While preparing a story for I Carry The Bag..the official magazine of wholesaling we interviewed COIs in all channels.
The scope of our learning was broad.
Here are a few tidbits (8 of more than 30) that we took away from a Merrill Lynch Complex Manager:
1. Be respectful of time
“I almost never talk to wholesalers who have not scheduled time to speak.
However, those that call ahead and want to schedule 10 minutes I almost never say no to”.
He also emphasized that for him 10 minutes was the magic number.
Not 15 minutes.
Not a half an hour.
2. Use schedulers wisely
Calls that come to him for a meeting, if placed by a scheduler and are the first meeting, will almost never get calendared.
“To me it feels like a generic and random cold call. The first call should come from the wholesaler themselves.”
3. I don’t want a commercial for all of your products
“Pick two best ideas.
Two that I should remember and pass along”.
4. Know you are ‘on the clock’
“Time I spend with a wholesaler is a time debit. As a result, give me something selfless – and get to the point quickly.”
For this COI a perfect meeting is:
- 3 minutes: Rapore building
- 3 minutes: An ideas to make my life easier (or more profitable) as a manager
- 3 minutes: on your product
5. It’s not about you
Be selfless, and that means sharing the resources that wholesalers have at their disposal.
This might be from their firm and/or it might be sharing what works at the complex up the street.
6. Stay original and fresh
With great wholesalers you can’t tell the size of their territory.
That means that they are not sitting down and spewing a canned story that they have repeated 100 times.
7. Operate like an insider
The best wholesalers know the terminology of our shop.
“During our integration with Bank of America we actually had wholesalers that helped us navigate the acronyms and helped us map the BOA to Merrill acronyms”.
8. Find alternatives
Know that there are other resources besides the manager that can be just as valuable.
Some managers will not meet with wholesalers, period.
You may need to be better at drafting on influentials.
How are your COI relationships?