In mid July FundFire ran the results of a survey aimed at understanding “ways managers can improve their chances of being selected for advisors’ portfolios.”
According to the site:
Overall, 141 advisors representing more than 10 firms participated in the 12-question survey. The respondents hailed from wirehouses, regional broker-dealers, independent broker-dealers, registered investment advisors and banks; the majority of respondents were wirehouse advisors.
While this survey was geared towards the mutual fund asset management population, the finding are no less insightful for any wholesaler that calls on financial advisors.
A few of the findings that gave us pause for thought here at Wholesaler Masterminds:
As evidenced by this chart:
29% of financial advisors need help with the technology and operations side of the business. While we suspect that much of that assistance needs to come from the broker dealer, we also believe that the wholesaler can play a role in helping to fill this need. Most wholesalers we talk to are hesitant to get immersed in a deep knowledge of productivity and business building technology tools available for FAs – and we understand why. That said, you do have the ability to differenciate yourself from the rest of the field if you at least have some pearls of wisdom to offer on the technology front:
- Be conversant in the system that the FA is running for CRM or Ops. Can you show them how to look up your products? Do you know how to query their CRM?
- Give them a technology tidbit that they can implement immediately – and it doesn’t have to be earth shattering. Here are five examples:
- DropBox – show them how to share files with colleagues or clients without the use of thumb drives. Also great for accessing files from multiple computers.
- Search-Thing.com – give them a more powerful way to search the web across multiple search platforms
- online-ConVert.com – ever need to create a pdf from a Word document?
- Google Reader – give the FA an understanding about how to bring information about clients, prospects, product providers etc. from across the web directly to one central location (RSS). Here a tutorial.
- Workstreamer – the same concept of bringing information to a central location. In this case it’s a more simple approach than Reader.
Here what’s important: you do not need to become a geek to have a conversation and add some value to a rep’s technology needs. Have a pearl or two available. Will it solve all that ails them? No. Will it make you stand out versus the wholesaler that can’t hold the conversation. Oh, yes it will.
22% percent of FAs need more practice management support. This should be right smack in the middle of your wheelhouse! In fact this statistic points to the fact that too many wholesalers are talking too much product and not offering the invaluable ‘consultative engagement’ that FAs would benefit from. By virtue of the sheer number of folks that you see you should have a compendium of remarkable business building/practice management ideas that are just waiting to be shared.
And what if you don’t?
- Financial Planning
- Boomer Market Advisor
- Mutual Fund Wire
- Registered Rep
- Investment News
- Financial Advisor
And those are just from our industry. What if you went outside the financial services world to get ideas that will help reps grow?
Also from the same survey this graph caught our eye:
27% of FAs believe wholesalers have a tough time articulating how their firm is different that their competitors. So, what IS different about your firm? Is it that you don’t have clarity about what makes you different or are you just bad at saying it? Way too many reps are finding fault with this to not give it close attention. Try this super simple exercise. Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper. On one side at the top write ‘Us’. On the other side write ‘Them”. Now fill out the strengths of your firm under ‘Us’ and the perceived strengths of your competitors under ‘Them’.
Is there a compelling difference?
What we don’t know is if this question speaks at all to the wholesaler themselves. Can you articulate clearly how you are different from your wholesaling competitors? At Wholesaler Masterminds we have heard a bunch of folks try this. Some paint a clear picture of how and why they are different – many fall too far short.
18% fail to comprehend who I do business with and how I run my practice. If this speaks to you, shame on you. Sorry, but you need to go back to Selling 101 and learn the part about profiling, and getting to know your client, and about building rapport. If the questions to ask are not clear to you that is perfectly o.k. – we’re here to help: 53 Great Questions Wholesaler Should Ask Financial Advisors may be of assistance.
The trade pubs will continue to poll advisors about their thoughts regarding our profession. Our job should be to listen carefully and then examine ways in which we can rise to the challenge. If you want to surround yourself with like-minded peers who are seeking wholesaling excellence then reach out to us at Wholesaler Masterminds and let’s discuss wholesaler coaching – either peer group style or one on one.