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Wholesaler, Where Do You Fit?


Dr. Joseph "Chick" Marshall evaluates and categorizes each wholesalers' management and sales style based on personality traits that fit into the acronym DISC.

Each letter represents a certain type of wholesaler and their behavioral drive and how that person communicates and sells, said Marshal, a managing partner with Resource Management of Boston. Because the wholesalers sales style is linked to their personality, it is extremely difficult for wholesalers to shift from one channel to another.

The four fundamental personality types and their ideal sales channel are:

D - This type of wholesaler is direct, to the point and in your face. They are quick and tend to dominate situations and conversations. They are ideally suited to sell in transactional environments including broker/dealers and wirehouses.

I - A wholesaler that uses influence and persuasion to make a sale. Typically a very friendly person that is willing to spend a good amount of time building a relationship. This person is adept at sharing broad, big picture ideas. This personality type is best suited for the bank channel where the relationship is perhaps more important than in other channels, Marshall said.

S - A steady, grounded wholesaler who is non-emotional and cool in difficult situations. This person typically derives satisfaction from serving others and has very little ego and is non-emotional. People who fit in this category often have success in the institutional sales channel or selling alternative investment products.

C - Controlling and cautious are the two personality traits that characterize this wholesaler. This person is very concerned about total quality, they are very skeptical and tend to ask a lot of questions.