When It’s OK To Be Pushy in Financial Services

I was recently looking back at responses from an old post-event survey administered by an asset manager, and I was struck by one recurring comment from attendees. The sponsor company had gone to great lengths to make this a value-add event, not a sales event. There was no talk of product and barely any talk of the company itself. The speakers were accomplished and noteworthy academics, the location was on neutral territory, and the topics were brand-agnostic. The result?

Attendees wanted to hear about products! Or rather, they wanted to hear about real, available solutions to the issues introduced during the event sessions. By leaving out product altogether, the asset manager missed an opportunity, and, as it turned out, it was a missed opportunity for the attendees as well.

I’ve seen this issue come up periodically throughout my career in financial services market research. The participants we talk to appear to have sales-on and sales-off mentalities. I know this is true for me personally. If I’m surprised by a sales push, I’m less likely to be open to it, but sometimes I’m in a setting where I expect some sort of sales effort. This happens regularly in the wealth management arena. An advisor may not accept every wholesaler request to visit, but when the visits do happen there’s an expectation that the wholesaler is ultimately there to sell product.

It should go without saying that there is a right and wrong way to do this. Be relevant. Be specific. Know the target audience’s business and requirements. Frame how the product solves a problem. Do be timely. Don’t really be pushy.

But doing it right doesn’t mean don’t do it at all.

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This entry was posted in Brand and Messaging, Financial Services by Lindsey Dickman. Bookmark the permalink.
Lindsey Dickman

About Lindsey Dickman

Lindsey Dickman is a vice president in the Financial Services division of Market Strategies and has been partnering with clients to develop products, services and brands through both qualitative and quantitative engagements for almost 10 years. As a RIVA-trained moderator, Lindsey has conducted hundreds of focus groups, one-on-one interviews and online groups/interviews among consumers, financial advisors and institutional investors throughout the world. Her quantitative experience includes management and analysis of more than 10,000 daily global online and telephone surveys, spanning brand tracking, customer experience, ad/message testing and product optimization. She graduated with high honors from Emory University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and Spanish. Lindsey is trying to perfect her tennis drop shot and enjoys going for walks—or, more precisely, smells—with her beagle, George.

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