bad deals.

There really doesn't appear to by any direct correlation in our industry between experience level and ability to offer appropriate recommendations/solutions.

So, if you'd like to talk to a couple of inexperienced agents, please contact us, we'd love to help you.

About the Author Brantley Whitley

Brantley is a practicing life insurance agent and has been for nearly 18 years. After years of trying to sell like his sales managers wanted him to, he discovered that people want to buy life insurance if you actually explain the benefits.

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