Selling and Positioning Fixed Income Products

The Challenge

fixedincomeA leading retail brokerage firm was concerned that sales of its fixed income products lagged the industry and didn’t reflect the products’ high quality. The firm believed that the problem was how its sales force positioned and sold the products.

The Solution

This challenging project required us to do a lot of of mystery shopping—both in person and over the telephone—and present an assessment of online fixed income marketing and educational materials. In total, we performed over 30 mystery shops, with multiple shops at each firm.

We worked with the client to devise shopper profiles and pinpointed the probing questions to ask while interviewing the brokers during each shop. Since we maintained accounts at all the major investment houses, we could shop both as customers and prospects to inquire about their fixed income capabilities.

For each mystery shop, we provided a 10-page+ analysis that summarized each experience, including the sales process/strategy, fixed income solution, competitive positioning versus our client, follow-up from the firm’s representatives and our observations of the meeting’s strengths, weaknesses and highlights. We also presented a per-shop matrix that captured detailed information about the experience and the quality of each representative.

Our online assessment measured the capabilities of each competitor’s Website in fixed income trading, research, education, marketing and positioning. This report provided screen shots of competitors’ corresponding capabilities and recommendations for how the client could improve its own online offering based on industry best practices.

The Impact

The study gave the client what it needed to retool its positioning of fixed income products and retrain its sales force to use best practices in marketing fixed income solutions. It additionally enabled the client to improve its Website’s marketing content and usability for fixed income research and education.