Wholesalers face aggressive activity objectives. Today’s standard is 25 in-person contacts per week. When covering larger geographies this proves challenging. As a result of insufficient scheduling, some wholesalers stop at an advisor’s office after calling to say, “Hey, I’m just down the street…” or – even worse – totally unannounced. “Do you have a few minutes?” turns into 30- 60 minutes. The wholesaler attempts to tell his or her story with little regard for the schedule of the advisor.
Recently a coaching client called me about a wholesaler dropping in unannounced and sucking up an hour of his Associate Advisor’s time. This wholesaler has a quality product, but my client called the wholesaler and advised him not to call or come back. You might ask if this is a little drastic; maybe so. However, my client was waiting on a report that was to be prepared by the associate – and the report was late. Not only did my client fire the wholesaler, but he had to deal with a delayed meeting because the associate tried to be courteous to the wholesaler.
Are Drive-By’s ever appropriate? Possibly when dropping off a promotional item ONLY or to introduce oneself and schedule a future appointment. However, if a wholesaler expects the advisor to have empty time in his or her calendar because the wholesaler has empty time, the situation is totally unprofessional.
FOR ADVISORS: Be jealous with your time. Give wholesalers your “ground rules” for meeting. And be on time when you have a meeting scheduled with the wholesalers. Their time is as valuable as yours.
FOR WHOLESALERS: Schedule in advance. Use a scheduler. Set your next meeting at the conclusion of this meeting. And always be a pro.