Developing strong relationships with wholesalers who work with funds that interest your clients in simply makes sense.
Here are a few reasons why.
Yet, advisors must be wary when working with wholesalers, especially when they come knocking at a dime a dozen.
Here are seven signs of a worthwhile wholesaler.
As financial planners, we understand the importance of doing our homework when it comes to prospective clients — wholesalers should be no different. A great wholesaler will at least know the types of clients you serve, as well as products you sell.
If you’re receiving “spammy,” impersonal emails or generic phone calls, the wholesaler hasn’t done their research and is likely more interested in selling than building a relationship.
The most distinctive relationships I’ve had with wholesalers are ones who’ve taken an interest in my personal life, as well as my firm.
For example, they know I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother and that family is important to me. One, in particular, stood out when they sent a personalized gift for the birth of my grandchildren.
Exceptional communication skills and the ability to ask intelligent questions goes a long way. A wholesaler who endeavors to understand your market and how it lines up with their product is a huge plus.
What’s more, in the course of giving their pitch, a great wholesaler doesn’t bad-mouth the competition; instead, they focus on expressing how their product will serve my customers, based on the information I’ve shared.
Many times you’ll run across a wholesaler who approaches your firm swearing such-and-such fund is the best and brightest on the market; several months later, they may approach you again, saying the same thing about another fund.
Rather than displaying actual industry knowledge, they’re more interested in making a quick sale.
A wholesaler should be a wealth of information; an initial meeting with a wholesaler is an opportunity to understand how well he/she knows the industry and if a partnership with them is a lucrative one — use it as an information-gathering session.
I know I’ve struck gold when a wholesaler identifies a problem my firm is already facing and readily provides a solution.
So many wholesalers will promise to make your life easier and fix all your problems, but whether they can live up to their word is another thing entirely. A great wholesaler will offer a product, which your firm can actually benefit from, and identify the appropriate gatekeeper, to convey their pitch.
They don’t just sell, sell, sell. A great wholesaler should be a business partner first. I can tell right away when a wholesaler isn’t interested in a true partnership or knows nothing about my firm when they offer products, which are totally unsuitable for my firm.
They treat all employees with equal respect, starting with the receptionist. There’s nothing worse than a pushy wholesaler, showing up unannounced, spamming the voicemail box or having an air of entitlement.
Showing respect also means understanding what your firm values and what topics are of interest to you and your clients.
Throughout my career, I’ve encountered a handful of really great wholesalers who went out of their way to share educational resources with me.
For example, I’ve received books and recommendations for lucrative seminars. I truly respect and admire wholesalers — I’ve learned so much from them.
Learn more about the Wholesaler/Advisor relationship from my podcast appearance with Wholesaler Masterminds.
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