Last week I attended FRA’s third annual Mutual Fund Distribution Forum at the Princeton Club of New York. Having participated in handful of FRA events in the past, I had high expectations for this conference, and it delivered. The panels, speakers, and questions asked from the audience truly created an educational experience. Topics ranged from advisor perspectives on adapting to new products, to market trends and industry developments, to how firms are utilizing mobile technologies to grow sales.
My favorite session, “Gatekeepers Speak Out! Emerging Trends in Manager Selection,” featured panelists from Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, and PNC Asset Management.
Getting past a gatekeeper can be extremely difficult, no matter what the industry. For the asset management industry, you had better bring value. That’s right, VALUE. I think Benjamin Huneke, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, put it best when he described the process of evaluating strategies to employ for their clients. According to Huneke, when a firm is interested in having their strategy considered, that firm should bring a new product idea to discuss, rather than asking where assets are flowing, and if they can create a product based on those flows. It is more effective and valuable when “sellers” do their homework, identify industry and asset trends, and then approach prospective clients with new ideas based on that research. The bottom line is that you have to bring value to the table when trying to build a relationship. Ask yourself, “What is the value I am looking to deliver when reaching out? Do I have the right message at the right time?”
Our clients are utilizing SalesPage not only to manage relationships, but to create value in their daily calls, meetings, and marketing efforts. For intermediary distribution, understanding what each advisor REALLY cares about, knowing their communication preferences, and having a holistic view of what that advisor is selling are all absolutely vital components of creating and growing a relationship with that advisor. Having the right message at the right time can be extremely difficult, if your firm isn’t providing the team with up-to-date information. This conference session did a great job of framing this challenge.
If you would like to learn more about how our clients use SalesPage to take action and bring value to their relationships, or if you would like to share how your firm brings value to break down gatekeepers’ walls, please comment below or contact me. I’d really like to hear from you.