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To provide our clients with high quality tailored consulting and research, we need to know the financial services industry and our clients. To build lasting and profitable relationships, we dedicate ourselves to staying not just current on, but ahead of industry trends. This blog is intended to share our industry insights and, at the same time, to capture feedback from our readers.

How Modern Day Internal Wholesalers Optimize Sales

Most of us can agree that the intermediary distribution landscape is in a state of transition. Up is down, left is right. “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!”[i] OK, so maybe it’s not that crazy, but we know that selling products (mutual funds, ETFs, etc.) is changing and national sales organizations are facing new challenges in how to best service and engage with financial advisors.

In the face of mounting margins pressure, slashing budgets, and increasing difficulty in getting in front of and influencing advisors, national sales teams are re-evaluating how they structure, staff and deploy their salespeople. Internal wholesalers have always played an important role in advisor engagement. However, as the market evolves, the internal must evolve as well. While time and experience in the field are necessary to reach maximum proficiency, the ability for internals to manage relationships and drive sales now... [read more]

5 Lessons from Our 2017 RIA Roundtable

There’s no one size fits all approach for distribution in the RIA channel whose advisors widely in their size, book of business, team profile and engagement preferences. The benefit for asset managers is that sales teams in the RIA space have been experimenting with various sales techniques and models and have learned lessons the rest of the organization needs to learn.  Here are five such lessons RIA sales executives shared at our annual RIA channel last week:

Teaching leads to selling 

We hear the phrase “race to zero” or “race to the bottom” as a reaction to fee compression, which is seemingly finding its way into every advisor practice as we continue the battle of active vs. passive (or should I say the unification of active and passive selling). Though some RIA sales executives are certain that another bear market would result in movement back to active,... [read more]

Being Open to Being Challenged

I just returned from the MMI’s 2017 Sales & Marketing Leadership Summit, a sold-out gathering of senior industry executives, and was struck by the reactions to the various presentations and panels.  I found that many attendees appreciated the messages that reinforced the status quo, downplayed the potential upheaval in the industry, or represented more incremental change.  The (limited) messages that spoke to the more significant and fundamental changes that are facing our industry were often ignored or minimized.

This approach was certainly not uniform – many friends at the conference share my view that we are at a major inflection point in our industry and recognize the significant changes that their organizations need to make, but I was surprised by how many panelists and attendees shared their beliefs that the number of advisors is likely to increase, that active management will prove its worth during a... [read more]

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