FA's Micro Managed?

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Jan 21, 2008 6:28 pm
Howdy all!   I was a pharmaceutical sales representative for over 7 years and I am interested in financial sales and am researching the career of FA.  Thanks to all here for your posts as they have been very helpful.   In my last position, the reps were micro managed to death.  We were time stamped between each call  through computers and basically hand fed a lot of childish cramp from upper management.  We were never able to effectively manage our territories the way we saw fit, just had to wait for direction from management on how and where to sell.    If I understand from these posts, it sounds like FAs are responsible for their own accounts with little or no supervision.  Is this a correct assumption?  I am about to interview with a branch office manager as a FA and would like some advice on what the funtion of the branch office  manager does?  My idea FA positon would have me in the office for a few hours a day and the rest of the day and evening out in the field prospecting.  Would the branch manager want to know my schedule each day and where I plan to be?  I am a highly ethical individual and love to work independently.    Thanks in advance for your replies.
Jan 21, 2008 8:16 pm

Nobody will care when your there if you are busy prospecting. That has been my experience thus far. If you are a self starter and need little to no supervision than this may be a good career for you. Good luck.

Jan 22, 2008 9:54 am

most people on here are “veterans.”  i think it is silly to assume someone is going to bring you on and essentially let you run free with virtually no supervision.  you will be expected to “report” your efforts at some point, especially if you struggle or do not meet req’s.  day to day, or hour to hour there will be leeway, but you should expect weekly reporting to occur.  if you are making your #'s, then yes, you will be given some freedom, but anything less than that and there will be supervision.

Jan 22, 2008 7:24 pm

ok, thanks  for the posts.  makes a lot of sense to me!

  Of course this is a job of numbers and requirements are to be met and understandably so that supervision will take place.  That leads me to another question.  How is your performance measured. Is it by number of accounts you open during a cerain period of time?  or some other measure like number of calls per contact?  As you can see pharma. reps were measured differently.   thanks again! 
Jan 22, 2008 10:07 pm

Sounds like you are really looking for freedom to be your own boss.....and an FA career will provide it...in about 5 years. But to start, you're going to have to work ALL THE TIME. And until you get to a reasonable level of production (and you can always do better, do more)  the branch office manager, or who ever , is going to hold you to a pretty tight set of numbers.....they'll be looking for activity.

  I'm going to make a suggestion I've seen on here before....read "How to Build a Financial Services Clientele"...some of the info may seem dated, but it's not....and if you start thinking you can "make it" by doing things differently, you're setting yourself up for quite a bit of disappointment........lots of appointments, and an endless amount of phoning.....that's the ticket   Good Luck
Jan 23, 2008 10:02 am

Success is generally measured by the amount of assets you have under management, as this shows how much you are producing for your respective firm. So essentially, if you bring in a ton of 100k accounts, to equal one big account, that may look good, but they still will want you to go after the big accounts.

“Building a Financial Services Clientele” by O. Alfred Granum, at National Underwriter’s website is a good resource. A lot of stuff in there is dated and has more to do with life insurance, but at the same time, it can help you greatly understand what you need to do in addition to being a great resource for writing a business plan.

Jan 23, 2008 11:18 am
Ok, I think I'm coming a littler closer to understanding the challenges of becomming an FA. I totally respect anyone who makes it in this field as it sounds as tough only the determined really become successful.  I applaud you all.   Some other things, I'm still cloudy about:   1) i'm sure this is a "no" but will ask anyway; Are FA's given any type of budget to entertain clients or can entertainment be written off end of year?  I have doctor clients I used to call on but are spoiled by pharma. and will listen to me only if i buy them dinner.   2) i've read something on the boards about "group selling".  Do all firms do this?  What are the advantages or disadvantages?  Do you share in the "commission pool"? (I've done both group and individual selling in the past and prefer individual selling.)   3) This is of a personal nature/base salary-what do you feel is a good base for a newbie in the industry?  My career experience is a total of 12 yrs selling (pharma. & real estate), basically a sales and marketing background for the past 25 years, 4-yr college degree, real estate license, parlalegal certificate. I've read somewhere in the mid 40's but not sure what to expect if the subject should come up.   Have a good selling day!    
Jan 23, 2008 7:37 pm
No, it gets written off. This is largly due in part to the fact that spending a lot on a client ultimately cuts into profits as well as it could be illegal if you spend more than a certain amount as that could be seen as splitting a commission.

2. Not sure.

3. Most firms don’t give above $40k base. If you get above $40k base, it you will get the salary for a shorter period of time than less than $40k (24 months vs. 18 months).