“Subra tell me If we ask you to train our sales people by what percentage will our sales go up?”

I am confronted with this question very often. I really have no clear answer to this. In fact I can only say that the KNOWLEDGE will go up. I have no facts to prove that:

  • More knowledge leads to more sales
  • A more knowledgeable salesman will get bigger closures
  • A salesman will say all that I tell him
  • A salesman will change his spots because I have done a 2 day ‘knowledge’ training
  • A salesman’s boss will give him that much time to do a sensible sales
  • A salesman will be actually allowed to do a Needs Analysis
  • A salesman will be actually allowed to follow the Needs Analysis

So with all these limitations, I have to answer very gingerly and be politically correct.

A salesman who does not know that pension is taxable can easily sell a pension plan, but a person who knows that  it is ELSS that is in an EEE mode (as of now) HAS to offer a product with a less commission. Sigh.

The ULIP commissions are 40% upfront. So if a client were to buy a pension plan for Rs. 300,000 annual premium, the salesman gets Rs. 120,000 as commission, but if that Rs. 300,000 goes into a mutual fund, the commission is Rs. 1200. You can only hope that in the long run the clients realize this and the good word spreads and you make up in volume what you lost in ‘knowledge’.

The salesman in a bank says ‘sir the pension can be withdrawn’. For him/her NOT KNOWING that the amount is taxable at a very high rate is a HUGE ADVANTAGE. Who suffers is of course, the client!!

‘Why a balanced fund, when an equity fund is giving good returns’ – will be answered by a salesman as “yes sir you can invest in an equity fund too’ – the speed of the closure is more important. A knowledgeable person may be able to explain about the tax structure…

A RM in a bank is no intellectual threat to an IIT, IIM grad who thinks he is a stud (the world keeps telling him that) …so he buys a ULIP from her paying Rs.50000 a month for 25 years.

However, when I laugh at his product selection or make a sly remark, I am behaving like a school teacher. In vengeance he goes back to her and buys another product from her.

This is called cutting the nose to spite the face. God bless.


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  1. Keeping the salesmen in the dark regarding the products is an old trick practiced by smart sales/area managers. It becomes part of cheap on-the-job ‘training’ and ‘experience’ that the salesman has to acquire.

    I mean, if I ONLY to have to break the Chakravyuh, I just need to teach my Abhimanyu to get in…why worry/spend time on teaching him how to get out?!?!

    One of the fallouts of this was the insurance industry had so much mis-selling the past few years that it caused an uproar all the way upto the regulators. So now, its the salesman on the hook for selling the product, which he has no knowledge of, and the company won’t train him otherwise sales will fall!

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