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‘End the stigma of sales’

The stigma attached to the word “sales” may force consumers down an advice route that might be inappropriate, warns Bankhall chief executive Peter Mann.

Speaking at a Money Marketing RDR round table, he said the tiered approach proposed in the retail distribution review implies that the sales route is inferior.

Mann said: “There is a kind of stigma being attached to sales that it neither deserves, nor really has.

“That can force a lot ofpeople into an advice pro-cess, when sales are actually the most appropriate thing.

“We have got to break down this stigma that attaches to sales. Being sold something by somebody who is qualified to do so is perfectly acceptable to a good number of people and perfectly capable of being delivered by a large number of people. We might disenfranchise them by the phraseology used.”

Sesame chief executive Ivan Martin said: “I think the tiered approach – gold, silver, bronze – just sends out all the wrong messages. I do not understand the concept of primary advice.

“You either give advice or you do not. You cannot do it 10 per cent or a quarter, you have got to do it or you do not.”

Mann said: “I think that one of the problems with the proposed stratification is that there is very clearly a gold, silver and bronze level. Calling it something else, like guided advice or whatever, will not solve the problem.

“It is just a case of mak-ing people believe that it is a worthwhile, honourable pursuit to sell something, which it entirely is.”

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