They are the holy grail of most wholesaler’s practices.
The Barron’s Top 100 advisor.
Cumulatively, based on the 2016 list, they manage $859,610,000,000!
Erin Botsford is a Barron’s Top 100 Independent Advisor & Top 100 Women’s Financial Advisors, Best-Selling Author, Founder and CEO of Botsford Financial Group, a boutique financial planning firm with offices in Dallas, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia.
Having trademarked an investment philosophy called Lifestyle Driven Investing™, she is considered a thought leader on 21st Century investing, risk management and retirement. Among the top echelon of financial advisors, Erin is often asked to share her views on investing and the economy in key note addresses across the country.
Her new book, Seven Figure Firm, How to Build a Financial Services Business that Grows Itself is due out soon.
Book Erin for your next event through Wholesaler Masterminds Speakers Bureau (services provided by Ro Morrison & Associates).
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Over the years, I’ve met with numerous wholesalers and from them, learned ALL the strategies that helped us succeed today. Let’s cover some of the questions that are mentioned in the podcast, which may help wholesalers succeed in their role.
Build a self-managing company.
The first thing to suggest is help advisors build a ‘self-managing company’. What is that? Remember, a business is not a business if it all the functions depend upon the principle owner.
I started the same as most of us in the industry, as a sales person, which grew into a practice. But, a practice still depends upon your day-to-day involvement. Let’s compare this to other professionals like dentists. The dentist doesn’t clean teeth, do x-rays, set appointments, or complete paperwork. He shows up to do specific tasks while their staff does all the other tasks. You eventually want to progress your practice into a company.
Contrast this model to typical financial services; we think we need to do everything. But a business has a team and that’s how you change your mindset and model so that you can take vacations and time off and the business still functions even while you’re not there.
How does a wholesaler get the time and attention of peak advisors?
First, I want to say how much I respect and admire wholesalers because I learned so much from them. I even set the example to my team on how to treat them respectfully.
The best way for a wholesaler to get my attention is to remember and acknowledge details about my business as well as personal life. Remembering things like; she is married, a mother and grandmother. These are the ones that gain the most attention for me.
One example comes to mind; when a wholesaler sent personalized gifts for my new grandchildren with their names on it. These ideas are simple to do but sometimes not easy.
How can you appeal to the heart and head of an advisor?
This is what Rob Shore calls “advisor reconnaissance.” Basically, it’s about doing your homework or research before you meet with an advisor or anyone. Knowing details about them is how you melt the barriers to entry.
Information about advisers is out there; so do your research and invest the time beforehand on how to reach their hearts and minds with topics that matter to them.
Here’s a recent personal example:
We recently sent a gift of strawberries and champagne for the wedding couple of one of our clients. They talked about it to everyone and couldn’t thank us enough. These are things that they remember and tell others.
What are the activities that really don’t work well for wholesalers?
In my firm, and probably most established firms, there is a staff person or team that vets product options before I see them. My product analysts know more about these product details than I do and I trust them to review all the options for our firm.
In other words, there are gatekeepers and researchers and therefore wholesalers don’t really need to see me. This is another example of a self-managing company. Besides, all responsible firms want to know about new and changing products so it’s important.
My advice is find out who the decision-makers are in a company and don’t continue to communicate with those that aren’t. The owners may not be the only decision-makers.
One more thing, remember to treat all staff with respect; the receptionist as well as the owner. Giving equal reverence to all employees creates a lot of goodwill.
How frequent should they see an advisor?
Most often, one meeting a quarter is ideal. Wholesalers that host working lunch meetings and give best practice ideas works best. But, don’t tell or talk about other advisors by name and reveal what they are doing to me.
Remember, don’t give away their trade secrets by violating advisor confidence. Instead, bring insights and global intelligence but be mindful of violating personal confidence. This builds the trust factor and integrity is everything in our industry.
What about the DOL? What can wholesalers do?
There are many aspects of the upcoming DOL regulation that aren’t clear yet. It’s good that wholesalers provide any information they have that helps keep advisers well informed.
What is our new advisor training called “Spend The Day?”
Since we are in the top 100 firms, I felt a responsibility to give back to the industry and began speaking, training and also donating to charity. In fact, half of the profits of these trainings go to my favorite orphan charity in Africa, The Ebenezer Foundation.
Basically, advisers can get all the knowledge we gained over the years condensed into a one-day hands-on training with my staff and I where we share all of our successful business processes. The response and results have been awesome.
Also, I have a new book coming out that will help advisors called: Seven Figure Firm, How to Build a Financial Services Business that Grows Itself. Here’s what one wholesaler Nathan had to say, “In my two decades in the financial service industry, I’ve met none better than Erin Botsford. If you are a wholesaler, buy this book for your financial advisors! It’s a treasure chest of information.”
I hope you found these ideas helpful and hope your next year is the best ever.
Written by Erin Botsford