At our Hearsay Summit last month, we had the honor of hosting brand evangelist and social media expert, Guy Kawasaki, on the virtual stage. In his keynote, The Art of Igniting Change, Guy imparted the wisdom he’s learned from his decades of experience creating deep connections between brands and customers.
Listening to Guy speak, I realized that these nuggets of wisdom could not only positively influence the customer brand experience, they could also be applied to how corporate financial services teams approach agents and advisors. Here are some key takeaways from Guy’s keynote below:
The first principle Guy shared was to ‘work backwards.’ No, he wasn’t referring to setting your end goal first; he was encouraging us to deeply understand what customers need and want—then work backwards to meet those expectations. Guy acknowledged that this can be a major philosophical change, but assured us that it’s one worth pursuing.
For corporate teams at financial services organizations, this means really tuning in to your field force. When building digital programs, resist the temptation to take the easy route, with assumptions like, “This is the technology that we have…This is the way it’s always been done in our industry.” Work backwards from your agents and advisors. Channel their day-to-day activities, understand how new workflows fit in, see how technology impacts the customer experience, listen to how and when they want to interact with their customers—and then build that program.
Provide a MAP
Another nugget of wisdom Guy shared was the idea of providing a MAP, which stands for Mastery, Autonomy, and Purpose. It’s not enough to just deliver a guide or a learning path; rather, we must develop a framework that empowers agents and advisors to take action. Seek to deliver the tools and support that help your field master new skills, while allowing them the autonomy to activate programs independently. Together, this construct will reinforce their higher purpose, which for most advisors and agents is to help customers achieve their financial goals, and attain peace of mind.
Tell the Stories of Converts Converting
One of the bigger challenges of deploying a digital program in financial services to thousands of field reps is getting buy-in and driving adoption. By marrying two of Guy’s methods— “use converts to convert” and “use stories’—we get closer to overcoming this dual challenge!
Guy shares that ”one of the most powerful ways…to convince people who are neutral or negative or resistant is to use an example of someone who was just like the customer and changed his or her mind.” Find an agent or advisor that brought a healthy dose of scepticism to the social media or texting program, only to grow their business success as a result, and tell that story! With Hearsay Spotlights, our team partners with you to create compelling agent/advisor success stories that you can share with the rest of your field to drive greater interest, demand, and adoption, potentially converting cynics into adopters, and perhaps even into future fans!
In closing, Guy reminds us that the word evangelism “comes from a Greek origin and it means bringing the good news.” Every one of us has the power to be a brand evangelist. By reminding your field teams that their personalized perspective and insights help them achieve the trustworthiness that their clients crave, you help cultivate their inner evangelist. And by celebrating their victories in social selling—-while getting some competitive energy ignited across the organization—you’re inspiring a lasting change in the battle to win hearts and minds.
Thanks to Guy for sharing his stories and insights with us.