Recently I noticed a local Kansas City business magazine’s list of the “Top 50 largest financial advisory firms” in the Kansas City Area. I was led from there to the “fastest growing companies in Kansas City”. I then was confronted with a billboard listing a local hospital as #1 in everything imaginable. When I turned on the radio I heard a commercial for a competing hospital saying that their cardiac results were the best in Kansas City. All of this has made me think about the time and effort and money that is spent to make a company look bigger and better than everyone else.
What is the result of this type of advertising and self-promotion besides adding more new customers? At the very least, it is a diversion of funds that could have been used for the servicing and care of clients in exchange for faster growth or a trophy that says they are the biggest or best. That seems like a pretty high price for “ego”! Towards the egregious side, it causes behaviors like this headline from the October 4, 2016 Wall Street Journal, “Morgan Stanley Faces Sales Contest Charges,” in which Morgan Stanley has been accused of paying bonuses to brokers to encourage them to promote securities-backed loans. In short, clients borrow against the value of their investments portfolios in order to win an internal “sales contest” that rewards the brokers financially.
One of our favorite not-for-profits is The Global Orphan Project. 100% of donations go directly towards the care of orphans in Haiti and Africa as well as placing foster children in homes throughout the United States. The organization has been built through personal relationships without any advertising and with a commitment to provide the highest quality of care to those they serve. It is amazing how it has grown with that approach and how people flock to be involved.
So this had made me think about who we have been and what we want to be at Triune. We have made a decision to build our business on personal introductions from existing clients who know us and have a history with us. We have decided that our growth will be what it is supposed to be without any manipulation or self-promotion on our part. We will do our best to let our work and the care of our clients be our best advertising. We will accurately measure the results that our clients are receiving and will make no effort to embellish them. We will count our blessings for the opportunities that our clients and friends have given us and continue to be thankful that you have allowed us to come alongside you in achieving your personal financial goals. We are honored to be your partners in conversation. For us, that is much better than any list or billboard or media advertising that we could ever be a part of.
On behalf of Triune, we want to thank each of YOU for our success, as we know YOU are the reason we would have been on the list had we applied!