The environment on social media is always catching my attention. From people launching poorly thought out marketing campaigns, to the five spam bots per day that try solicit their services to me. For many, all of that is easily identifiable as nonsense, but to some, it can seem legitimate and once they get burned, it can be hard to trust again.
I run my business differently than others in some respects. Obviously everyone says they care about the customer and they want to put customers ahead of themselves (is that true, Wells Fargo?). But for me, it’s a must. That is why the bones of my financial plan are always available for free. My personal email will always be available and not some customer service robot.
I truly want people to feel like they can trust me and have someone in their corner when they are doing financial planning or trying to get out of a crisis.
Everyone wants to sell you something, but few people take a firm stance on service. I get people hitting me up on Instagram or Twitter a fair amount saying that they want to be business partners or want to work out a deal or some sort. I go and look at their product and it is all about them and customer sign ups, etc.
In other words, it’s all crap.
People already have a severe distrust for the financial services industry. The last thing a company can do is reduce their transparency. That is why from day one, my customer service model has been clear. I don’t talk in financial-lawyer speak because it is confusing and really serves no purpose. I don’t have a business plan centered around robo-investing or a complicated algorithm that people can plug their data into.
There is too much of that already and to be honest, it doesn’t work.
I’m selling service. I am selling honesty and integrity, two things that are demonstrably hard to find in the financial sector. Transparency is one of those things that when you find it, you have to do a double take to make sure you didn’t see a mirage.
My advice to those of you who are selling, the old fashioned principles of honesty and transparency are desperately wanted. The sales B.S. and song and dance tactics are easily noticed. What do you have, how does it help the business or person, and why is your product better than what’s out in the marketplace?
If you can’t answer those three questions, you should press the pause button on your business because those are usually the first three things perspective parties want to know.
Service and sales shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. Whether your customer is a $100 purchase or a $10,000 purchase, the values should never change.
I wonder if we'll ever see a time when Service and Support will be a degree field instead of Sales and Marketing? Time will tell, but I do know that the latter will not work without the former. I guarantee if you put serving over selling, you will have far more long-term wins.