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The New ABCs of Sales – Always Be Connecting

Connecting is the new closing – engagement the new goal!

Many firms have asked us: with the prevalence of dedicated manager research and due diligence teams at home offices and even dedicated manager research at the branch level are separate resources beyond relationship management professionals and wholesalers needed to call on this segment?

The answer may not be additional resources but how the resources are deployed in the field.  As gatekeepers get tied down with researching new managers and talking to existing ones on their platform, they simply don’t have the time to talk to those outside their immediate frame of reference.  Firms hurt themselves by continuing to press for face time at the home office and by not taking their gatekeeper research strategy on the road.

If you trust recent research by Cerulli which states advisors place a significant amount of weight on gatekeeper research and that 86.8% of wirehouse advisors said that the managed accounts platform was a significant factor in any decision to switch sponsor firms then firms should be crafting a field strategy which benefits the advisor.

One such strategy is for firms to identify Centers of Influence “COI” at the Regional and branch level and craft strategies that will help them meet their critical objectives.  Remember, these in-the-field “COI” meetings are where the money is.  Something which seems to have taken a backseat as firms placed added emphasis on the home office gatekeepers.

Regional “COI” meetings should focus on the COIs critical objectives.  Once determined firms can craft strategies which compliment the COIs objectives and work “with” them to accomplish both these goals.

Advisor meetings should focus on their business model, client profile and their portfolio structure needs.  Once these are discussed and determined, firms can now position their product.  All managers will benefit from this strategy but “undiscovered” managers may benefit the most as they now have the opportunity to explain the merits of their product in the context of the advisors strategy.

Try to schedule as many of these meetings as close to month and quarter end as possible.  This is when firms are armed with their most current portfolio information and it syncs with the COI and advisors reporting cycle to their clients.  Firms providing timely and accurate portfolio information, articles of interest and thought leadership pieces versus market commentary will distinguish themselves from the rest.  A portfolio manager as a resource is also welcome after the initial strategy sessions have taken.

Lastly don’t ignore the role technology plays in training and delivering your message.  As budgets continue to shrink, COIs and advisors are turning to those firms providing them with webinars and streaming video which help them understand the finer points of your investment process and how it benefits their clients.

Don’t get me wrong, the home office is important but in times like these it may make more sense for firms to focus their budget where the money is – in the field.

Visit us at www.advisolocity.com for a FREE copy of our latest white paper: “One-2-One: How to have 1000 client conversations at once,” and to access additional FREE information from our resource center.

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More Stories By D. Bruce Johnston

D. Bruce Johnston, President | COO, CaptureTrackConvert is regarded as a high-energy, results-driven Financial Services Distribution Executive. His 30+-year career has been distinguished by an impressive record of accomplishments, contributions and winner of the Institutional Investor Fund Marketer of the Year award. CaptureTrackConvert (CTC) provides easy to use, powerful enterprise level marketing automation software to fast growing SMBs. CTC is dedicated to helping SMBs maximize their marketing resources, improve the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and generating more sales ready prospects thus dramatically improving sales and the bottom-line.