What’s the difference between wholesalers who are rated really well — i.e., the ones who are seen by their clients as truly client centric — and those who don’t get called back? Credo research shows that Understanding of the Advisor’s Business is a key difference. At least, it’s one of a number of key differences. Apparently taking time to demonstrate that you understand the advisor’s business is a key piece of the puzzle. It helps establish the credibility that a wholesaler needs in order to become a trusted partner in the business.
Credo has explored the quality of advisors’ experiences with wholesalers. And, by relating these experiences to advisors’ willingness to have the wholesaler back… and to work with the wholesaler and their company… Credo’s SEA (Sales Experience Audit) program is producing some very useful insights. There is a massive gap between top wholesalers and third-rate reps that revolves, in part, around advisors perceptions of whether or not the wholesaler understands the advisor’s business. It seems clear that listening to has a lot to do with it, too. Top-tier wholesalers are rated as great listeners. The second tier wholesaler scores reasonably well with respect to their listening, too. What sets the Top and Mid-tier wholesalers apart from the Laggards is the rating of their listening.
Credo has collected a substantial amount of data from advisors about the sales experiences they have with their wholesalers. And, while there is considerable variability across the industry with respect to individual wholesalers, Credo can say that the overall best rated wholesaler teams at the end of 2017 were affiliated with National Bank, Russell, Canoe and Bridgehouse. Those at the tail end of the industry were Desjardins, CI, Pimco and Mackenzie.
These are odd leader and laggards, you say? They may appear to be! But consider our research method. We ask advisors to rate the experience immediately after their experience with the wholesaler. We don’t let them stew for weeks or months before attempting to rate the quality of the experience. The amount of time between the experience and the measurement has an effect on perceptions. And, when you allow the rating process to be affected by the passage of time, advisor’s perceptions become awash with other experiences. If you expected Fidelity or EdgePoint to be at the leading edge… think again. Indeed, they do have some of the best wholesalers in the business. But when audited in a highly timely manner… the others we’ve listed here apparently percolate to the top (or bottom) of the industry.