It’s an internal wholesaler’s job to constantly communicate with and educate Financial Advisors on the products and services that an Asset Manager delivers. Their role also dictates that they support their External Wholesaler, the person that is out in the field, doing face-to-face meetings with clients. Larger organizations often have only a modest team of internal wholesalers, and each of them will be in charge of improving sales in their geographic region. This means that a single internal wholesaler has a lot on their plate.
Now, an internal wholesaler’s position can be quite a lucrative one, and it is a stepping stone towards a bigger role in the firm, but you will need to overcome quite a few obstacles on your road to success. As you can imagine, reaching out to advisors and getting in touch with an actual person has become fairly difficult in an age where everyone is overly protective of their privacy and wary of anyone contacting them with a sales pitch. Combine that with the fact that managers often have a fairly strict quota that they want their internal wholesalers to hit, and it’s easy to see why this job can get fairly stressful.
With this in mind, let’s go over five of the biggest (and certainly not the only) challenges internal wholesalers come across every day.
1. Collaborating With Outside Sales
Every internal wholesaler has to maintain constant communication with an external wholesaler, and cooperate with them effectively to get better results for their organization. In some cases, they might work with two or three outside salespeople that have in-person meetings with various financial advisors. An internal wholesaler will usually have to schedule these meetings for their business partner(s), make the follow up calls to provide additional information regarding topics that emerged during the meeting, and then frequently drip on the client or prospect to move them to next phase of the sales process. Financial advisors, when they have an issue, reach out to the internal wholesaler first. It is the internal wholesalers responsibility to document it all and make sure that they communicate it to their business partner out in the field.
2. Not Another Voicemail!
A good internal wholesaler has to learn how to spark curiosity and get people to call back when they leave a voicemail. While a conversation with a decision maker is the ultimate goal, if done right, a voicemail can become one of your most powerful tools, especially if you are assigned to geographic regions outside of your own time zone. Verbal communication is one of the core elements in this field that needs to be honed with coaching and experience.
A good internal wholesaler has the ability to come up with unique and engaging voicemail messages, based on research they’ve done on the company, and the financial advisor being contacted. This means going through their website, LinkedIn, other social media profiles, etc. It’s important to cater the message to that person, rather than the product or services you are trying to sell. You need to know some details about them, so that you can find a reason why they might genuinely need what you have to offer. This shows that you are detail-oriented and that there is a particular reason behind the call, and that it’s not just another dime-a-dozen scripted message.
3. The Ability To Multi-task
An internal wholesaler’s has to learn to manage the needs and expectations of their firm, their manager, their business partner and their own careers in order to be effective. Sometimes their business partner in the field wants their internal wholesaler to schedule appointments for his/her business trip the following week, while their manager expects them to follow up on a conference list that the national accounts team provided. How an internal wholesaler is able to effectively prioritize and manage multiple tasks will determine how successful they are. As the soldiers on the front line of firm revenue generation, these roles are vital for the company and many facets of business success depend on them.
4. Research, Research, Research
In order to be successful at engaging prospects, an internal wholesaler is constantly required to provide timely information and their unique perspective on current market events. Most importantly, they must understand their clients and prospects. To increase your probabilities of success, every phone call, email, and voicemail should be personalized. That requires research, research, and then some more research. Fortunately, there are many tools today that can help you be successful. Some of my favorites are obvious, Linkedin or a company website. There are a few other less obvious like Discovery Data and Charlie.
5. Differentiating Yourself From Everyone Else
Most internal wholesalers want to advance their careers beyond their current role. One of the biggest challenges you will face is how to elevate yourself from your peers. Its often difficult to compete on the merits of who leaves the best voicemail or writes the best email which is a large portion of your daily responsibilities. The advise that I would give those that worked for me was to find something they could do well and then together with your manager find opportunities to demonstrate those skills. Whether that is delivering an effective prevention, training a new hire, writing content, or your technical competencies around the products your firm sells, find opportunities to do more than your day job.
If you are experiencing any of the challenges we’ve covered, please fee free to reach out to GK3 Capital. For additional insights you can also subscribe to our blog.