A Business Development Strategy for the new year This is a New Year of questions. Big, significant questions-about values, goals, and long-term direction. Asked personally, professionally, and from a financial-service industry perspective; the questions are remarkable for both their breadth and depth. At the same time, the New Year is a time for resolutions, and for moving forward.
Category Archives: Selling & salesmanship
Tapping the Women’s Market Women control more money than they ever have before. They earn, spend, and save almost as much as men. Today, women represent a huge opportunity for investment and financial services firms — now, the industry must figure out how to take advantage of it.
Selling in a Bumpy (Bear?) Market This is definitely not as much fun as it was a couple of years ago. While the severe reversal of fortune in some quarters of the investment industry has not caused a wholesale panic, it certainly does make selling to skittish investors — and with fewer resources — more difficult. There are two distinct sales approaches firms can take in this type of market.
The Investor Expectation Conundrum Most mutual fund companies and 401(k) providers have historically relied on the industry’s cadre of brokers and financial planners to sell their products. And wisely so: we know that investors’ use of financial expertise and personal advice is increasing, not decreasing. The Investment Company Institute estimates that nearly 80% of all mutual funds are sold through an intermediary.
Strategies for Maintaining – and Increasing – Market Share Financial services and mutual fund firms continue to feel the pressure of decreased revenues. Options are few-drive revenue growth, keep your clients, and carefully pare back expenses. Our bias, naturally, is to look for revenue drivers. So what do fund companies and financial services providers need to do to maintain market share and continue to grow sales in a market environment like this? Sales, after all, is a return on investment (ROI) game; the objective is to make the smallest investment possible in the most productive sales channels. Opportunity cost is a factor here as well — no one wants to waste time and money on unproductive sales efforts. Here are a couple of things that firms can do that can directly impact their productivity and revenues in a tough market.
Behavioral Selling Skills: Developing The Unfair Advantage Following a slower-than-hoped-for sales (and asset retention) year, sales teams and client relationship management departments are struggling to understand what’s gone wrong in the sales and asset retention process and to implement new approaches to relationship development and management.
CRM Systems – Panacea or Plague? There are many reasons for the slowdown in the technology sector, but one major reason is that the profitable 00’s allowed many firms to buy more and more new systems that took advantage of great technological leaps—but firms found they weren’t integrating and fully utilizing the systems. When the bear market hit, and profits sunk there seemed to be little appetite for buying even more.
Sales Effectiveness – What We’ve Learned Over our First 10 Years, 1995-2005 As we celebrate ten years of providing business development and organizational design expertise to financial services, software and technology firms and others, we reflect here on what we’ve learned and observed over the last decade.
Are Your Emails Hurting Sales—Externally and Internally? Ever experience any of these situations? In the home stretch of a sale, and frustrated with the lack of response to your phone calls or inability to get past the assistant “gatekeeper”, you send emails about next steps. You get a confusing response—or none at all. Or, you’re putting together the proposal and lining up internal resources to help close the deal. Your email issuing instructions gets response from one person, is ignored by two, and acerbically by a fourth. With such a huge amount of our business lives dictated by email, how can you improve the odds of successful communication?
One-Size-Fits-All Training? Don’t Waste Your Money It’s amazing the amount of money spent by organizations every year on “training” for employees. A manager gets frustrated with the lack of success within the group and believes training is the answer. Training is expected to solve all kinds of ills — it’s expected to help employees perform more effectively, communicate more clearly and generally improve morale and teamwork. More often than not the training’s ineffective, leaving manager’s to ask, “where’s the training budget going if nothing is changing?” The missing pieces are pre-training assessment and behavioral understanding. Training simply can’t be delivered without an understanding of what’s really wrong. Managers and leaders assume they need “X” solved but they haven’t really delved into what “X” represents. What is the real need? Where are employees struggling? What problems are they encountering? Without digging in and understanding the real life roadblocks, training will fall…