The total impact of the economic crisis will probably not be determined for decades to come. We know that it will cost taxpayers plenty for at least the next few generations. We also know that once again the story contains a great deal of self-interest, greed, and power. It is those who are at the top of the pyramid will not like changing things, but it is imperative then we do. If we don’t our prospective clients might just walk away and find someone who will. Producers that recognize this emerging need, and evolve to differentiate themselves from the competition will have an added advantage to other producers in their field.
Differentiation in today’s climate requires a makeover, not only from the individual producers, but also from the companies that employees them. A small change here, a different trick there, or perhaps using a new angle to get a prospect or customer to buy simply aren’t enough anymore. Today people are irritated, tentative and afraid, and there is little chance of them parting with any portion of their income without serious consideration. The games previously used, might not do the trick any more.
The question becomes, of course, is whether or not producers or companies take risks when the desire not to is so strong. Is it possible to shift from “the customer comes first” as a mere slogan to an actual way of doing business? Can producers and their companies actually put the needs of the customer above the needs of the stockholder, investor, quotas, self-interest, and even the mystique of Wall Street?
In one sense, it seems strange that this choice, so long herald in our slogans is a risky one to make. Perhaps our profession has lost its way.