(Opening POV)

Technology Talks…Complacency Walks

With the dynamic announcement this week of the iPad and The Daily as an exclusive and strategic alliance, it has brought information, communication and digital apps to a new level.

Now, those who remain in that business will have a decision to make in order to remain competitive. On interview, Rupert Murdock acknowledged that this was a bold move and it certainly had risks, but he made the decision that he believes will have revolutionary effects. That’s the way business, markets and strategy work in this country. If you elect to stay complacent, you may get left in the dust (of paper products in this case).

paradigmThose of us who have been in the Financial Services Industry for the last 25+ years are witnessing a similar crossroad. But right now, it may seem more mechanical than substantive.

Some of today’s mechanical buzzwords are: virtual; interactive; digital; dimensional; universal; high def; real time…to name a few. Back in the day, these labels were not relevant. Now, they are defining. How is this industry responding and converting?

Paradigm Shift

Question: If a notable paradigm shift is taking place in one industry (information and news), can it be ignored or not create some pressure for other industry applications?

The Financial Services Industry was built on the back of a personal selling platform. This platform had to be built around an intangible product, with the probability of a non-uniform or non-standardized delivery system.

Consequently, countless selling methodologies have permeated the industry largely as techniques to sell products and services to private and commercial markets (e.g. a buyer and seller relationship). Yes, in recent years, a shift toward consultative selling has emerged somewhat, but in general, that approach was geared toward or embraced by the more experienced and educated practitioners. Still and yet, the industry has not adopted a standardized transactional model that can be used by both new and seasoned agents.

Industry Dilemma

Traditionally, young agents have had to “learn the business” through arcane selling philosophies that are decades old. The result today is that these new folks go out the door with impressive hardware gadgets and colorful illustrations, but with a selling and communication platform that is way old. With that, the fresh agent is an easy target for an audience of rejection, confusion and ultimate defeat (equaling high turnover).

So, the rookie goes to more seminars on selling, buys more books on closing and totes the party line of the mother company to survive while using a growingly inverted process.

While that’s happening, the experienced agent is so busy satisfying compliance, rules/regs, continuing ed and designing advance techniques while trying to keep the clientele he/she has worked so hard to acquire, that he can’t be bothered with the bigger picture. And, so it goes.

In all, this is not coming into focus as a win-win proposition for the industry or the individual.

Question: Where is management, and will there be a Rupert Murdock to emerge in this industry?

[Please see POV2…to follow]