Sales or Service?

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Jul 27, 2006 10:51 pm

Would you describe your firm as a Sales Organization or a Service Organization? and do you agree with it.



Jul 27, 2006 10:53 pm

Just to get things started... my manager at MS constantly tells us that we are a Sales Organization and we need to spend more time selling products.


Now I'm not stupid, I know how I get paid.  I simply think we should worry more about servicing our clients and giving them advice, not just pushing products.

Jul 27, 2006 10:57 pm

My firm talks like a service organization, but their compensation structure and overall business model cleary is that of a sales organization.  The regulators have made it almost "illegal" to even hint that we are doing any type of "sales" therefore, even if everybody knows we are "selling" everybody in the firm speaks as if we are consulting.  Thats not to say that we don't offer products that can be structured for our clients affording us the freedom to act as consultants (all fee-for-service vs. commission) but we are still much more heavily compensated for high-commission products.  I have to do almost 3 times as much business to get paid the same as the fixed annuity jockey next to me. 


There are some firms, I believe, that are somewhat ahead of the curve.  I think that Merrill's early comp plan is pretty far along in regards to developing their new reps more as consultants and less as sales people.  It all starts with compensation based on assets under management as opposed to straight commission, and rewarding for fee-based business and creating comprehensive plans for clients.  Merrill does pretty good here.....

Jul 27, 2006 11:01 pm

And in reference to what you just said (your second post, because I didn't see it) we are ALWAYS selling ourselves.  Most of the time your prospects are not going to remember the product - but they will remember the impression you gave and whether or not they thought you knew what the heck you were talking about.  In this regard, this business is ALWAYS a sales business.

Jul 28, 2006 9:13 am
iconsult100:

Just to get things started... my manager at MS constantly tells us that we are a Sales Organization and we need to spend more time selling products.


Now I'm not stupid, I know how I get paid.  I simply think we should worry more about servicing our clients and giving them advice, not just pushing products.



What products does he talk about? I can see "selling service" (consultative "products" if you like), but selling product? Sounds like a DW hold-over...

Jul 28, 2006 11:57 am

If you are in a wire house you are in sales!


If you have to make a quota to keep your job you are in sales!


Jul 28, 2006 12:20 pm
Greenbacks:

If you are in a wire house you are in sales!


If you have to make a quota to keep your job you are in sales!




If you're in business, you're in sales, period. The question here is are you selling "product" or are you selling a consultative "service". I assume you expect people to pay you for whatever it is you're doing for them, right? Or are you a charity?



BTW, find us someone with a "quota"....

Jul 28, 2006 10:31 pm

[quote=mikebutler222

What products does he talk about? I can see "selling service" (consultative "products" if you like), but selling product? Sounds like a DW hold-over...


[/quote]


Whatever the product of the month is....  Blackrock, the S&P Buy/Write, Compass, Tradewinds NWQ.  He even posts the office "standings"

Jul 28, 2006 10:46 pm

Its both.  Thats why I formed a team.  We have 2 people who's
80% job is to simply bring in new clients.  They do not manage any
money, do any trades, or make any investment decisions (although they
have input during our investment policy meetings).  Then we have 2
people that do the portfolio management, financial planning, and manage
operations.  We then have 2 support professionals and an intern
who's sole focus is service and operations.



No product pushing because we are about 90% fee based, although we do use some of the structured products and managed futures.



It works like a charm.  ML, both sles and service.