Trae Wieniewitz

We recently spoke with advisor Trae Wieniewitz and he explained the keys to his successful path as a producer. 

Wieniewitz is the president of Wieniewitz Financial and will be a panelist at the Advisor Network Summit, which is being held August 13-15 in Las Vegas at The Venetian.

Wieniewitz will speak at the session titled, “Million Dollar Producer Roundtable: Achieving Smart Growth for Your Practice.” 

That session will include tips on how to achieve and maintain the level of growth that advisors are seeking. “ From prospecting to personnel, from retention to revenue, top producers will touch on the keys to unlocking a bigger, better, and more prosperous practice.”

The following are highlights from our conversation with Wieniewitz:

1) Are you an independent or a captive advisor?

I am completely independent and shop around for the best insurance companies (annuities and life insurance products) to fit the particular need of the client. Likewise, I use multiple custodians as well as more than one money manager to meet a particular client’s needs on the securities side as well.

2) We’ve heard a lot of talk about designations lately. What is your take on licenses/designations and how does that come up when you’re meeting a prospective client?

As it pertains to client meetings, I almost never get a prospective client that asks about whether or not I have a CFP or any other designations. At the end of the day… clients are buying “you.” If you can’t sell yourself and the benefits of working with you and clients aren’t comfortable with you, I don’t see how having any designations would help you or them.

However, I do see the value in them for some people who use them to build trust and credibility. It depends on what an advisors sales process is or if he has one. I can understand why they might be important to some advisors. Designations just aren’t necessary or a good fit for my personal practice.

3) What drew you to the senior market in the first place?

I think a few years ago when my two parents retired as schoolteachers, I realized there was a HUGE disconnect between our industry and the average person. They are just trying to get their kids educated, get them through school and out of the house, then to retire securely and stay retired. Our industry has a tendency to over complicate things where the client can’t understand what’s going on. I have learned there’s a big opportunity or market for safer, simpler solutions for clients. Also very important is that they want to be a part of coming up with the solution not being sold a product. So, education is vital for this market.

4) Have you changed the way you do business or do you have plans to make changes in light of regulatory changes?

I have a very compliant sales process that’s been reviewed by a third-party compliance group. Also, my broker-dealer reviews my seminar, TV show, and other advertising. I don’t have any plans to change how I’m doing things. I don’t feel like I would need to change my practice based on things as they are today. One thing is for sure though, our business changes all the time. I am sure I will have to make some adjustments when the industry changes in the coming years.

5) In what key way (or ways) do you incorporate suitability into your selling approach?

I try to utilize all of the questions that could possibly come up on an annuity suitability form during the discovery process of a sales meeting. Put another way, whether the client is buying an insurance or annuity product, I have enough information to give them the best choices in their particular situation no matter what the product. 

6) How have you customized or changed your business to address the needs of the new baby boomer generation of clients?

I haven’t changed my sales process one bit. The fact is boomers will always want some part of their money in a safer place. There are certain products that are good for that no matter what age. In addition, they are helping me position how much money goes into a given strategy. If you ask enough questions…the client will tell you what they want. Then when you show them choices that meet that need they can be a part of making the plan. This way you don’t have to “sell.” Instead, your clients buy. A secure foundation will be a part of any financial plan no matter what age the client is.

7) What advice or help are you able to provide to clients to help them make sense of and plan for the health care legislation?

I have a packet of basic information about the new legislation I can give them and that I go over in some seminars. But for anything specific, I refer them to a local health insurance agent that does that everyday. That way they can get the right answer from someone in that field everyday. 

8) How would you define your approach to being an advisor and developing an overall financial plan for your clients versus being a salesman and pushing products to them?

I have an approach and process that I follow that let’s the client lead the meeting in the direction of the things that they define most important to them. This can’t happen if you sell. This only happens if you ask many, many pertinent questions. If you talk someone into something, someone else can always talk him or her out of it. If you take them through a process and they buy something, and know why they bought it, they will be happy and not get buyer’s remorse.