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Selling the sizzle

Hi again IFAs, Last month, I wrote contrasting your struggles with mine as an International Flipping Adviser and the more I learn about the mess you are in the more I think you have got less chance of “lovin’ it” than getting a standing ovation in a morgue.

What I have learned about your weird world explains to me why even a co-genius like Mark Hoban cannot work out what to do except to shut you down.

Like us restaurateurs you all want to do different things, which is cool, but what does not seem to twig is that it does not matter what you call yourselves.

After all, we foodies all call our shops restaurants even though, say, my food is much faster than Jamie Oliver’s. We do not get cross about him using the same name, we advertise our differences so much that our customers know our name better than they do the word restaurant itself. The trick dudes is that to succeed you have to get out there and tell people why they need what you do.

Maybe it is a bit easier for us because people get hungry and have to sort that out pretty fast, whereas getting poor takes longer and sneaks up on you, but it is nothing a bit of marketing cannot make them all think about every day. We do it, and we were once a one man band like most of you still seem to be, but I never see an ad telling me why I need what you do. And I only hear about you on the news when you have screwed it up. We used to have that last problem for a bit, but we fixed it with a whole lot of ads about salad. Suits, you need salad!

Now because I have begun to care about you poor burgers I popped along to your FSA and a beautiful lady told me about their new initiative to educate consumers about what they need. I did think how odd that you had them doing your job for you rather than selling your own sizzle like we do, so I asked the beautiful lady in the big building why she was in charge not you, and she told me to ask you that, so I went off to look for you.

And that is when I spotted your problem. You see I found six lots of expensive suits who said they represented you. The first were really car and home insurers who preferred to spend their truck loads of money on their other businesses. Next I found a fast talking lady who said the banks were like you really, but they are trying to make people trust them just now, and then I found four other lots who said they represented little old you. Two, a nice young grey man and a large cheerful bloke, said they do not do your marketing, and the third looked over her glasses at me and told me she was strictly the headmistress and then at the last I found a bunch who said that they were in charge of your promotion, but they were now mainly focusing on websites marketing solicitors.

And at that point I realised what you gotta do Suits. You have to tell these people they cannot represent you unless they market you and you have to really own them, like we do our marketing department, so you get what you do seen as different to all the other restaurants…I mean financial advisers. Knock their heads together!

Yours one last time, MaccyD

Tom Baigrie is managing director at Lifesearch

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