Today’s blog post title is pulled from Alec Baldwin’s mesmerizing speech in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. His character is brought in to boost sales by announcing a new “contest”. The winner receives a Cadillac, second place gets a set of steak knives and as the title indicates, third place costs you your job.
The salespeople in Glengarry Glen Ross were selling real estate investments, but similar stories can be found in the financial services (financial advisors and/or insurance sales). Week long vacations down south can be had by placing a certain amount of business during a “sales contest” month in some firms. And many firms have quotas – if you don’t generate X number of dollars in commissions, you can kiss your job good-bye.
Now, not all firms operate this way – so I don’t want to give you the impression that the entire industry is forelorn. But it might be fun/surprising/shocking to see your financial advisor’s response to questions about sales incentives at his or her firm. The body language will speak volumes.
Someone forwarded an article that is worth reading related to this topic: “ICI Chief Favours Fiduciary Role For Advisers“. This article is written for an American audience, but should apply equally here. It’s amazing that this isnt already a requirement, and it’s also amazing that such thinking is considered pushing the envelope!