Between July 21 and August 2 Wholesaler Masterminds® conducted a survey of our US and Canada based community. We requested survey responses through direct email outreach, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
We received 847 total responses. In addition we received over 800 written comments.
This is Part 3 of our effort to provide you with an overview of the Survey results.
Click here to view the Survey Participant Census Data.
The impact of data on distribution is a broad topic.
It has, or will, affect:
- Advisor access
- Firm marketing
- Data segmentation
- Product delivery
- Social engagement
just to name a few.
Data is changing the game for both wholesalers and advisors. Advisors need less frequent “product updates” and wholesalers have data that allows them to be more targeted in both who they see and what they discuss.
What impact do you foresee technology having on your practice over NEXT THREE YEARS?
The vast majority of wholesalers surveyed feel that this trend will have significant impacts.
No Longer Optional
“Major impact IF my firm doesn’t keep pace.”
“You either get proficient at using technology or you will left behind. It will be needed to do everything from contact management, marketing, presentations, follow up, on boarding, etc.”
“Our entire company is revamping up it’s technology to be more client-centric. Wholesalers who adapt, will succeed… those that don’t, will perish.”
“We live in a world where we demand things at the touch of a button. Wholesalers that can consult advisors on how a strategy is used in an easy manner along with finding the supporting detail will help separate wholesalers and firms.”
“From simple transactional efficiencies to speed-to-market product development, technology will play an increasingly pivotal role in the progress of our business.”
“If our firm spends the money to invest in technology, we will be in the game. If not, we will get crushed. There is no middle ground.”
More Targeted and Effective Advisor Interaction
“It is becoming more of a rifle approach than a shotgun approach to wholesaling – find the right people.”
“Ability to do virtual meetings and touch more advisors more easily.”
“More targeted meetings versus blind prospecting.”
“Intentional conversations with those that want to hear the message.”
“If we do not provide what advisors are looking for, they will not see the need to meet with us. We need to be relevate to their business and their business needs.”
“Data has allowed us to have more informed conversations with advisors about their business.”
“Not a meeting goes on the calendar right now that I haven’t had previous information on prior to scheduling.”
“Tech is definitely helping to define algorithms that segment the wholesaler’s book. Tech is also making me more efficient.”
Providing Value is Imperative
“Different approach, increased pressure to add value not just recite a factsheet. But…this is what we should be doing all along. Developing ourselves, staying ahead of the message.”
“Data is at the advisors finger tips. Not much need for product updates, so wholesalers need to find new ways and information to stay engaged. If your firm does not have valuable intellectual capital you’re in trouble.”
“I do 5500 reviews for advisors for prospects. That’s my value add, and theirs. If I’m able to help them win business, that’s potentially my win also.”
“My value comes from delivering educational CE courses that help strengthen advisors current relationships and prospect for new business. Product updates are an aside in my business today.”
“Product updates are not enough anymore. Need to be able to provide more value-added material and input on how the business is changing and what trends we are seeing.”
Double-edged Sword/Too Much of a ‘Good’ Thing?
“My motto is to ‘Simplify every contact touch’ because many advisors feel that they are overwhelmed (and somewhat defeated) by the amount of info being fed to them.”
“Data is a double-edged sword. It is great to see where the business is being done, but all of your competitors have the same data. Everyone is focused on the same narrow group of advisors. Asset managers are managing on market share, which is understandable, but it would be nice if we had conversations about strategies to raise money, not constantly reviewing and defending market share numbers.”
“More technology in Canada is needed but as it increases many carriers, from an insurance standpoint, are retooling their thoughts on wholesalers. Many have cut back to very unskilled wholesalers because they are cheaper. Thoughts are that advisors deal with the carrier regardless of whom sees them as a wholesaler.”
“Data transparency is great, but too many wholesalers chasing advisors.”
“Advisors don’t pay attention to technology driven product updates. You can still get there attention saying “Hey, I have something you need to know!”
“Unfortunately technology is going to eliminate or reduce wholesaler teams at larger, Tier 1 firms. That being said we are using more and more technology every year and really focusing on whom we are calling rather than just smiling and dialing. We have lowered our internal calls and increased their required webinars.”
“Smaller advisors won’t be contacted as much, everyone will only touch advisors who are primed to do a lot of business.”
“Wholesalers will have the tools to target the players that will put money in their pockets. Many getting good service today will get much less in the future.”
Mindful of “Big Brother”
“More sales management oversight (mandating who we see, how often etc.).”
“Technology will push distribution management teams to further micromanage a seasoned wholesaler’s actions. This will undermine a good wholesaler’s reputation with their advisors because they’ll lose the ability to customize their wholesaling message to individual advisors’ needs. Management will push wholesalers to become walking billboards for the corporate message. Everybody loses in that scenario.”
Data: Access + Mining + Deployment
“The issue is the cost of data, very expensive, some BDs are no restricting information they once shared unless an exorbitant fee is paid.”
“Every manager thinks that the data they have bought is very useful. Mining the data for what it gives rather than what you are looking for will be the key.”
“It’s all about using the data and technology in the most efficient way possible since everyone has it.”
Alternate Points of View
“The data is terrible but our firms are blind. They think information is knowledge.”
“It has never been about data. It has always been about context, relationship, and value add.”
Stay tuned to Wholesaler Masterminds® for additional results from our 2017 State of Wholesaling Survey.