How do you play the wholesale rep game?

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Mar 28, 2007 10:00 pm

Been here only 3 days and already I have gone on 2 wholesaler lunches.  Do you go to these and listen to the wholesaler pitch his fund for a free lunch?  The reason I am asking is I have listened to two sides of this "game" and wondering what most reps think of this.  All the other newbies in the office say yea, it's a free lunch I can order the steak and lobster.  Then the guys who have been at the firm forever don't go to these lunches.  So, I ask them why don't you guys take advantage of the free lunch.  They tell me "son, in this business you don't want to go to lunch with someone who is selling you something, you want to go with someone you are selling to".  So what do you do when the wholesaler comes a knocking??

Mar 28, 2007 10:08 pm

Enjoy free lunches, before you leave.

Mar 28, 2007 10:18 pm

I hope that your question is a joke.  Are you seriously trying to decide whether to take advice from other newbies or from firm veterans?


I'm willing to meet with just about anybody who promises to leave my office before 8:00 a.m.  Otherwise, they better be buying something from me.

Mar 28, 2007 10:38 pm
anonymous:

I'm willing to meet with just about anybody who promises to leave my office before 8:00 a.m.  Otherwise, they better be buying something from me.



I agree with this completely.  The only time I go to lunch with a wholesaler, it is if it is for a product I already use and to discuss any product changes etc.           

Mar 28, 2007 11:03 pm

Wait until you get established before you enjoy wasting your time. Good wholesalers can give perspective when you are in a position to need it.

Mar 28, 2007 11:26 pm

I have been at my firm for a few months. Most wholsalers want to tell you how great their product is. However there are some who will help you with coaching and mentoring. Who cares about the free lunch. I want to talk to wholsalers who care about making me a better advisor not about how great their products are. I got this idea from Nick Murray's book. He said there are some wholesalers who know how to sell. Get them to help you with your selling or prospecting skills. Especially with the lack of formal sales training at the wirhouses. Who do the new guys have to teach them how to sell? I think this is where the wholesalers come in. However I think probably a small percentage of wholesalers know how to sell. They know how to present product info to us but they dont necessarily know how to sell in our shoes. I think the ones who do are invaluable to a new guy. I think I have met with 7 wholesalers in the time I have been at my firm only one has offered to coach me and taught me something about selling. The good wholesalers are few and far between but I am trying to identify those that can make me a better salesperson.

Mar 28, 2007 11:40 pm
anonymous:

I hope that your question is a joke.  Are you seriously trying to decide whether to take advice from other newbies or from firm veterans?


No, I am not trying to decide I was simply asking what do you do when the wholesaler comes to take you to lunch.  I have already figured out that I have to take time out of my day to eat lunch anyway.  Right now I don't have that much money coming in and don't know a lot about the funds.  So, why not take a free lunch and learn a little bit about the different funds?  I am not saying "oh I am blowing off a client meeting because the American Funds rep is taking everyone to Red Lobster, whata you guys think".  I am not (anonymous) I mean ignorant.

Mar 28, 2007 11:43 pm

Thanks, DMAN that was the constructive answer I was looking for.  See Anonymous, there are people who know something about this business and are not complete ignorant asses!

Mar 29, 2007 1:05 am

Lunch with a client or prospect is a worthwhile use of an hour.   Lunch with a wholesaler is generally a waste of an hour, although when you're a rookie you might pick up a few interesting and useful bits of information.

It takes you 20-30 minutes max to grab lunch at your desk  and catch up on the news or read a good self improvement books, and you can feed your mind.  Probably takes about the same amount of time to grab lunch with an office friend at a neighborhood quick spot.

Quite frankly I've gotten to the point where I have pretty much sworn off wholesaler meetings almost completely.  Between the long lunch, the literature they foist on you, and the follow up phone calls from the internal it's a complete waste of time.  I'd rather work hard and then squeeze in time for 9 holes of golf or at least go to the range and hit a couple of buckets.

Mar 29, 2007 4:17 am
joedabrkr:

Lunch with a client or prospect is a worthwhile use of
an hour.   Lunch with a wholesaler is generally a waste of an
hour, although when you're a rookie you might pick up a few interesting
and useful bits of information.





It really depends as well. Some wholesales have something to offer in
terms of training, sales ideas and product knowledge/perspective. Others are just a waste of time with free food.



Don't be a platelicker.



As a rookie I would attend these, as long they were for
different products or things I didn't know about/wanted new
perspectives on.. Hearing about American Funds for the fifth time is a
waste. 



A far better use of your time is to read your firms internal
research/external research and follow up on stocks/strategy/news etc.
One thing I do though is listen in to alot of fund manager conference
calls. These people tend to be smart, and worth listening to for idea's/perspectives



Mar 29, 2007 7:05 am

Bullbroker, you may be too thin skinned for this business if you think that my comment made me an ignorant ass.  Veterans in the business are veterans for a reason.  Listen to them!


I have already figured out that I have to take time out of my day to eat lunch anyway.


You are 100% wrong.  You better start having a business owner's mentality instead of an employee's mentality.    Could you imagine the 7-11 owner closing his store to take a lunch break?  There are so many potential clients who can only meet you at lunch.  You should have an appointment every day at 12:00.  If you can't afford lunches, these don't have to be lunch appointments.  Brown bag it and snack during the day or if you are going to eat lunch, it only takes 5 minutes to eat your sandwich, apple, 2 cookies, and juice box.


Imagine a retail store closing during the Christmas rush because the owner wants to take inventory at 12:00.  That is what you are doing every time that you do something during the day other than see clients or fight to see them.

