Vanguard sales executive for FAS (Financial Advisor Services)

A conversation with a Vanguard Sales Executive

We recently sat down with Anthony W., a Sales Executive in Vanguard’s Financial Advisor Services. Anthony’s role is unique in that he spends his time “in the field” with advisors, and does not work in a Vanguard office. Anthony shares his thoughts on why he loves sales, how he makes a difference, and how football prepared him for his role at Vanguard.

Vanguard sales executive for FAS (Financial Advisor Services)Thanks for joining us, Anthony. Your role is different compared to many of our crew. Can you talk about a day in the life covering financial advisors in Los Angeles?

I partner with wire house and independent financial advisors through the broker dealer channel. I spend my days learning about the landscape of their firms, each advisor or team’s business model, their investment philosophy, types of clients they serve, service model, and their growth strategies. From there, I focus on creating value for them, which includes: providing Vanguard products and resources to give their clients the best chance for investment success, sharing perspectives that are new or different, and offering actionable ideas to help grow their businesses. My goal is to ensure Vanguard is a part of their future growth and success.

You don’t get to spend a lot of time with co-workers, but Vanguard has a very collaborative culture. Working remote, is it hard to stay connected with your team when you don’t sit near them?

We’re still connected, it’s just a different type of connection. We catch up over video and group text rather than going out to lunch or meeting in person. You have to be proactive to stay connected and exchange information. The camaraderie is there, it’s just digital. Commuting in Los Angeles provides plenty of windshield time to call and speak with peers.

So it’s fair to say this is a very independent role.

Autonomy is huge – I liken our work to running a business inside of a business. It’s a big ask to run a territory, and there is less oversight, which means you have to be disciplined and trustworthy. Working well with your management team and internal partners is key. I enjoy the opportunity, but it’s not for everyone.

Learn more about our Financial Advisor Services sales careers in the video below!

What drew you to being a sales professional?

I played football at the University of Arizona and I enjoyed the competition and adrenaline rush of the game. For me, sales was a natural transition from sports. You have to set a goal, analyze the industry and competitive landscape, and execute a game plan. Football taught me the importance of a highly functioning team that works together towards a win. Instead of defending opponents on the field, we’re using Vanguard resources to give advisors an advantage in the marketplace.

Sales is also about helping people arrive at a conclusion they hadn’t considered. Some of my favorite advisors are the ones who have never partnered with Vanguard. I like the challenge of establishing a new relationship, building credibility, and helping advisors manage their assets. When you’ve made a difference for a client, it can feel like making a big play in a big game.

Vanguard sales executive for FAS (Financial Advisor Services)You’ve worked in sales in other roles at Vanguard. How did these previous roles prepare you for this one?

I started in our Business Development Group (BDG), a department that specializes in bringing new clients into Vanguard and introducing them to our advice capabilities. This was a tremendous opportunity as it allowed me to hear thousands of investor’s stories, understand the issues they were facing, and support them through the global financial crisis.

Working in BDG was like going to sales university–it taught me how to have a consultative sales conversation. Talking to someone who trusts you with their financial life is powerful and humbling. There can be a lot of uncertainty and we were able to help clients financially and emotionally through the investing process. After you master these skills, you are ready to move on to a different level of client, with different needs.

So obviously you like sales, but why sales at Vanguard instead of another firm?

I’ve been at Vanguard for eleven years and the culture is very different from other firms where I’ve worked. Vanguard puts clients first. We have no outside shareholders to answer to. No conflicting interests. It’s gratifying to walk into an advisor’s office and know that I can do good and do well at the same time.

What advice would you give someone who’s interested in a sales career here?

Be a good listener and learn how to disagree well with those who hold opposing views. Both of these take time and practice, but give you the ability to connect with others and overcome real objections.

Being successful at sales is more than identifying current needs and providing solutions. Deepening your business and investment acumen will help you deliver differentiated perspectives that add value. Clients need us to offer something that enhances what they’re already doing and make them more successful.

It’s also key to remember our guiding values – focus on doing the right thing and giving all investors a fair shake. It’s truly why we’re here.

If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our career opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.

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