Is it just a case of ‘better the devil you know’?

I’ve been selling for a long time….and, over the years, I have built strong relationships based on honesty and trust. I am lucky to work with loyal suppliers who see real value in offering an alternative to cash at point of sale. Suppliers who use finance proactively to ‘help customers to buy’: giving them a choice. Not every customer has cash ready to spend and often want to spread the investment and pay for equipment, vehicles and I.T as they work for their business.

Early in my career, I heard the phrase “you can never have too much wool on your back” and this is, of course, absolutely true. Industries can be seasonal, markets can change, we have just been through a recession the worst this country has ever seen, and of course there is Brexit and the fluctuation of the pound….

So in Sales we have to continuously ‘prospect’ and seek new customers and that’s true of every industry…as sales people we are constantly looking for the next opportunity and these rarely just happen: we have to reach out and make the effort to contact prospective new clients.

This is something I have been doing a lot of in recent weeks…I’m looking at some new sectors and I’ve tasked myself with finding the right partner in those couple of selected industries. I’ve made a lot of calls and really done my research and I have to say I am actually flabbergasted at some of what I am hearing. There is a pattern emerging which is leaving me astonished and no matter which way I look at the reasons, I just can’t comprehend the logic….so…I’m going to share on social media and perhaps you can give me some feedback to help me make sense of this frustrating paradigm!

“I work with this finance provider because they a member of our industry buying consortium/ trade association”….

Ok so they deal with every other Tom, Dick and Harry in your Industry then? Does that not bother you? What happens when they are ‘helping’ all three of the suppliers your customer has chosen to obtain quotes from? That would be two other companies who supply the same equipment as you! Where do you think their loyalties will lie? There’s a conflict of interest there surely.

If you work with me I’m on your team….not everyone else’s team too! I don’t want to work with EVERYONE else! In order to give you the best level of support I can, and add real value, I need to be selective, and I consider that essential to what I do. Why would you limit your sales opportunities working with a group incumbent who deals with all your competition?

“I work with this finance provider because they ‘specialise’ in our field”….

Ok so they deal with every other Tom, Dick and Harry in your Industry then? Does that not bother you? What happens when they are ‘helping’ all three of the suppliers your customer has chosen to obtain quotes from? That would be two other companies who supply the same equipment as you! Where do you think their loyalties will lie? There’s a conflict of interest there surely. If you work with me I’m on your team….not everyone else’s team too! I don’t want to work with EVERYONE else! In order to give you the best level of support I can, and add real value, I need to be selective, and I consider that essential to what I do! Why would you limit your sales opportunities working with a ‘specialist’ who deals with all your competition?

Yes I agree entirely that it’s important for your finance provider to totally understand what you do. I know this industry very well and have achieved multiple credit lines for numerous customers in the sector. I know how to get the right funding packages for these clients. PMD are a Top 5 finance broker and we have panel of over 35 Funders! To top this off our service levels are the best in class.

However, I can’t comprehend how one finance provider can support a majority of Suppliers to one sector and add true value….It’s just not possible!

The most progressive businesses want the best finance partner and don’t want everyone else to be working with them.

When I work with you I will be your ‘finance manager’ and an integral part of your team. I believe it’s imperative that I immerse myself in your business to ensure I offer the best support tailored to overcome your sales challenges and take more deals over the line.

If you haven’t experienced anything other than the ‘incumbent’ specialist just because they are a member of your industry association then how do you know they are the best for you? How do you know you are working with the right one?

Is it not equally, if not more, important that your finance provider is a ‘finance specialist’ and a true sales partner? What difference could it make to your business if you dealt with the provider who is just that? The one who doesn’t deal with EVERYONE else in your industry, the one who operates with total integrity to achieve the same goal…increased profitability!

I’ve been a successful sales person for 20 years and obviously there are plenty of sales directors who value working with an experienced independent provider. I’m more than happy to deal with those like-minded sales people and will continue to seek more.

I get it…the grass isn’t always greener, it takes a lot to build a relationship and you are not going to jump ship for no valid reason….

But I see enough reason right there…. don’t you?

Maybe it’s just a case of better the devil you know!

 

Sam Kaberry

PMD Business Finance

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