This call was originally recorded in July of 2009.
It was designed as a complimentary introduction to Wholesaler Masterminds® and the ideas presented are yours for the taking.
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Transcribed Ideas From The Call:
Idea Number One: I call Student of the Business or A Headline of the Day Keeps Ignorance Away. My recommendation is that every day you have one headline to discuss with your clients. Now this is simple. It’s as simple as grabbing the USA Today or Wall Street Journal from the front door of your room at the Marriott or the Hilton, scanning it quickly, picking up one idea that you’re comfortable being conversant in and running with that idea all day. All day. Bring it up in every office as appropriate.
Why do I bring this up? Because so many wholesalers that I speak with are great with their product but are not necessarily students of the business. And if you run with this idea, it will give you what I call implied intelligence. You may have an MBA, but if you don’t, this will show that you are a student of the business and current on current events and ready to speak the language of the economic events of the world.
Idea Number Two: Don’t eat at the French restaurant Le Cleaners. I offer you a warning here. There’s multiple ideas that follow, so get your pen ready. Now the first admission is we all entertain groups that we don’t necessarily want to linger with in a restaurant. It’s sad, but it’s true. So what I recommend that you do is show up at a restaurant half hour, 20 minutes early. Ask to speak to the server that will be serving your group or the manager or the maitre d’, cover the following topics.
Number one, pre-order some appetizers so that everything will be delivered to the table as soon as everyone sits because everyone’s going to have perhaps a cocktail in them and arrive hungry.
Secondly, the wine list always only has one home, in your hands. Always, ever. Good group, bad group.
Number three, under no circumstances should the server take after dinner drink orders, and number four, if time is an issue or back to that notion that the group you’re with is not one you necessarily want to linger with, advise them that you do not need an ordinance amount of time between courses. Help expedite the meal, still have a good time, control cost.
Idea Number Three: Two voices one message. Are you and your internal in-sync on product stories, sales ideas, or your value added pitch? In my experience, most teams have room for improvement. So here’s what I recommend. Use your company voicemail system and then you, the external wholesaler, record your pitch. Your pitch about the products that you’re responsible for keeping in your bag, your pitch about your favorite sales idea. It’s the internals job to get this down cold so that your pitch and their pitch are now aligned and unified and you’re speaking in the same voice.
Idea Number Four: Congratulations your reps now own you. Many years ago, more than I care to even admit, I was driving down the 405 Freeway coming up on the Y in South Orange County here in California. It’s rush hour in the late afternoon and I’m talking to my number one rep. Why do I remember? Because it was one of the greatest learning experiences I ever had. I was negotiating expenses with that rep and that rep asked me where did they stand production-wise in my territory.
I learned very clearly, never to give that information because I made the mistake of answering them and from that point forward, they always used that information as leverage against my budget. “Rob, how could you say no to a $5,000 request? I’m your number three producer.” Never ever tell reps exactly where they stand in your territory ranking, use general ranges, never hard numbers. Say, “John, I am so delighted you are one of my Top 15 producers.” Never tell them exactly where they rank. In fact, you can begin to play that notion off one producer to another and play them off in such a way that they want to beat someone else in your Top 15.
Idea Number Five: Become the master of illusion. One of the best compliments I’ve ever heard bestowed on a wholesaler by a manager of reps was that the wholesaler was at the account so much the reps thought he was dedicated to that account. I thought that was pretty phenomenal.
The truth is that this account was one of many the wholesaler had and the wholesaler had over 500 producers in their territory. Now the secret to this illusion: the wholesaler had a systematic process wherein they used the combination of personal visits, voicemail messages, live phone calls, blast fax, emails, text messages, and this was the same method of operation that the internal wholesaler used at the account as well. They covered this account six ways from Sunday and the illusion was incredibly effective. It appeared that they were everywhere all the time as a dedicated wholesaler would be inside the system.
Idea Number Six: She who follows up fastest wins. I was traveling with a wholesaler one time. We stopped into a top producers office. The top producer had granted us only five minutes. Well, you know what you’re closing for if you only have five minutes, you’re closing for the next appointment. Well, we went in and did our five minutes and we got our next appointment.
That broker called the wholesaler one week later. The wholesaler was on a plane. As soon as she got off, she called back, realized that the broker had a simple question about a contract, which she promptly answered.