Mar 29, 2007 11:35 am
AllREIT:
joedabrkr:

Lunch with a client or prospect is a worthwhile use of
an hour.   Lunch with a wholesaler is generally a waste of an
hour, although when you're a rookie you might pick up a few interesting
and useful bits of information.





It really depends as well. Some wholesales have something to offer in
terms of training, sales ideas and product knowledge/perspective. Others are just a waste of time with free food.







As you start to acheive any level of success in the business the above becomes a bigger and bigger issue.  Why?  Because, in my cynical opinion, if you attend 10 wholesaler lunches you might pick up ONE useful idea, maybe two in a good week.  So if you figure your goal is to make $200k for the year and work about 2000 hours a year, that free slice of pizza and coke that you just had in the conference room probably cost you about $100 bucks or more?

Why?  $200,000 year target earnings divided by 2000 hours/year comes to a rate of $100 hour.

You spend 40 minutes at the meeting in the conference room listening to this guy give you some sham training for 10 minutes(that's the hook) and then 30 minutes hawking his funds at you.  Then he drops by to visit you individually as he walks through the office after the meeting...."just to get acquainted"-that's another 10 minutes.  Then, his wholesaler calls you the following week to "follow up" with another idea.  There you go.  One hour of your time wasted, not to mention the time you lose getting refocussed after the interruptions.  That's your hundred dollar slice of pizza.

If you do these lunches offsite the cost SKYROCKETS if you think of the additional time.

Skip the meetings when you can, keep working hard, and soon you'll have enough money to buy yourself a nice lunch whenever you want with whomever you want.

Just my two cents....

Mar 29, 2007 3:29 pm
BullBroker:

. . . the American Funds rep is taking everyone to Red Lobster . . .



Is that for his million dollar producers, or is everyone allowed to go?  My experience is that the only person tighter with money than my clients that grew up dirt poor in the 30's is an American Funds wholesaler.

Mar 29, 2007 6:31 pm
anonymous:

Bullbroker, you may be too thin skinned for this business if you think that my comment made me an ignorant ass.  Veterans in the business are veterans for a reason.  Listen to them!


I have already figured out that I have to take time out of my day to eat lunch anyway.


You are 100% wrong.  You better start having a business owner's mentality instead of an employee's mentality.    Could you imagine the 7-11 owner closing his store to take a lunch break?  There are so many potential clients who can only meet you at lunch.  You should have an appointment every day at 12:00.  If you can't afford lunches, these don't have to be lunch appointments.  Brown bag it and snack during the day or if you are going to eat lunch, it only takes 5 minutes to eat your sandwich, apple, 2 cookies, and juice box.


Imagine a retail store closing during the Christmas rush because the owner wants to take inventory at 12:00.  That is what you are doing every time that you do something during the day other than see clients or fight to see them.



Excellent post Anonymous. I don't know any successful people who go out to lunch. Obviously if it is with a prospect that is a different story. I think 5 minutes with a brown bag is more than enough time have lunch.

Mar 29, 2007 8:18 pm
EDJ4now:
BullBroker:

. . . the American Funds rep is taking everyone to Red Lobster . . .



Is that for his million dollar producers, or is everyone allowed to go?  My experience is that the only person tighter with money than my clients that grew up dirt poor in the 30's is an American Funds wholesaler.



I think our American Funds guy must own stock in IHOP, that's the ONLY place he has ever taken me. 

Mar 30, 2007 12:23 am
now_indy:

I think our American Funds guy must own stock in IHOP, that's the ONLY place he has ever taken me. 





If you want to sell me on American Funds, you'd better be taking me somewhere much nicer than IHOP.



That said, I do like IHOP's crepe's with orange marmalade.

Mar 30, 2007 11:51 am

I think you can learn quite a bit from the wholesalers.  And you can build relationships.  When you need support (ie: $$$) for seminars etc, that is where you can go.


They come into our office and it is 45 mins. out of my day once a week.  For me it is OK.


And I love to ask the annuity sales men the tough questions they can't answer (ie: explain the tax treatment at death with an annuity vs. mutual funds)

Mar 30, 2007 7:56 pm
anonymous:

I hope that your question is a joke.  Are you seriously trying to decide whether to take advice from other newbies or from firm veterans?


I'm willing to meet with just about anybody who promises to leave my office before 8:00 a.m.  Otherwise, they better be buying something from me.



   

Mar 31, 2007 12:27 am
vbrainy:

I think you can learn quite a bit from the wholesalers.  And you can build relationships.  When you need support (ie: $$$) for seminars etc, that is where you can go.


They come into our office and it is 45 mins. out of my day once a week.  For me it is OK.


And I love to ask the annuity sales men the tough questions they can't answer (ie: explain the tax treatment at death with an annuity vs. mutual funds)



If you think you can learn a lot from WHOLESALERS(at least most of them), then you REALLY have a lot to learn brother!

When you need "support" you don't need to have a relationship with them, you just need to either have a track record of giving them business or convince them that it's in the near future.

If you feel you can afford to waste nearly an hour of your work week with a whoresaler on a regular basis, then you have too much time on your hands.

I'm not saying that you have to be rude to them, just don't waste your time with them.

Not meaning to dis ya Vbrainy, just calling 'em like I see 'em.

Mar 31, 2007 1:59 am
vbrainy:

And I love to ask the annuity sales men the tough
questions they can't answer (ie: explain the tax treatment at death
with an annuity vs. mutual funds)





The annuity sales people are good to learn from since the scare tactics
used to push annuities can also be used to promote more sound
investment schemes.



For example, I use elements of the Prudential Retirement Red Zone pitch
to get people to tighten up thier portfolio's around age 55 or so.



In general though, wholesalers are a waste of time, since their job is
to sell you on funds. This is useless unless you are selling funds
which you are not doing while meeting with wholesalers.