Most of us fly a lot. If you’re like me you usually read, listen to music, listen to air traffic control, or perhaps read and respond to email.
The whole intent is to avoid talking to the guy next to you.
However, every now and then a stranger is so intriguing, just the way they look and carry themselves makes you want to learn more.
On a recent flight, a stately looking gentleman sat down in the seat next to me.
He was about 65 years old and was dressed like a British professor. You know the kind: hounds tooth coat, bow tie, and a gray beard. I couldn’t resist asking him what he did for a living.
He introduced himself as Professor (I was right!) Heinrick Von Saleby of The Hamburg Educational Institute of Wholesaler Higher Attainment Technology, otherwise known as THE WHAT?
He told me his life’s work was analyzing wholesaler behavior and habits in the field.
Imagine my shock. I’m sitting next to an expert on the subject that is nearest and dearest to my heart.
I asked him, “What are critical areas that separate wholesaling greats from wholesaling pretenders?”
Here are three of the many he spoke of:
Professor Von Saleby had coined the phrase “Pontificatus Excessus”. In lay person’s language, it means “talk too much, listen too little”.
Let’s face it, there is only so much information that you can offer regarding your product. After the thorough overview, followed by the in-depth analysis, then what are you going to discuss?
Visiting a rep for the first time requires deft skill, not unlike a physician in the diagnosis phase.
What is the broker’s mix of business, goals for this year, target markets, challenges in the branch, areas they wish they would improve, career goals?
The Professor has calculated that the ratio of listen to talk needs to be in excess of 3 to 1, especially on that first call.
If you don’t excel at the “discovery process”, exactly what are you going to discuss on the next visit?
Now some of you may be thinking “gee, the Professor has an amazing grasp of the obvious”, yet I still hear program directors complain about this issue, and I’ve seen countless wholesalers in the field that are only bent on jamming product. No value created.
“Wholesaler Consumed by Territory, Film at 11:00” The Professor, exercising his acute sense of humor asked me, “Who manages whom in the relationship between you and your territory?”
Are your weeks planned using a rotation structure or on the “well, she called so I’m there” method.
There are far too many wholesalers in the business that espouse the latter theory.
Properly planned weeks (rotations, loops) are an art form.
To know where you will be 8 weeks from now is not only efficient but makes scheduling (the bain of most wholesalers’ existence) considerably easier. To walk out of an appointment with an activity planned for your next visit, on an agreed upon date, is both a great scheduling technique and impressive to the broker.
The professor then spoke of a phenomenon called The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Only Part of the Truth.
In this classic wholesaler faux pas, the advisors are told MOST of the important points about the product, leaving out only those that may make her product a little less attractive than the competition.
The chargeback policy might be a classic example. Why bring it up if it’s not a core strength of the product?
Because it’s the right thing to do!
The broker will not appreciate half a story when the issue that was not disclosed comes back to bite her. The highest possible road is the only road to take.
What about you?
Are you destined for greatness or simply a pretender?
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