Matt Kistler, vice president of business development at United Benefit Advisors, is one of Employee Benefit Adviser’s 2014 Rising Stars in Advising. He shared three tips for other young advisers in the field, like other Rising Stars have done throughout the month. The Oak Brook, Ill.-based professional is in charge of UBA’s New Producer Academy that will train 30 of their own young advisers in the field each year. Stay tuned to EBA for more on Kistler and our other nine Rising Stars.

1. Find mentors. “Starting with my parents, I have had role models and mentors to encourage me,” Kistler says. “I have surrounded myself with individuals who have challenged me not only in my work, but also in my faith. I would not be where I am now without their investment in my life.”

2. Learn the industry. “Clients buy you and your insights more than anything else,” he says. “Read the industry publications and attend the industry expos and events to find out more. Take the time to get to know your carrier representatives, because they know the products and best practices better than anyone. Also, take time to understand your competition and the value proposition they bring to the market.”

3. Gut it out. “Starting in this industry can be tough,” he says, adding that it’s dominated by individuals who have been in the game since before many millennials were born. “The sales cycle is challenging and long and you will probably be lied to throughout the process. If you can stay the course and stick in this industry, it will pay off. Our industry is in dire need of young talent. I hear the same sentiment in every firm I visit — ‘How do I find and keep good young talent?’ The future is bright for those who stay the course.”

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