A client recently asked, “How do I compete against a supplier who has become a competitor?”
This is a continuing problem many professionals are facing today. This is not new; however, with industry consolidation it is becoming more common as product manufacturers seek new growth opportunities.
First, it’s important to understand that the major reason for your existence as a financial services professional is to create clients and sell products created by product manufacturers, such as banks and insurance companies.
Traditionally, product manufacturers are not very good at selling direct to buyers. Many of these product manufacturers (banks and insurance companies) do have their own direct sales force.
I’ve found that product manufacturers’ sales people are product centric instead of being client centric. As a result, they limit themselves to selling a specific product instead of using the product as a means for clients to attain broader objectives.
To successfully compete against your supplier, you need to ensure that your sales concept or philosophy is right.
Your concept is the motivating force that seeks out the right product, and you view products as a vehicle to help your clients achieve their objective and not simply a way to make a sale.
This concept will allow you to communicate with clients and prospects on a level unattainable by those professionals who lack it by conveying these important qualities:
The chart below outlines the differences between product- and concept-based professionals.
When you have a deep-seated sales concept combined with sound selling skills, you have an unbeatable combination.
This is the most effective way to compete when your suppliers become your competitors. It’s also a terrific way to promote and differentiate your business.
Clifton Warren is the principal consultant at Corporate Eye Consulting, a firm focused on helping financial services firms with growth solutions. Learn more at www.corporateeye.com.au
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