Have you seen our post Sushi, Sake, See Ya!?
It’s the true story of an almost great manager.
‘Almost’ great because he was terrific at praise and light on critique.
And while that post reflects an era more than a few years removed from today, the same problems hold true.
In our coaching practice we hear a LOT from wholesalers about their divisionals and, in too many cases, the feedback is less than flattering.
So how can divisional managers, who often are promoted from the role of wholesaler and then offered little (no?) training move from good to great?
We think they should hone the skills of:
In this occasional series we’ll explore ways in which divisionals can build muscle in all four areas.
Everyone knows the drill.
Managers schedule time with wholesalers to see them in action.
In the worst cases it’s simply a drive-by versus a ride-along; the manager dives into a city for a meal (sometimes not leaving the airport!) and 90 minutes later the ‘visit your wholesaler’ box is apparently checked.
If your goal as a leader is to add real value to your team, one important way to do it is to assist them in evaluating their performance in the field and then offering an improvement plan, as appropriate.
So how can you elevate the ride-along experience?
Evaluate and critique the following:
Advisor Reconnaissance: How well did your wholesaler understand the advisors practice AND the advisor before their cheeks landed in the advisors guest chair?
What sort of documented, pre-meeting recon work did they perform?
How successfully was it integrated into the appointment?
Probing/Asks the Right Questions: Was the wholesaler’s ability to ask probing questions a scattered affair or did they have a planned sequence of questions?
Did the wholesaler actively listen to the advisor’s reponses, and then “peel the onion” by asking follow-up questions that sought to clarify and uncover needs?
Listening Skills: Was the wholesaler listening for the opening to wedge product into the conversation or were they listening to understand?
How did they verbally and nonverbally reaffirm that the advisor was being heard?
How did they document what the advisor was saying?
Meeting Organization/Documentation: Was the wholesaler’s note taking confined to the back of the advisors business card or was there a more organized plan of collecting data?
Did they use pre meeting agendas to set the stage for the meeting?
Did they use tools like Evernote to document/take notes?
Were they employing technology successfully in the documentation process?
Product Presentation: How successfully did the wholesaler convey the product?
Did they offer a needs based rationale for why they offered the product solution that they did?
How successfully was that solution explained?
Did it reek of unintelligible jargon or was it presented in a clear and concise fashion?
PVP-Peerless Value Proposition®: Did the wholesaler make the case for why they should be considered a resource beyond your firm and beyond the product?
Did they display a proficiency in a meaningful area of expertise that the advisor could potentially profit from?
How did they layer their PVP into the conversation?
Trail Closing: Did the wholesaler blast through the product explanation or did they stop to ask reaffirming questions that helped to insure the advisor was following the discussion?
How well did they integrate the answers to the trail close into the presentation?
Closing/Moving the Sales Process Forward: How did the meeting end?
Was there an understanding of any next steps that would follow?
Did the wholesaler create an opportunity for the next touch?
Was the forward schedule offered?
Follow-up Process: Did you get a clear idea of how the wholesaler goes about their follow-up?
Does the follow-up have more to it than sending literature and having their internal partner place a phone call?
Is their follow-up process systematized?
Is their follow-up process documented?
Other Topics and Competencies to Check In On
- COI Coverage and Leveraging
- Internal Partner Relationships and Effective Utilization
- Office Day Productivity
- Building Effective Presence in Your Absence (e.g. Email, Snail Mail, and Voicemail Marketing)
- Using Technology for Organization and Productivity
Create a more successful Ride-Along experience for
both you and your wholesaler.
Use our Wholesaler Masterminds® Ride-Along Evaluation Form
with our compliments.