Is your wholesaler your BESTIE?
Have you ever called your wholesaler when you realized late in the game of planning a client event that you need additional funding?
Don’t worry, I’ve been in this industry for 22 years, so I know how this goes. But, in my opinion, you should expect more from your wholesalers—especially your best wholesalers. A premier wholesaler should be much more than a checkbook. In fact, I believe a premier wholesaler should be your BESTIE. You know, that guy or gal you can count on no matter what. That is what a premier wholesaler should be for you when it comes to the financial services industry.
Don’t believe me? Let me break it down. Here’s the standard your BESTIE wholesaler should measure up to:
Russell Investments’ annual study on the Value of an Advisor reveals the positive impact advisors have on their clients’ investing behavior. For five years running, helping investors buy low and sell high accounts for most of the value of an advisor.
The same holds true for the Behavior Benefit an advisor enjoys when working with a BESTIE Wholesaler. Think back to 1997, 2001, 2009. “Should I get out of the market?” “Should I move to a tactical manager?” “Should I be all International?” “Should be all passive?” “Could the market go to zero?” Did any of these thoughts cross your mind in those years? Be honest with yourself. My truth is: absolutely—because those were the questions I was getting from advisors.
And I empathize. Because I understand how hard it is to talk clients off the ledge. And I know the consequences of making the wrong decision. No matter how tempting the latest fads were, I kept coming back to the notion that 73% of the time the U.S. stock market, measured by the S&P 500® Index, has finished the calendar year up—that’s going back all the way to the inception of the index in 1926! In only five out of my 22 years in this business has the calendar return on the Russell 1000® Index been negative. There are a lot of good asset managers out there, but if you decide to move a client’s money to cash, you better be right.
A BESTIE wholesaler helps you remember to trust the process and not succumb to the pressure your clients and the markets are putting on you to jump on the wrong bandwagon.
Evaluate your practice
Think about optimizing, evolving, and revolutionizing your business.
Over the last 20 years of partnering with advisors to help grow their businesses, we have developed the tools and expertise to diagnose where an advisor’s revenue is and isn’t coming from.
When I first started in the business, every advisor proudly touted their assets under management. But, if you put on your CEO hat, you quickly realize that AUM doesn’t pay the bills. Revenue does. If you aren’t getting revenue from an account, why is that account still in your book? That account isn’t a dead asset—it’s even worse than that: It’s a liability waiting to happen!
And there’s more: Do your best clients know that they are your best clients? What is the average age of your book? How much effort are you putting into nurturing and developing each client relationship? Are your fees competitive? Do you know what your book is worth? If you don’t have answers to these questions for your business, I hate to break it to you, but you don’t have a BESTIE Wholesaler. Yet. Give us a call.
A BESTIE Wholesaler partners with you to present to end investors on a variety of topics that are relevant to the audience and highlights why working with an advisor—you in particular—is so important to the long-term health of the investors’ wealth. Such topics could include “Women and Investing,” “Market updates,” “The value of tax-smart investing,” “Guarding against mindless investing.”
A BESTIE Wholesaler can also help you improve your client conversations. When’s the last time you received expert feedback on your client review meeting format? What about your client discovery process? Or your referral and COI scripts? These are all critical components of a growing practice—especially as the competitive landscape of our industry shifts toward a more personalized, outcome-oriented approach to working with clients.
BESTIE Wholesalers live and breathe this business—including topics related to portfolio construction and the markets. They strive to continuously learn by constantly reading up on the markets, listening to podcasts and attending industry conferences. In this fast-paced informational age, these insights help keep you up to date. Most importantly, BESTIE Wholesalers help you distill all that information succinctly, distinguishing the noise from the relevant information while providing you client-ready highlights so you can focus on serving your client’s needs.
You want to know the most common question I get asked? “What are other advisors you work with doing to grow their business?” Derivations of that question include: “What do you see other advisors charging on advisory accounts?” “How many advisors are charging a flat fee?” “Do you still see people moving to fee based?” “What do I need to know before building out a team?” “What’s the going salary for a [insert team role]?” “Should I outsource my investments?” BESTIE Wholesalers have you covered. Because they are meeting with advisors all day long. They have a great feel for the industry—what’s working, what not, what’s new and what’s old. All you have to do is ask.
Ear to listen
This is the last and most important characteristic of a BESTIE Wholesaler. The financial services industry can be a tough, tough business. You’re helping families, you’re funding dreams, you’re building legacies. It’s an honor to be such an integral part of your clients’ lives. But it can be a weary professional calling to always have everyone’s back. Who’s got yours?
You guessed it. Your BESTIE Wholesaler.
The bottom line
Your BESTIE Wholesaler. That person is truly a friend, the person who wants to hear about how things are really going in both your professional life and in your personal life. They get a ton of satisfaction out of listening, empathizing, coaching, brainstorming, and resolving your problems. They’re no saint, they just know how truly tough this business is.
So, the next time you’re in a pinch before a client event, make sure you’re calling your BESTIE Wholesaler to help you grow your business, not your checkbook.