Trust me….I will find the other side of that order!

John Shelburne
3 min readAug 21, 2021


Note this is part of the migration of posts from the SoggyBlog to Medium. The SoggyBlog will no longer be active as of the end of September.

Original Post Date on Soggy Blog December 27, 2019

Can you hear me now?

OK….lets go over this one more time. Your a seller of 3 million of a CCC+ credit. Got it…the issuer is an Indian Casino…how much outstanding…250 million….ok I need a quick refresher on bankruptcy laws on a reservation….none you say… much time do I have on the order…Your giving it to me for an hour…And this is firm to me…. I am getting the financials on this casino right now. I got this! I will have the other side for you in 55 minutes!

The fixed income voice salesperson (aka…high touch) is often asked to find the other side of an order for a bond that requires great phone sales skills. Most of the time you either have a call into the right person on a desk or an insane bid/offer to get the buyer or seller's attention.
Making the PHDC/HDC1 prayer call works about 1 out 50 times. When those hit…..high fives for everyone…..

These are the bonds that require stories in order to source or place paper. A good desk will have a CRM system that will indicate who might be a possible buyer.

A great desk will have a CRM system that pulls every data point from every source imaginable and spit out a list of 5 to 10 actual buyers or sellers. These firms usually have a trader that will manage the expectations of a salesperson with a delusional miracle happens attitude.

In order to tell a good story, a salesperson needs to have a good visual to send to his or her client to peak interest.

However, more often than not salespeople send a Bloomberg DES<GO> screenshot to the buyer or seller with one or two lines describing the situation.

Why are salespeople still relying on sending a screenshot (GRAB<GO>) of the DES page?

The usual judgment from the outsider (those who are not making calls) chalks up the behavior to laziness or lack of talent. However, if most fixed income people salespeople use a DES screenshot then are most fixed income salespeople lazy?

The answer is NO

Most salespeople are not aware of the revolution in data visualization and the capabilities of their current systems.

Salespeople should have access to the same tools that are used in the marketing department by graphic designers that post interactive infographics for the web, Instagram, FB and other social media platforms.

A fixed-income salesperson can learn quite a bit from a graphic designer and vice versa. (The social media manager might just show a desk how to drop a google analytic code snippet!)

I love the data visualization tools from sites like Visme and Flourish studios. They are easy to use and they each take 10 visuals to feel comfortable. The tools on Adobe are a bit more advanced and require an investment in courses on Udemy.

An example of what one can do on Visme can be seen with this infographic on BBBY 5.165% 44’s. Nothing fancy but at least it is different than what every other salesperson will send on the BBBY 44’s. You can make some powerful infographics and auto populate the data if you have the right tools and time.



John Shelburne

Founder of CatFIX Technology.