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Death of a Salesman or the Relationship Manager

Published: 22 October, 2017

For those of you who remember, the Death of a Salesman is a 1949 play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. It was the recipient of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. The play premiered on Broadway in February 1949, running for 742 performances, and has been revived on Broadway four times, winning three Tony Awards for Best Revival. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest plays of the 20th century.

Back to today and we are finding a new kind of death – the death of the fabled Relationship Manager.

45% of respondents to a recent ProFundCom survey said that relationship managers were their main source for raising new investment. This is perhaps unsurprising, as relationship managers know and understand the motivation and risk profiles of their clients better than anyone, so are well placed to advise – and sell to – them. By contrast, very few of our respondents cited CRM information, or analysis of digital behaviour, as a source of asset raising.

But this situation will soon be turned on its head

The influence of relationship managers is waning – fast – thanks to the rise of the millennial generation. Because they are so digitally connected, millennials have much more input into their buying decisions and thus rely much less on what a relationship manager may tell them. So, distributing thought leadership and trusted advice through the web – and connecting with potential investors via social media – is becoming much more important….. And analysis of the data that comes from these interactions will soon become your prime source of marketing intelligence.

In the original play, the salesman believes that salesmanship is based on ‘sterling traits of character’ and ‘a pleasing personality.’ But Willy (the main character) does not have the requisite sterling traits of character; people simply do not like him as much as he thinks is necessary for success. In today’s digital world not only do we need ‘sterling traits of character’ and ‘a pleasing personality’, we need everyone’s digital foot print.

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