Lately I have been working on a reinforcement initiative with one of my clients. We have trained their employees on how to best service their customers and how to uncover financial needs. The management was very committed and used our leader-led approach in an inspiring way. However, when I visited some branches recently, I noticed that the profiling methodology – the FiNAP® conversation (Financial Needs Analysis Profile) – was only used ‘by coincidence’ and, through probing, I found out that no binding process was in place.
That’s when I approached the management and suggested having a reinforcement session around this methodology. The feedback I received was very surprising: The Executive Managers asked me if we could not use a ‘new tool’ in order to whet the Advisors’ appetite vs. using the known FiNAP conversation.
I understand where this is coming from, but in the business world, where we want to serve our clients with world-standard service and earn money at the same time, we should focus on using proven best practices, no matter how ‘old’ or known they are. By the way, success comes, not from just knowing a certain methodology, but from the following:
- Are you using it?
- Are you using it with every single customer?
- And last but by no means least: Are you using it at the highest level of quality?
As long as we cannot answer these questions with a convincing “Yes”, we need to focus on further embedding the skills (or behaviours). We should never offer an escape route to our employees by teaching them a new skill which presumably will be used for a short period of time and then get forgotten. Embedding a skill takes a lot of management follow-up and discipline – you need to “inspect what you expect” because you care… and because managers are responsible for the performance!
Do you agree?
Claudia Irmer is a Results Consultant for Cohen Brown Management (Europe) Ltd.