Stop Labelling the Box
Funny thing happened to me this week. I picked up a parcel from the post office; a box that was labelled for me. I opened up the box with great excitement to find something bizarre in it; the contents were definitely not for me unless someone has a very strange view of me! I realised that it was a seller on eBay who had made a mistake with his labelling and sent me the item that someone else had won.
In financial services, we have an obsession with putting people in boxes with labels; “I only deal with high net worth clients”; “We focus on looking after vulnerable customers” are two examples of this.
We should stop trying to label people and here are the reasons why.
- We may think that there is a target group whom we wish to help. If they do not wish to be helped, who are we to impose ourselves on them?
- We may miss out on people who temporarily need help but are not in the target group. There are times when people are vulnerable because of something that has happened. Should we ignore these people because they do not fit into the defined target group?
- We may know that we can help someone but until they are ready to be helped, it is very difficult to make a connection. It is like the famous Winston Churchill quote “There are two things that are more difficult than making an after-dinner speech: climbing a wall which is leaning toward you and kissing a girl who is leaning away from you.”
Every day, I see cases where TPAS specialists help someone by applying their knowledge to the customer’s personal situation. I do get frustrated that more people do not contact us as I know that we could help them. But the last thing that I should do is label people as those that I want to help but instead make sure that I am the wall that is leaning away that is easy to climb and be the girl that leans in so that is easier to kiss her!