Where’s the Button for My Personal Financial Advisor?

Last week I experienced three situations that made me ponder on the power of human attitude. In many cases I dare to say such attitude will decide who’s going to still be present on the market tomorrow and who’s going to go bust regardless of market ups and downs.

In one case, I visited my bank at the call of my personal advisor. She wanted an update on my business whereabouts, in order to know each other better. Obviously, the background purpose of the meeting was to spot services I wasn’t already using, and to sell them to me. We had a chat of more than 30 minutes, and I let her peek into my business status, my personal concerns and plans for the future. All along she behaved most professionally; yet, there was not one single moment when I felt comfortable in her presence. She was writing down my personal information, processing it automatically then delivering ideas of services and solutions almost like a robot. We agreed on a few things I could buy; I left the bank with a feeling of well, I can take that task out of my to-do list. Not one single moment have I had the feeling of having met someone I could trust; more, now when I think of her I feel like actually touching her to see where her button is, maybe next time I could have a chance to turn the robot in and actually get a human feeling from someone called my personal advisor.

In the second case, I booked a package of pretty complex IT services with a company whose management I know personally. The project manager assigned to handle my request showed considerate availability by phone and we agreed to meet. During the meeting a sharp male voice warned me of how competent he was. As I was talking about my vision of the project and my needs, I realized this guy will have to take my thoughts to the graphic designer, who would ultimately execute the order. As he was going like a speed train through my requirements, ticking boxes on his to-do list, I wondered how on Earth he would be able to translate my needs to his graphic designer when the last thing he was doing during our meeting was to actually listen. Maybe he will find a way; maybe he’s a hidden listener and I will be surprised by the outcome. Yet, I have a feeling that, if the outcome of our project is good enough, he will most probably consider it a success. The bridge between good enough and outstanding won’t be crossed because all my thoughts, vision and concerns around the project died in that room where we met. They won’t reach the graphic designer. The company will deliver a technical product empty of feelings and sense. I will need to be happy with it. After all, I chose them to be my service supplier.

In the third case, a lady with my mobile phone provider managed to convince me again to stay with the company, even though I promise myself for years already that I will take the leap and go for a different supplier. Somehow they know what I think, and they always make one of these magic calls that make me feel special and well taken care of. In this case, the lady who showed real interest in my business and consumer habits not only managed to convince me to stay with the company, but she also sold me more Internet connectivity. Well done, I said. I will feel the bitterness of it as soon as I hit the bureaucracy around contract management, but who cares. For a moment, I felt respected and well treated. And that led to a successful sell.

I cannot stop wondering what the difference was between the first two cases and the last one. In all cases I had a genuine interest to cooperate and let the sellers look into my personal profile. It would have been enough to make a conscious effort to care, and this would have changed everything. The magic of quality sales lies in happy customers coming back over and over again because they feel respected and well-treated. It’s that simple. You need to care. Is this something that can be learnt? Absolutely. In many cases, such a simple thing like the right attitude can make the difference between an underdog making it to the top of the shelf, and a big shark going belly-up despite riding the wave.

The market is ruthless nowadays. Good news is that we can do something about it. Bad news is that only companies who care about their employees can teach their employees how to care about customers. Maybe this economic downturn will bring something good to our market, after all.

Let's Talk

The best way to gain, retain, and restore your critical distance as a woman CEO is to have a faithful guide, thought partner, and inspiring challenger by your side. This is what I am for women CEOs. If you are facing major developments in your business or in your career this year, we should talk. Please book or have your assistant book a no-strings-attached free 30-minute CEO exploration call with me; we will get to know each other and I will be thrilled to spot how I could be of your service in 2024 and beyond.
Cristina Muntean
Follow me on LinkedIn

Let's Talk

The best way to gain, retain, and restore your critical distance as a woman CEO is to have a faithful guide, thought partner, and inspiring challenger by your side. This is what I am for women CEOs. If you are facing major developments in your business or in your career this year, we should talk. Please book or have your assistant book a no-strings-attached free 30-minute CEO exploration call with me; we will get to know each other and I will be thrilled to spot how I could be of your service in 2024 and beyond.