Two weeks later, a ticket came in for $750,000.
Six months later, the rep, named number one again at the broker dealer, was standing around a group of peers at an event in Hawaii. He was regaling his successes in a circle of other reps and other wholesalers and he said, “You know why?” And he points Deanne. He says, “You know why Deanne is my number one wholesaler? Well, on that day that I needed help, I called five wholesalers. Two decided never to call me back. Two decided that 24 hours was a reasonable response time. One called me back immediately. That was Deanne. She is now my number one wholesaler.”
On the heels of urgency Deanne becomes the number one wholesaler. She who follows up fastest wins.
Put in a two hour rule. Two hour rule means you will follow up with virtually everyone in some way, shape, fashion or form and if you can’t do it, have your internal do it. If only to say, “Got your message. Tied up in a meeting, call you at five o’clock.” Anything beats not being in touch at all.
Now the following ideas I want to share with you are web 2.0 ideas, they’re social media. They’re new media related. What they’re not is about how to tweet with Oprah and Diddy. What they are is about how to gain an information or productivity advantage over your competition.
Idea Number Seven: I call Great Wholesalers Don’t Do Dishes. There should come a time in your practice where you need admin help. Sending mailers, keeping a CRM current, addressing holiday cards on and on. You are too busy and make too much money for admin work. Enter a site called Elance, E-L-A-N-C-E.com. Elance, tell you how I use it. Every single month I publish a newsletter. If you want to get on that list, go to shorespeak.com, S-H-O-R-E-S-P-E-A-K.com. That’s my home site, shorespeak.com. Every single month I do this newsletter and I got tired of finding a typo after I published it when I proof read it 10 times. So I used somebody on Elance, J and J Write it Right, two school teachers who charged me $12.50. Yes, $12.50 to proofread my newsletter and keep me out of being embarrassed because great wholesalers don’t do dishes.
Idea Number Eight: From the department of redundancy department, we all have favorite websites that we like to read and stay informed on. Fact number one you need to be a student of the business which includes staying informed via the internet. The redundancy is created from having to visit each site every week, every day to get the data that we need.
I was talking to a colleague of mine recently and he thought he was really getting his geeky on because he was using Google Alerts to save his search criteria. Firms, brokers, managers, products and have them sent directly to his email box, which by the way is a toxic wasteland of information. The better way is to set up a Google reader to pull in RSS feeds from your favorite sites. It’s all the news that’s fit to click all in one place and if you really want to get fancy, use Feedly, F- double E D-L-Y, Feedly, which is a plugin for the Firefox browser, which makes it all that much better and that much prettier.
Idea Number Nine: Smile and say, “I love my wholesaler”. I recommend that you use Flickr.com, F-L-I-C-K-R, Flickr.com to post photos of clients and brokers from events that you hold. We all like photographs, just look at the pages of Facebook to see how much, but instead of sending large clunky JPEG files of that last golf outing to brokers, post them all on Flick. Put a couple of comments, a catchy byline. Personalize each photo and make it available to the whole group that was present at your outing, your dinner, your seminar, your brand stream.
Idea Number Ten: is I need a little ‘me’ time. It used to be that wholesaler life expectancy in the job was around seven to 10 years. Seven to 10 years is when you hit burnout. Now you remember when you signed up, I asked for the tenure on this call and given that the average tenure on this call is 9.255 years, that stat may well be right. We all need to find balance and balance is one of the hardest things to find. So here’s a couple of ideas from wholesalers that are in business today.
A New York City wholesaler wrote to me and said, “When I first started in the field, I made time for absolutely everyone except myself and eventually I started to feel like I was losing my moxie,” and we all know how good a wholesale or anyone is for that matter without their moxie. And then he had to realize that he had to specifically book an appointment for himself in order to stop, clear the air and get a fresh perspective on everything. So one, book an appointment for you, for you time and two of equal importance or maybe more importance, book an appointment with your significant other before the demands of the job eat up that part of your life.
Number two, a Southern California wholesaler wrote to me and said, “I keep comedy tapes in my car for when the traffic gets unbearable and my stress level is reaching a boiling point. I have Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Ron White, Jeff Foxworthy, all kinds. It helps melt away the stress and puts a more relaxed smile on my face,” and she says that when she walks into an office that’s next on her schedule, instead of walking in frazzled and tied up in knots, she arrives much more calm and collected.