What's the Norm in Training?

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Apr 3, 2007 8:11 pm

I'm considering taking on a trainee and would like an idea of how long your firm's training is, when people move into production, and what (if anything) was worthwhile about training and what should be avoided at all costs. 


I've been around for a long time, but have been independent for almost 8 years.  Before that I was in a regional wirehouse branch and didn't have a trainee the entire time I was with them (8 years).  So, it's been a LONG time since I've thought about training.  I'd appreciate any help and/or feedback you'd like to give

Apr 4, 2007 9:01 am

OldLady - it's great that you want to develop a new person.  The NYSE requires 4 months of 'supervised' training before giving out a rep number.  Most firms build their training programs around this time frame.  The great firms will provide training and development well beyond this 4 months.  However, don't believe that the 'firms' training will be the end all for you and your trainee.


Best thing you can do (my opinion or course) is cleary define the role you want this trainee to perform during their first few years.  To just bring in someone and delegate tasks, will frustrate the both of you.  This person is not part of your support staff - they're a producer in the making (an apprentice).  Create a career path for them - at least during the first few years. 

Apr 4, 2007 3:57 pm

I'm considering the same. A few ideas:


Earmark annual salary but do 30, 60 90 reality check on mutual expectations. ( Flat salary of $24,000 plus bonus for a "new" licensed person who " blew out " from someone else's build your own book program.)


Focus on lower decile book client meetings - can be supported and solo. Learn the business in a more relaxed and self motivated atmosphere. Some insurance sales would be nice.


And, generating appointments from cold calling business owners, inviting them to a lunch event near work.


Since you take it 30 days at a time, employer is only out 2k, 4, 6k, etc. if expectations don't match.


Do you think there are really any motivated (young) people out there that are looking for this kind of work and money (don't live in NYC)? Or is the economy too tight.

Apr 4, 2007 8:01 pm
apprentice:

 The NYSE requires 4 months of 'supervised' training before giving out a rep number.  Most firms build their training programs around this time frame.  The great firms will provide training and development well beyond this 4 months. 


Apprentice, thanks that helps a tad, but being a 25 veteran of the business, I kinda knew that much. 


I really would like an idea of how the brokerage firms are structuring their training -- that's why I posted here, thought some of the rookies would share what their training looks like.  Is the immediate focus on studying for and passing the 7?  Where does insurance licensing come in?  How much of the focus is on investments and products, how much on prospecting and marketing, how much on skills for working with clients (interviewing, etc.). 


As an indy, if I decide to proceed, anything that saves me time in creating a vision of what our training would look like, is like money in my pocket.


Likewise, if anyone has advice on what training should entail, I'm happy to have the feedback.  I'm pretty excited about the prospect.  I do have experience managing and supervising -- I was a branch manager 15 years ago, so the advice on clear expectations, frequent feedback, etc. is excellent, but I'm looking for info/advice on structuring training.  Thanks for any help you can give me! 


Apr 5, 2007 8:39 am

OldLady - sorry for the remedial lesson.  I've posted some thoughts on this in other areas of this forum.  My biggest complaint about this industry is that firms don't 'train' people to do the job.  They license and educate over 4 months - but don't 'teach' someone how to actually do the activity that brings in business and drives production.  If you're creating a program from the ground up - I would spend 20% of the time educating them on products and services - and spend 80% showing them how to do this.  Bring them to meetings with you, etc.  Lots of effort from your end - but I too believe that it's a great investment.

Apr 5, 2007 9:50 am

I would have EXTREMELY clear conversations about how TOUGH this business is.  I would make it very clear that the first couple of years they must expect to put in long hours.  I have seen people give up great salary jobs at great companies, only to fail miserably as an FA.  Be very honest with them.


Also, be VERY honest about minimum asset figures and revenue figures you expect at 12 months, 24 months and 36 months.  Let them know they will be fired if they don't meet these min. goals.


Also, be fair about revenue sharing.  Have a split number for dollars they bring in on their own (like 70 / 30 them) and a split number for extra dollars they bring in from your existing clients.  Or clients who are dead in your book that they change into a fee based relationship (like 70 / 30 you) 


Good luck.


May 19, 2007 7:26 pm

Sorry to bring back an old post, but I too have a question that relates to training: How does the major wirehouse operate their programs? is it usually remotely through teleconference, and online etc...or is it typically a class room enviroment? Thanks

May 19, 2007 7:46 pm
OldLady:
apprentice:

 The NYSE requires 4 months of 'supervised' training before giving out a rep number.  Most firms build their training programs around this time frame.  The great firms will provide training and development well beyond this 4 months. 


Apprentice, thanks that helps a tad, but being a 25 veteran of the business, I kinda knew that much. 


I really would like an idea of how the brokerage firms are structuring their training -- that's why I posted here, thought some of the rookies would share what their training looks like.  Is the immediate focus on studying for and passing the 7?  Where does insurance licensing come in?  How much of the focus is on investments and products, how much on prospecting and marketing, how much on skills for working with clients (interviewing, etc.). 


As an indy, if I decide to proceed, anything that saves me time in creating a vision of what our training would look like, is like money in my pocket.


Likewise, if anyone has advice on what training should entail, I'm happy to have the feedback.  I'm pretty excited about the prospect.  I do have experience managing and supervising -- I was a branch manager 15 years ago, so the advice on clear expectations, frequent feedback, etc. is excellent, but I'm looking for info/advice on structuring training.  Thanks for any help you can give me! 


I'm with a wirehouse and am involved in training rookies.


First 5 months is in branch, studying for and passing 7, 63 and 65, plus they must pass an exam for an internal planning designation. Insurance licensing is encouraged, not required, but most go for it before starting production, just to get it out of the way. Also in that 5 months they are learning about the firm, products, branch procedures, etc. Weekly group meetings with all trainees, talking about creating a mission statement, investment philosophy, having a vision for their businesses, prospecting ideas, role play, etc. Also one on one with each trainee individually once a week, to talk about personal issues, stumbling blocks and more customized coaching. The group and individual meetings continue for 3 years.


After the 5 months, they go to national training for 2 weeks, with the rest of their class. The focus is on prospecting, presenting yourself, selling (yourself - not products) and the "wealth management process". A little bit on cold calling, but not as much emphasis as in the past.


After those two weeks, they come back to the branch and hit the phones, do their networking, and whatever else they;ve decided to do to get in traffic. There is a follow up national training session 3-4 months in and another one about 8-9 months in. These are more advanced sales and prospecting techniques, choosing a niche, choosing a specialty, etc. that kind of stuff.


As I said, individual coaching continues for 3 years. Trainees who are members of a team, obviously get coaching from the head of their team as well, which might be more customized to the role the trainee is expected to play and the type of business model the team runs.


Hope this helps.



May 19, 2007 7:48 pm

see my above post, i guess I hit the quote button the wrong way, it all showed up in the white box, instead of separated out.

May 20, 2007 7:24 am

Thanks Pratoman

May 20, 2007 2:27 pm

CueYouWhy -- thanks for essentially bumping this and getting the response from Pratoman.... 


Pratoman -- thanks so much -- very helpful.  So, at your firm, rookies move into production at the 5 1/2 month point...


Is there a firm outline or study course the trainees (or more likely branch management) uses to make sure everything gets covered -- or does the trainee have some type of self-study/on-line outline or course to get through in addition to their exam study materials?


At what point do they take the Series 7?  the 63? the 65?  


Thanks for taking the time.