Knowing the value of what you’re selling

” Delivering value is core to success in sales. Whether in winning new clients, or retaining or expanding accounts, value is central. Customers expect it, and sales and marketing people must employ it to win customers – usually from another company that is using value to keep them.

Given all the talk about value and its importance, you would think that sales and marketing people would have a good understanding of the value they deliver to clients, and are able to communicate that value in a way that will resonate,” wrote Tibor Shanto for The Globe and Mail on Friday March 25, 2016.

Shanto continued, “The sad reality is that many don’t, and have great difficulty articulating the value they can bring to potential buyers in a clear or specific way. Existing clients are left to figure out what value they are truly getting from your product or your company – a situation that explains why loyalty is so fleeting, and why many are so surprised when their clients bolt for reasons they don’t understand.

This may sound harsh, and many sales and marketing leaders may dismiss it, but from where I sit, it is confirmed on almost a weekly basis.

There are two questions I ask of sales people that confirm this. The first is “Why do people buy from you and your company?” The answers I get are not only underwhelming, but often indistinguishable from other companies in their sectors. The answers are generic and usually communicate the vendors’ own view of themselves, rather than that of the market. In most instances, if I took out the name of the company I am with, and put in the name of their least worthy competitor, the effect and accuracy of the statement changes little, if any. Which means that unworthy competitor can compete with you and deliver the same underwhelming experience at a lower cost.”

Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

Embracing gender equality; in the workforce and in our homes

This commentary is part of Work in Progress, The Globe’s look at the global struggle for gender parity.


Justin Trudeau is Prime Minister of Canada.


“Equality is a core Canadian value, and I feel honoured to have this opportunity to advocate for gender equality and feminism. We have seen great advancements in Canada over the past hundred years, and I am proud to celebrate the strides we have taken toward gender equality. But there is still a lot of hard work left to do to advance these issues. Quite simply, we must do more.

I was fortunate to be raised by a mother who believed in feminism, and who chose to raise her sons to embrace feminist values. I was fortunate to have a father who raised us to respect and defend everyone’s rights. Because of my parents, I am deeply grounded in my own identity as a proud feminist. My wife, Sophie, and I are raising our children with the same values,” contributed Justin Trudeau to The Globe and Mail and Published on March 8, 2016.

Trudeau continued, “We also need to value work done in the home – in raising families – the same way we value work in the office. Women and men alike face judgment and discrimination for choosing to stay at home with their families instead of remaining in the work force.

Every day, I meet incredible women who inspire me to be a better feminist and a better person. Women can do (and be) anything they want. But powerful cultural change cannot happen when only half of the population works toward that change. Men need to act, set examples and be role models.

My wife, Sophie, recently reminded me of this very point. I have always been diligent in engaging my young daughter to make sure that she felt empowered, but Sophie reminded me that I need to spend just as much time and effort engaging my sons, talking to them about feminism and the importance of gender equality. We cannot expect real change to occur if we do not teach every Canadian the same values of respect and equality.”


Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

Multiple factors that are not affecting home buyers in the GTA

“New, tighter mortgage rules didn’t stop 13 rival bidders from submitting offers for a semi-detached house in central Toronto on Tuesday. The Family Day holiday, a record cold snap and a snowstorm didn’t seem to slow them down either.

Industry watchers are waiting to see if the action in Canada’s most frantic real estate markets will ease off a bit now that the federal government’s new rules surrounding mortgage insurance have come into effect.

The semi-detached house on Davenport Road near Christie Street was listed with an asking price of $599,900, which means it falls into the segment of the market affected by the new rules,” wrote Carolyn Ireland for The Globe and Mail on February 18, 2016.

Ireland continued, “The Toronto Real Estate Board reported this month that the average selling price in the GTA swelled 14.1 per cent in January compared with January, 2015.

Under the federal government’s new rules, the minimum down payment for new insured mortgages rises to 10 per cent from 5 per cent for the portion of the house priced above $500,000. The 5-per-cent minimum for properties up to $500,000 remains unchanged.

Ottawa had already restricted mortgage insurance to homes valued at less than $1-million, and the new regulations leave the minimum down payment for more expensive homes unchanged at 20 per cent.

For those reasons, the rule change affects only a slice of the market but, in Toronto, it’s the segment where many first-time buyers land.

Rick DeClute of DeClute Real Estate Inc. is seeing some pockets of Scarborough swell in popularity as house hunters continue their migration from the core.”


Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

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