That’s right and for the people that know me, most (all !) of you will comment that the above statement is a total falsehood.
Sorry to disappoint you all but the “F word” I am referring to is FINANCE.
In the past, particularly outside of my work environment, whether it was at family barbecues or meeting new people on holiday, when asked what I did, a typical response was that “I work in finance”.
If the other party, to whom I was speaking, showed any interest, I would then go into more detail on what I did for a living but invariably the “finance” word kept coming up and there was, almost always, a visible shift in people’s body language every time I used to say that particular word.
Having delved a bit deeper, because of these interactions, the feedback I received was that when people hear the word “finance” they think accounting, tax, gearing and they worry that they might be asked a question that they don’t understand, and as such they steer away from the conversation.
After many of these types of conversations, it became apparent to me that the word “finance” often had negative connotations and, as a result, I have changed my narrative with our vendors, partners and clients accordingly.
For many vendors and partners whom we deal with, the products they are supplying to their clients have become so commoditised that is harder to differentiate their particular products.
Therefore, in order to to add value as a vendor you have to be able to solve your clients’ problems and nowadays all our vendors are providing their clients with real solutions.
Whether it be Print, IT, Software, Healthcare, Furniture or any other asset you are selling, our vendors are not just selling any more they are providing solutions.
Now, when someone asks me what I do, my response is along the lines of, “we provide payment solutions for people who are looking to acquire assets for use in their businesses”.
Thankfully, all my colleagues at 3E agree and all of us now talk to our vendors, partners and clients about us providing them with payment solutions as we feel that this phrase perfectly encapsulates what we do.
So if any of you hear me, or any of the 3E team, using the F word please pick us up on it.
Author – Brian Swan