As a business owner, you are accountable and responsible for meeting targets. End of story. This is the view of Kate Moodley, owner of Discovery Consulting Services, Bedfordview and a franchise director for Discovery.
As a Discovery partner, Moodley is given set targets, and her renewed franchise license agreement with the group is based on her company’s ability to meet those targets.
“We have a five year contract with Discovery, and if we want to secure a second contract, our performance is key,” she says.
The business model is simple. Moodley has her own FSB (financial services board) license and can sell Discovery products.
Her team sells these products to brokers, paying careful attention to who the end customer is, what their needs are and which products best suit them. Discovery then pays the company a fee per product sold.
It means Moodley’s team needs to be well-versed in all Discovery’s offerings, and extremely organised from an administrative point of view.
It also means that new business is vital, as the company does not charge Discovery ongoing fees as brokers do.
“If your business is dependant on new sales and meeting targets, as a business owner you cannot be complacent in this regard,” says Moodley.
“I have an excellent team who understands the products they work with extremely well, but it’s my job to make sure new business keeps coming through the door.”
Growing market share
This is done in a number of ways. First, Moodley accepts that she is ultimately accountable for everything that happens within the business.
“Our systems need to run smoothly and our consultants need to understand what they are selling in order for us to deliver a good service,” she explains, adding that you only secure new business when you can prove how well you handle current business.
In addition, great service by the consultants leads to bigger market share.
“I can only expect the best from my team if I give them the best tools to work with, and this means a streamlined, structured system and excellent, ongoing training.
“I’m essentially a compliance officer. I pay attention to our systems and how we deliver on our mandates, and this allows me to spot any problems earlier rather than later, and address them.”
The human element
Second, Moodley makes sure she is out there selling. “Again, this is true of any business.
You can hire a great sales force, support an inspirational sales manager and expect results, but as the business’s owner, you need to realise that sales results ultimately rest with you. You can’t wash your hands of this vital role and expect your business to grow.
“Clients want to put a face to a business, particularly smaller, more entrepreneurial businesses. People trust people. When I am out securing contracts, I’m giving brokers a touch point to the leadership of my company, and the assurance that their business is important to us.”