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wont go away
Strategies you and your
clients cant ignore
magazine magazine
Fall | 2011
front cover
78 | The American College | FALL 2011
Five Ways Advisors Can Use Wholesalers
to Get to Their Own Retirement
by Robert Shore
> Ways wholesalers can help make your journey to retirement smooth sailing
This past July, SunAmerica, in collaboration with
Age Wave, released a study entitled Retirement Re-
set that looked at the views of Americans and their
retirement post-recession. The following statement
appeared on the offcial Retirement Reset website
Americans have emerged from the economic re-
cession with a new set of expectations around the
purpose, timing and funding of their retirement.
Not only is retirement being postponed, but it no
longer means an end to workingretirement is
now a new chapter in life.
Among the study fndings:
Almost two-thirds of those surveyed say they
would ideally like to remain productive and
include work in retirement.
85 percent say they now appreciate the
importance of quality relationships with
their friends and family even more after the
Financial peace of mind is now six times
more important than accumulating wealth;
82 percent name it their key fnancial goal.
So, are the retirement expectations of the prac-
titioners in the fnancial services community any
different than those of the clients they serve? How
can advisors use the services of product partners
and their wholesalers to navigate their own journey
through retirement, however they choose to defne
Here are fve ways to ensure that your retirement
vision becomes your reality by using the resources
of your product partners, and their wholesalers,
most effectively:
Wholesalers, like advisors, are charged with running
a proftable business. This means they need to keep
a keen eye on the time they commit and the dollars
they spend vs. the assets that they raise. When advi-
sors make requests that involve wholesaler time or
budget money, the numbers need to add up.
For example, if you are using the Foonman Small
Cap Africa Utility Fund and have pledged your sup-
port to the Foonman wholesaler, the natural ques-
tion becomes how much money can you ever raise
in a niche product such as thisperhaps 1 percent
to 2 percent of your overall allocation? Conversely,
if you have committed your support to the Foon-
man wholesaler for the Foonman Mega Cap 100, a
fund that might get 10+ percent of your fows, you
should expect a more meaningful level of support.
Choose a fnite number of product providers
(subject to periodic performance review) and pledge
your support. In return youll receive access to the
fnancial, intellectual and marketing resources of
those frms.
One of our clients is a client acquisition specialist.
He prides himself on his ability to meet jointly with
advisors and clients to close sales. Another client is a
practice management expert who features her abil-
ity to help advisors convert their books of business
from commission to fees. Still another client has a
burning passion for assisting advisors with portfolio
construction and, as a CFA and former portfolio
manager, is well qualifed to have those discussions.
Robert Shore
Rob is the CEO of
shorespeak, LLC and
He coaches fnancial
services distribution
professionals and
publishes I Carry
The Bagthe
offcial magazine of
FALL 2011 | The Wealth Channel Magazine | 79
What is the unique value that your wholesaler brings to
your practice? Are you leveraging that ability to your frms
greatest beneft?
We coach our wholesaler clients to have signifcantly meaning-
ful business planning sessions with their top tier of advisors at
least annually. For those sessions to be most productive the
fnancial advisor needs to transparently share his or her an-
nual business plan. Doing so allows for a detailed discussion
about the advisors plans for, and the wholesalers support of,
the following:
New business development activities
Marketing programs
Existing client events
Educational opportunities
These discussions must include production objectives that
the advisor has set for his or her practice. Without the knowl-
edge of the empirical opportunity, the wholesaler has no base-
line to gauge the ongoing health of the partnership.
If you have any employees in your practice, you know the im-
portance of checkpoint meetings. These are the quarterly, per-
haps semi-annual, occasions where employees have a sit down
with their boss and review the goals that were outlined in the
last annual review. These meetings provide an opportunity, in
a less formal setting, to discuss whats going right and where
improvements can be made.
Do you have these checkpoint meetings with your whole-
salers? These discussions should cover, at a minimum, these
six issues:
Contact frequency Are the wholesaler and their
internal partner offering too much or too little contact
with you and your team members?
Product selection How are the products that youre
using from the wholesalers frm working so far?
Are there changes that theyd recommend based on
performance or upcoming product changes?
Event planning What progress are you making
with the client events that you jointly discussed in
the annual business plan? Is there a cost update or
renegotiation that needs to happen?
Referrals Advisors love referrals, and so do
wholesalers. This is a great setting for the wholesaler
to ask for recommendations of like-minded advisors
who would be interested in the business consulting and
product solutions that the wholesaler offers.
Threats Are you being tempted by another suitor
(a.k.a. another wholesaler)? This meeting presents a
great time, in the spirit of partnership, to discuss whats
tempting you.
Production Checkpoint meetings provide the right
opportunity for the wholesaler to review where you
stand in production versus the commitments made at
the beginning of the year.
Among the many superpowers wholesalers possess, mind read-
ing is not one. As a result, you should be clear about what their
expectations of wholesaling partners are.
If you dont like internal wholesalers to call and thank you
for your business, let them know. If you have an aversion to
wholesalers dropping in to leave sales ideas, let them know. If
you prefer your wholesaler visit you every third Thursday of a
quarter, let them know.
As with any relationship in our lives, communication is
criticaland wholesalers are working overtime to form a great
relationship with you.
Whether your plan for retirement from the business of
offering fnancial guidance to clients has more traditional
trappings (such as selling the practice and sailing off into the
sunset) or you are committed to the longest of long hauls, un-
derstanding the best ways to utilize the services of your profes-
sional product wholesaler will make that path to a proftable
retirement a more rewarding journey.
As with any relationship in our lives, communication is
criticaland wholesalers are working overtime to form
a great relationship with you.