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What Financial Service Providers are Getting Wrong

Working in the financial service provider industry, it can be easy to prioritize and listen to your client during an appointment, but when you return to your desk and the demands of your daily tasks, your clients’ needs may fall to the wayside. You get caught up in paperwork, emails, team meetings. We get it. But in a world where people desire authentic connections and financial well-being and trust, you could be harming your reputation and sales.

Picture This

A woman has been an entrepreneur for 25 years. She’s built a reputable and successful business that her industry admires. Yet with all her skill, expertise, and know-how, she’s confused, indecisive, and ambivalent when it comes to her finances.  

She knows her business, she does her books. She diligently reviews top-line revenue and bottom-line profits. After all, she didn’t build a $55-million dollar business by accident or by luck—she knows how to run a profitable and financially-rewarding enterprise.  

But when it comes to investing, building wealth, and planning for her future, she’s at loss, feeling alone, incompetent, and guilty.  

She should know better and have stronger control of her finances. She should be more definitive and settled with her options and decisions. She should have her sh!t together, but doesn’t know how to get from where she is to where she wants to be.  

She takes risks in her business by investing in new markets, product lines, and talent hires. But when it comes to her investments, cash flow, and retirement funding, she doesn’t know where to turn, who to trust, or what to do.  

Money sits in cash, depreciating day by day. But even though she knows she’s losing 7% purchasing power, it still feels safer than picking the wrong stock, fund, strategy, or advisor. 

You see, she’s been burnt before. She’s worked with bankers, planners, and advisors who talk a good game, make an excellent first impression, and say that customers come first.  

But when she makes a request, it takes three follow-up emails for her banker to transfer the $50,000 sitting in her bank account into a term deposit.  

Or, when she books an appointment to talk about her goals and future, the planner messages her on LinkedIn requesting to see her various investment holdings before they even have a chance to meet.  

And when she finally takes her $250,000-investment portfolio to an advisor to review and make suggestions, she goes off and gets busy in her business, and three months later remembers she never heard back from them.  

Disintegrating Trust

Through all the back and forth and radio silence, a message reverberates through her mind:  

  • If you can’t take care of a simple request, how could I trust you with anything more?  
  • We haven’t yet been on a date, yet you want to go steady.  
  • I’m sure you made time for your VIPs, versus someone small like me.  

Financial service organizations say they put their customer, client, or member first, but reality tells a different tale.  

According to CFSI Financial Health Network, “While consumers want their financial service providers to help them make smart decisions to improve their financial health and well-being, few are finding what they seek; only 36% of customers believe their bank is looking out for their financial well-being.”

Instead, they believe you care more about your bottom line than theirs. They believe you value the products you have to sell over the problems they want solved, as well as the sales quota your team needs to hit over the goals they want to achieve.

A Gallup Banking Consumer Study found that only one in four customers believe their bank is looking out for their financial well-being, with their information being used to increase profits versus improve their financial well-being. 

What Will You Do to Help Your Customers?

Clients, customers, and members walk away feeling like your agenda is wrapped in an illusionary message that they matter and that you care.  

I’ve had countless conversations with business owners like these who believe their financial providers have let them down.   

Financial service providers are still stuck on pushing product and selling on price. They are selling transactions. But your clients have a higher expectation and are inviting you to live up to a new standard. They want you to help them be financially healthy, wealthy, and wise!  

How will you help them do that today?

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