The more things change, they don’t!
We offer this from our I Carry The Bag® magazine archives.
Originally Published January 2011
by “The Anonymous Internal Wholesaler”
who began his career as a Financial Advisor. Working out of an ID Firm in their NYC office, he was recruited to his current employer just before the last Bull Market ended. Anonymity was decided upon so that he could write bluntly and honestly about the views of Internal Wholesalers, without fear of offending External Partners, or reprisals from Managers referenced.
With the 2011 annual goal set, and your renewed aspirations to win that custom-made suit at next year’s sales conference, you may want to consider the following tips for coaching your internal to be all they can be!
GIVE US OWNERSHIP – While the territory is most obviously your baby, we are much more likely to go the extra mile when you assign specific counties, cities, branches, or teams to us.
It makes us feel responsible and valued.
More importantly, it makes us think you like and trust us enough to give us some power.
Make sure you assign opportunities that are outside of your normal rotation; we can clearly demark our victories (we are all ego-maniacs too).
Make sure the allocated areas are not just Pikers and regions filled with “Model Business Only” branches.
Success here will give us reasons to feel genuinely engaged in the territory, while giving us talking points for our reviews with Desk Managers.
HOLD US ACCOUNTABLE… BUT EXPECT TO BE ACCOUNTABLE – If you want to know that we are working as hard (hopefully harder) than you, then hold us accountable on a daily basis.
How do you, without offending, ask us to prove that we are working hard, talking to the right people about the right things, and adding value to your clients and dollars to your paycheck?
Ask us to give you an end of day e-mail with our top 5 contacts for the day – under the guise, and hopefully the reality, that you are going to utilize this information to follow up on the leads we generated.
In exchange for this list, we completely expect you to actually follow up on these leads, or tell us why they are bad ones. One way or another, we are either being reinforced in the behavior, or you are given a chance to coach us on qualifying leads.
You do qualify and send us your leads, don’t you?!
DON’T FORGET WE RELY ON YOU TOO – Don’t forget, you are our meal ticket, and we know it!
If you’re a lazy bum, trust us – we know; as long as the monthly run is over 100%…unless it’s not.
In which case, we are telling our coworkers how worthless you are, and that your ineptitude is why we need to borrow money for coffee so we can make more contacts!
How can you avoid this obviously false assumption?
Send us useful follow-ups to your meetings, so we can hold you accountable too!
You don’t care what we think?
Then consider it a self-serving activity.
Without good leads, we are going to have to act like this is a game of trench warfare, not sharpshooting.
Without direction from your latest interactions, we will be forced to use the phone like an AK-47, spraying the territory with a haze of product, hoping to get a few trades.
This is an enormous exercise in wasting energy, resources, time, and credibility.
Make a calendar appointment at 5 p.m. every day to send us an e-mail with at least your 5 best meetings, their topic, and any other useful info.
SEND THEM OVER, BUT QUALITY COUNTS – Let’s start by pointing out that we know you have “productivity metrics” too.
You need so many meetings per week so that the mucky-muck you loathe back in the home office can justify his existence on early morning conference calls with the other externals he runs.
We aren’t judging you, and we definitely aren’t spying for the enemy (these conference calls that you are required to dial in for – we are required to be present for), so save the laundry list for him.
Only send us credible, real meetings, which have a discernible purpose.
This means that Barron’s 1000 FA, the one that popped by your branch lunch to grab a slice, politely took a fact sheet without so much as an audible grunt, then departed, probably can remain off “Today’s Meetings” e-mail!
If you drown us in follow-up calls, and we get a lot of calls that start and end with, “…oh yeah, he was here last week, right?” – expect us to begin discounting that list the same way we label perceived flirtations from our office crush – “Might mean something, but I’m less likely to get hung up on if I ignore it…”
MOTIVATION FOR INTERNALS, LIKE THAT OF MEDEIVAL CRUSADERS, BOILS DOWN TO THREE REWARDS:
1) GLORY – Praise us!
When we speak, when you speak to other externals, and most importantly, in conversations with our manager, your manager, and anyone else who may one day be able to give us an external gig, or juice this quarter’s discretionary bonus check;
2) GOLD – We play to get paid!
Just like you, we love this profession for its ample opportunities to exercise our EQ Skills, flex our inner psychologist, and implement the sales process chart in the “boardroom.”
However, when you drill right down to it, the Beatles had it right – “The best things in life are free, but you can keep ‘em for the birds and bees – MONEY, THAT’S WHAT I WANT!”
It may seem crass, but why else would anybody endure the same ups and downs, if not for the paycheck.
To motivate us, we expect you to close deals, break down doors, and collaborate with us to be #1 in the division. AMEX Gift Cards and additional territory travel are also appreciated;
3) AFTERLIFE– For us, getting the nod to go outside equates, in wholesaling terms, to the aforementioned Crusaders’ shot at eternity inside the Pearly Gates.
Mentor us, teach us, and encourage us in our undying quest to achieve this goal.
Most importantly, assure us that, if in a reasonable amount of time you don’t get enough of #1 or #2, you’ll give us a shot at the role you’ve left for greener pastures!