Raising the Bar

“People must be viewed as one of your prime resources.’” — Peter Drucker On a recent visit to a large lender, I had an interesting conversation with a manager who is new to our industry. Her first impressions? That the sales people need to be a lot more professional. Her opinion underscores a critical issue […]

What Customers Really Want

“By definition, the customer buys the satisfaction of a want. He buys value.’” — Peter Drucker Today’s customer has more choices and access to practically unlimited amounts of information due to the Internet and technology. While selling is undoubtedly more challenging than it was in years past, research indicates that what consumers expect from a […]

Planning for Success in 2011

“Confront the major problems facing your organization. Gather support for taking the steps necessary to solve them.’” — Peter Drucker If industry forecasts are any indication, 2011 promises to be just as challenging as 2010 for people in financial sales. Now is the time to make sure you have the elements in place to succeed […]

The Fundamentals of Success

“Core competencies meld customer value with a special ability of the producer.” — Peter Drucker Even though each company has a different sales process, there are fundamental steps that apply to every stage of the sales process. Namely, the sales person has to: do something that enhances trust; obtain important information about the customer to […]

Making the Customer Connection

“A business is defined by the want the customer satisfies when she or he buys a product or a service.’” — Peter Drucker No matter how successful a sales person has been in the past or how many years that individual has racked up in the industry, one sales skill can make or break a […]

Choosing Quality Over Quantity

“Make decisions on people your top priority. Spend more time on these decisions so that you will not have to ‘repent at leisure.’” — Peter Drucker I recently noticed a disturbing trend in our industry: Companies are rewarding managers based on the number of sales people hired. The problem with this approach concerns hiring quantity […]

Managing for the Future

“The most effective way to manage change effectively is to create it.” — Peter Drucker Long-term success for any business is predicated on its ability to change and this maxim is especially true in the financial services industry. Although many firms perceive themselves as being leaders of change, the reality is very different. The truth […]

Company Culture Clash

“To develop yourself, you have to be doing the right work in the right kind of organization.” — Peter Drucker It’s a common scenario in our industry: An experienced originator with a solid book of business is hired but fails to produce at the new company. Why? One of the reasons is a clash of […]

Consulting with the Front Lines

“Neither studies nor market research nor computer modeling is a substitute for the test of reality.” — Peter Drucker When creating value for the customer or eliminating any waste in the sales arena, too often what I see is that each group in a company (marketing and sales in particular) comes out with a definition […]

Sales Talent Trumps All

“Know the strengths of each person you hire.” — Peter Drucker Last week I noticed an increasingly common scenario in our industry: inconsistent sales performance from an established sales staff. One manager I spoke with had recently been hired to oversee numerous branches over a multi-state region. Six months later, the individual realized that there […]