Assembled at a Money Management Institute event in NYC (for which we provided the opening keynote presentation), a group of top flight wholesalers from assorted firms gathered to hone their skills and deepen their knowledge with insights from peers, industry leaders, and financial advisors whom we serve.
The question, “How do Wholesalers Most Effectively Work with Financial Advisors”, was posed to a panel of broker/dealer senior management level experts.
1. Recognize that it’s a relationship business. Develop relationships with advisors over time.
If you are expecting to show up at an advisors office, make small talk, assault them with product, and close a sale, you are sadly mistaken.
Like any worthwhile relationship, the one with prospective great producers will be forged over time.
2. Make sure that your touches are both small touches and big touches.
Sure, an invitation to the road show or sporting event is a relationship building opportunity.
And so is the quick email with a link to a story you know will be of interest to the advisor.
3. Display patience as relationships develop over time.
While you are cultivating that relationship, exhibit a judicious blend of patience and persistence.
We’ve heard horror stories of wholesalers who see an advisor twice, lay down the hard close (if you’re not writing business, I’m not coming back) and only serve to piss off the advisor.
One Millionaire Wholesaler quote we love is, “No just means not yet”. [there are 100 quotes from Millionaire Wholesalers in our book available at Amazon]
4. Be direct with advisors.
Ask, “How do I effectively start a relationship with you?”
Seem too forward?
Maybe for some, but the day is way too busy, for both parties, to dance around the subject.
That, and simply guessing is a bad sales strategy.
5. In the discovery process, make sure you’re asking better questions and the right questions.
And, when questions are answered, for heaven’s sake…LISTEN.
[Do you have our 76 Great Questions Wholesalers Ask Advisors?]
6. Help advisors think differently, think out of the box, do things that others aren’t doing.
So many advisors are good at managing money and stink at marketing their practice.
They are great at the core construction of investment portfolios but really lacking at ways to build their businesses (and best help their clients) with lesser understood investment concepts.
How can you assist the advisor by keeping them out of The Sea of Sameness?
7. Ask about their target market (or do they even have one?).
Ask to how they’re organized around the target market.
Ask if they have the right resources to prosper with their target market.
Ask what their “unfair advantage” is. [also read: A Wholesaler’s Unfair Advantage]
8. Understand their channel.
Each channel that we serve as wholesalers is nuanced in it’s own way – you know that.
The question is, especially if you are cross channel, how deeply have you immersed yourself in the subtleties of those channels?
And, if you are channel specific, have you taken the time to understand your channels’ competitive advantages versus others – and use those advantages in the sales process?
9. Understand their broker/dealer.
Most wholesalers simply do not pay enough attention to what is happening at the home office of the broker/dealer.
But if we did we’d be able to understand:
current b/d induced challenges facing the advisor and
areas of b/d opportunity that the advisor cannot see from their point of view.
This is where a great relationship management team comes in mighty handy.
When was the last time you consulted with yours?
Bonus #10: While not a core topic of discussion by this panel, these panelists were all very influential COIs – which leads us to ask you: how effectively are you managing your COI relationships?
Read and Listen: Your COI Mindset: A Giving Hand Is Always Full
Great wholesalers understand the value of these insights from industry leaders, like those represented at this conference, and are finding ways to implement best practices.