Remember when we asked you to please raise your hand if you've ever felt like your meetings with mutual fund prospects miss the mark? Is your hand still in the air? We got you.
Hopefully, you arrived at your meeting ready to rock after significantly revamping your sales meeting preparation process, and now… it’s showtime. You are sipping water, clearing your throat and getting ready to deliver your “opening remarks” (sigh) before passing the microphone to your portfolio manager who will drone on about the collective experience of your investment team, your mutual fund performance and... Stop. Right. There.
Before you pass go, make sure your mutual fund meeting strategy is based on this very important mantra: be a person.
At third party marketing firm, Havener Capital Partners, we believe that a meeting should be fun, that portfolio managers should be more than a walking bank of statistics, and that the most important person in the room? Not one of us. Incorporate the following three steps into your meeting “agenda” and your meeting might include more smiles and less snores. Here we go.
3 Steps to Conduct a Killer Sales Meeting:
1. Know your role as the mutual fund wholesaler
Does this sound familiar? The salesperson introduces the portfolio manager, then doesn’t say another word for the rest of the meeting, until the end where they close by saying, “I’ll call you to discuss next steps.” (Hint: Your prospect will likely not be waiting by the phone.) Instead of collecting dust in a meeting, be a person. We believe the salesperson’s job is to make sure the RIA gets their questions answered and the portfolio manager looks like a rockstar. You’ll need to speak to make that magic happen. Ask the RIA questions about their asset allocation and where they are struggling. Get them talking. Once the meeting is going, make suggestions on anecdotes that might add color to a topic that is of interest to the RIA, flip the pages of the pitchbook so your portfolio manager remembers to talk about key points or charts. Do something useful and try to make it useful for both your colleague and your prospect.
2. Put your phone away and be present where you are
It’s still shocking to me how addicted people are to their phones. If you are in a meeting or enjoying some quality face to face time with someone, anyone in your life, why on earth would you lose yourself in your phone? A. it’s rude and B. how do you expect to learn anything of value. (What your ex-whatever just posted to Facebook doesn’t count as “value” in my opinion.) Be present. Listen to what is being said. Read the non-verbal cues. Is the RIA nodding and smiling? Are they totally confused? Worse… are they asleep? If you aren’t present in the meeting, how can you execute #1 above with any success?
3. Take good notes
Most wholesalers focus on what the portfolio managers say; we think it’s more important what the RIA says. Consider jotting down every question the RIA asks. Make note of where they smile or nod and where they scratch their head in confusion. Do they ask a question twice? They might need additional help on that topic in your follow-up. It’s one thing to notice the prospect’s verbal and non-verbal cues in the meeting; it’s another to document your observations and think about them when you are back in the office. How can you help a prospect with their due diligence if you don’t know what’s important to them?
Now, after following these 3 steps, your sales meeting takes a different tone – it’s not just about you, your firm, your portfolio manager and your performance. It’s not about you. It’s about the RIA and their challenges. It’s about your mutual fund serving as a cool complement to other funds they are using or solving a real problem they are facing.
And you know what the best part is? “Be a person” is a great mantra for more than just meetings. Be different. Be memorable. Be you.
Want more help with meetings? Read our previous blog and watch for future posts.
About the Author
Stacy Havener is the founder of Havener Capital Partners, providing her sales and marketing expertise to a select group of high quality managers. Well recognized in the Registered Investment Advisor and wealth management channel, Stacy has significant experience in product development as well as raising assets through successful distribution strategies.Based in Newport, RI, Stacy balances her career with her love of travel, passion for cooking, and an addiction to crossword puzzles.