recently reported on Matthew Appelstein's
efforts to significantly build up the sales and distribution operations at RBC
, including a number of significant hires as well as plans to invest in more hiring and product development.
That's only part of the story of the crusade by Appelstein, who has served as RBC's U.S distribution head for roughly a year-and-a-half now.
Equally as important are his efforts to make sure that these new salespeople are saying and doing the right things as they pitch RBC's products in the RIA and consultant channels, as well as to gatekeepers to retail venues.
"It's a lot harder today than it was yesterday," he recently told MFWire
. "You need to have an A-game. If you have a B-game, people will come in and take your assets."
To make sure his salespeople keep their pitches sharp, he brings them back from the field three times a year for a two-day bootcamp. During these training periods, the staffers rethink, rework and refine their pitches, learning new material to bolster the cases for their products as well as brainstorming new strategies on how best to differentiate RBC and its secret sauce from the competition.
"It's critical that that sales story be tight for when you get that time with the client," he said.
Consultants and gatekeepers, Appelstein says, are looking for products to answer a plethora of client questions: Do I want alpha? If so, how do I get it? What should I do about micro caps? And so on.
"People are overwhelmed with choices," he says. "'Do I need growth, value or core -- or all of them?'"
A key principle guiding all of this training is time management. Appelstein wants all of his salespeople to be mindful of the most minor time worries of those they reach out. A key test is whether the salesperson can do the entire presentation in under 30-minutes.
He describes the importance of this principle in this way:
When you talk with your prospects and clients, you respect their time and what is important to them," he says. "You may have booked a hour meeting, but you should ask them "Does that hour still work for you or would you prefer to do it in 30-minutes?" You have no idea how appreciative that client will be. Just a little thing like that. You may not get the sale today but the client will likely take another meeting with you in the future.
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