Fifteen years ago I asked an outside vendor to help me and my team put together an assessment that we might be able to use to pre-screen wholesalers at the point of the interview. What I wanted was something that was custom designed.
While DISC and Myers Briggs are instructive, they are not specific to the craft of wholesaling.
The vendor undertook interviews with successful existing wholesalers that we employed as well as national sales managers and divisional sales managers within our firm.
The findings were distilled down into two distinct categories. Those skills we deemed to be most critical indicators of success and secondary (though not much less important) skills.
The seven critical skills sales managers want wholesalers to have are:
Work ethic: There’s a lot I can train someone to be. But I can’t train someone not to be lazy.
No, not the couch potato, ‘honey get me another beer’ lazy that you might be thinking of.
Work ethic means you wake up most days ready to kill it.
You want to see six appointments in the day and you only have five booked. Between appointments you are on the phone with reps.
You feel guilty for taking a vacation [disclaimer: I am not advocating not taking time off but a little guilt never hurt] and work harder when you get back.
You complete assigned tasks before they are due. You….you get the picture, right?
Self starter: A kissing cousin of work ethic, this means that you don’t wait for answers, processes, solutions to come to you. Rather, you figure them out.
Frequently this manifests itself when, as an example, you think about a piece of technology or a piece of literature that you do not have and the competition does.
The self starter figures out how to create a work around, or alternate solution. The rest of the folks bitch they they don’t have what they need to succeed.
Time management: If you have a copy of the 15 Sales Rules to Live (and Die) By you know that the number one rule is be on time, every time.
And time management is even more.
Your administrative reports are completed when (before?) they are due.
You know how to efficiently schedule your travel within your loops. You make the time to clearly document your meetings in the CRM.
Your office days are not reduced to a gigantic time suck.
Communication skills: Great wholesalers understand the art of 360 degree communication.
This means they know how to effectively communicate with their boss, their peers and internal partners that do not have the same position (or title, or seniority) in the firm.
Have you experienced the guy/gal that is a sugar coated suck up when they speak to the boss and a raving bitch when they speak to a customer service rep?
Don’t be that person!
This also means you are adept at the written word as well as the spoken word.
Think internal emails are a place to skip spell check, write in all lower case, use shorthand [CUL8R]? You’re wrong.
Lastly, check your ability to articulate, enunciate, use pace, silence, volume and vocabulary to enhance your ability to communicate verbally.
Public speaking: Yes, I know you think you are a great speaker. Most wholesalers do.
Some are right. Others, how do I put this delicately, SUCK!
Do yourself a favor and get a critical, non biased eye on your presentations.
This means what your husband/wife or mom thinks does not count.
Self discipline: How many jobs in America give you almost complete autonomy, with company benefits, and allow you to earn north of $250k – at the age of 31?
Well in exchange for that I expect wholesalers who know how carry themselves.
That can handle their alcohol.
That know how to respond to the CEO of broker dealer when they meet them.
That know the rep top producer trip to Kona is not designed as their private, expense paid getaway.
That always see and respect the line between client and friend.
Resilience/Tenacity: This is one of the hardest jobs there is.
Wholesalers frequently get the short end of the rep stick.
Performance sucks? Blame the wholesaler.
Bad seminar turnout? Blame the wholesaler.
Fight with your wife? Blame the wholesaler.
And through it all great wholesalers just keep showing up, providing great ideas, building consultative relationships, demonstrating everyday why that advisor/broker/agent/IMO can’t afford to do business without them.
Here’s my personal guarantee: you perfect these seven, and all of their permutations, and you will never be without a wholesaling gig again.
Ready to up your game? Join us for one on one coaching.
Or have us in to your next sales meeting.