The A-Ha Moments
A recent HBR article “Sensemaking for Sales” had some wonderful insights. I reproduce some lines here. Read them carefully.
In a Gartner survey of 1100 B2B customers, nearly 90% agreed that the information is of high quality; it’s believable, relevant, backed by data, supported by expert analysis, and conveyed in a compelling manner. But they struggle to make sense of it. 55% of the respondents find the information to be trustworthy but relatively undifferentiated, leaving them strained to identify viable criteria with which to judge trade-offs among suppliers. Another 44% find the information to be trustworthy but contradictory; the various pieces are relevant and believable, but they suggest opposing directions.
Read this again.
Customers use words such as high quality, believable, relevant, backed by data, supported by expert analysis, trustworthy, and conveyed in a compelling manner. Yet, they struggle to make sense of it!!!
Culprits are too much information, sea of sameness (undifferentiation), and contradictory information.
Why is this important?
Because the consequences for sellers are dramatic. Customers who report overwhelming amounts of information are 54% less likely than others to make a purchase. Those who encounter trustworthy but contradictory information are 66% less likely to do so.
Can you believe it?
I still have a hard time, but I know this is spot on (based on my own experience).
90% find the information high quality. They trust it and yet they can’t make sense of it. 55% find it trustworthy and can’t differentiate it.
The real problem is that too much information exists for buyers to make any sense of it on their own. This leads to indecision. When buyers aren’t confident in their ability to differentiate, they simply delay making decisions.
Now let’s connect this to our industry and profession.
Imagine a prospect meets you and 4 other people.
What do you think is likely to happen?
While you are thinking, look at this advertisement (an US advertisement).
Source : MoneyScoop
What do you think a prospect will think when she/he goes through something like this?
Look at another US one.
What will the same prospect think now?
I am not getting into the distributor or RIA discussion and differentiation here. I am simply trying to get you in the feet of a consumer and see what she/he sees. The above 2 would look exactly similar to lay people as well as sophisticated ones.
By the way, none of the above are RIAs in the US. That is however not the point. The takeaway here is simple. It’s super difficult for consumers to differentiate even when they trust the information. While many times things seem contradictory, most of the time, everything seems, sounds and looks the same. Thus, many prospects delay making a decision, or they say, “Let me start with a small amount and see.” They don’t know who to go with so they either delay or deworsify (diversifying across financial professionals).
Have you ever experienced this – “You have just met a prospect. They seem to trust you and like you, but they are unable to proceed ahead with you. They say, ‘Let me Think’.” You then add them to the prospect list and the prospect keeps thinking. You hope someday this person will magically transform into a customer.
On the other hand, the person will give you a small investment and evaluate you against 4 more people. Let me see who does better on the pitch. You are then in a perpetual rat race to prove your worth. Can you imagine 4 surgeons or 4 accountants or 4 architects in a rat race for a client?
Does this ring a bell or sound familiar? If you are like any other professional in this industry, you would have experienced something like this. We all have.
The key to success lies in reducing the ‘Let me Think’ responses and getting prospects to experience something they have never experienced before (what I call as a Wow Experience). “Create those A-ha Moments.”
There is no doubt that you have to be better. This is a given. You can no longer hide behind the wall that your clients won’t get access to real financial professionals. You also have to be different in a way that adds value to your client’s life. But more importantly, you have to communicate that you are better and different in an awesome way. You have to do this in a way that you are not dumping too much information. The way to do that (stand out) is by intentionally crafting a powerful client experience that leads to A-Ha moments, the ones that give your prospects the confidence required to make a decision about working with you.
American Physician and Writer ‘Oliver Wendell Holmes’ wrote “A Moment’s Insight is sometimes worth a Life’s Experience.”
These are the moments that we need to create.
P.S. Interested in knowing more about A-Ha moments.
Reach out to us to see how you can create these for your prospects and clients.