While doing the 2nd set of my run yesterday evening, I recalled a phone conversation my colleague had earlier in the day. The content goes like this:
Hey friend, yr friend after getting a quote from me (motor insurance) went to get the same co’s plan with another agent instead. This is not fair as I’ve done all the work in sourcing & comparing & yet yr friend went to get from another agent. If xx co’s quote is generated through me, I think it is only fair that he does it through me & not take my quote to a competitor. It is not a issue of losing a deal, rather it is an issue of integrity.
Yes, I fully agree with what my colleague has mentioned on integrity. And then thought back to a similar incident that happened to me quite a while back as well. For my case, I made a recommendation and subsequently the competitor adviser (who is IFA as well) copied the recommendation exactly and no guesses, client took it up from that person.
I remembered being pissed about the incident as I felt there was lack of integrity on both parties part – client should take up the recommendation with the adviser who recommended it .. competitor just ‘copied’ the recommendation, which to me was a clear lack of professional integrity (something that I myself value very highly). The lack of integrity comes about because it is only fair that the person who made the recommendation/did the work (frontground and background) should be renumerated fairly for it by getting the deal. When I was complaining/bitching about this incident to a friend of mine, she was quite surprised on why I was so harsh in my comments on the competitor adviser as that person was just doing he/she should do to get the deal (and moolah!) while it is more of the client who is being an idiot in this case.
When sales are concerned, whilst the general saying goes that we must give the customer what they want, but when the financial advisory industry is concerned, it goes more than jsut giving the customer what they want (as there is probably a lot more misinformation driving the public’s perception out there but that is not the main point here). So I felt that my friend’s thinking was that the competitor was just giving the client what he/she wants – despite my misgivings that her opinon was overly simplistic (but who I am to judge as everyone is different).
Similarly, I also think it is not fair that people expect ‘free investment advise’ and subsequently implement the recomemndation via a lower cost online platform like fundsupermart. Whilst the final choice of decision does lie with customer/client/prospect, but by taking people’s work and not giving them their dues for it, it is very unfair to the person who has had to put aside other priorities in order to give you what you want. As much as you may wonder why Wendy is so insistent to bitch about such prospects/suspects. Indeed, there will always be people like that in our lives, but don’t you think these people lack a sense of integrity as well? I think it is only fair that if you intend to take up the advise/service from someone, you should pay for it and not be a sucker as nothing is free in this world (be it in physical terms, monetary terms, intangible terms e.g. time wasted).
I guess it is somewhat sad that values like integrity (as defined by wikipedia and online dictionary – having an intutive sense of honesty and truthfulness, relating to moral character) get forgetten in the pursuit of personal gains. I don’t think it is as much as kicking up a fuss for the sake of doing so. Rather, it is something that I hold very close to my heart!