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Industry Expert Interview with Dan Baccarini


Dan from J.C. Trident - Investment Marketing ExpertDan Baccarini
President of J.C. Trident, Inc.


Question: What main services does your firm, J.C. Trident, Inc. provide? 

Answer: We provide two primary services.  The first is an executive search service primarily focused on finding distribution talent for Asset Managers.  This normally means that we are looking for high level wholesalers, key account managers and sales managers.  The second primary service is our consulting practice.  We have found that it does not matter how many people you hire, if you are putting them into a system that is broken or not strategically sound your chances of success are greatly diminished.  The bottom line is that we are designed for the sole purpose of increasing the value of our Asset Management Clients by helping them increase their assets under management. 


Question: How long have you worked in this industry and been in business?  

Answer: I have been in the financial sales field since 1993 and been a recruiter and consulting in the field since 1996.  During my time working in the financial industry, I have personally been a financial advisor, a wholesaler, a key account manager and a national sales manager.  Additionally, I have personally been involved in hiring about 400 wholesalers and worked with almost 2 dozen firms as consulting clients.  This unique perspective of having worked on both sides of the fence sets us apart from all other firms in our field. 


Question: What  do  Investment Managers tell you they are looking for in a sales professional?  

Answer: They are primarily looking for 6 key traits. 1) Hard worker; 2) Honest; 3) Coachable; 4) Team Player; 5) Fundamentally Sound Sales Professionals; 6) Intelligent.   If you can then add a familiarity with the products the Investment Manager is selling and existing relationships into the channel that the Investment Manager is selling into, you have the ideal candidate.  Unfortunately, finding someone like this is not easy. 


Question: What advice could you give to a Invesment Sales Professional early on in their career?   

Answer: Make sure that you become a student of the business.  That does not mean to just focus on building your investment/financial knowledge, but you MUST also become a student of the sales part of this business.  You are a Sales Professional and if you stop learning you are going to stop growing.   What should they really focus on to ensure they always have several opportunities to choose from?   Ensure that you don't constantly job hop.  The grass is not always greener.  There are always going to be challenges no matter where you are working.  Also, do not burn any bridges or at least try to avoid burning bridges.  This industry is a very small community and you want to ensure that you do not taint the waters by burning a relationship. 


Question: Do you have any tips for sales professionals in the area of overcoming objections?  

Answer: Make sure that you are listening to what the prospect is telling you and then respond accordingly.  You do not want to argue with the prospect but you want to see if you can actually resolve the issue or objection that they are raising.  The best advice however is to overcome an objection before it is ever raised.  You should brainstorm with your sales team all of the possible objections that could be raised by your prospects.  Then you should figure a way to overcome them during your presentation or fact gathering phase.   


Question: How important is an advanced certification or degree like a CFA designation or M.B.A when you are trying to place a sales professional a fund?   

Answer: For most sales managers it is not that important, but for a lot of HR departments it is important.  The sales manager is more focused on the person and if they have the internal strength, experience and skills to do the job.  Understanding that a CFA designation does not necessarily make a great sales person.  We see that a CFA or MBA are more desirable when dealing with Institutional Sales as compared to traditional wholesaling. 


Question: What hiring trends do you see in the Investment Marketing & Sales Industry?  

Answer: We see a lot of firms still cautious in their hiring practices.  In 1999 and 2000 it was not uncommon to have a firm hiring 20-30 folks at a time.  Now it is rare to see a firm hiring 5-10 folks at a time. 


J.C. Trident is the premier consulting and recruiting firm in the financial industry.  Our mission is to increase your assets under management by ensuring you have the right people and the right strategy. Dan can be contacted at Dan@JCTrident.com. 


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