The ‘Prize in Knowing Your Clients Better Than They Know Themselves

4 Thoughts to Consider

A recent visit to my bank manager highlighted the need for me to open an account with a higher % interest rate. Just one catch (as far as I could see) I couldnt access these funds via an ATM; however if I needed to transfer money from the new account to my account attached to the ATM I could do so by downloading an App onto my cell. As explained to me, I would then be able to use this App to transfer funds from one account to another even while standing in line at the ATM.

building relationships, customized experience, knowing your clients, behavioral finance, personality assessmentI was somewhat skeptical to say the least and visualized lines behind me at the ATM becoming frustrated as I tried to move funds from my high interest account to my ATM account. But in reality it took no time at all; nobody was held up in a line; I transferred funds from one account to another using my cell, withdrew my cash and went on my way.

The moral of this story for financial advisers – know your clients better than they know themselves.

Bree McDonough as part of the FSC Deloitte Future Leaders Program writes in the following article titled The Digital Revolution of Wealth Management:

Evident from changes in legislation, technology and customer expectations the traditional wealth management model is not sustainable to service today and tomorrows connected customers. The Australian wealth management industry is urged to invest in building their digital intelligence and implementing a connect customer centric business model. It is recommended that the industry implements the strategic enablers explored in this paper to increase digital intelligence and re–engineer their businesses around todays connected customer:

  1. Know your customers better than they know themselves
  2. Redefine service and value
  3. Plan for the future and remove barriers.


By implementing these strategic enablers, the wealth management industry can leverage the digital revolution to build sustainable and valuable relationships, build trust and a deeper customer understanding. Successful businesses will counter disruption by constantly evaluating their business model and position themselves with a strategic advantage. The longer the industry waits to leverage the digital revolution the more difficult the challenge will become, and the more ground they risk ceding to competitors.


This article raises an important issue around the need for advisers to understand their clients behaviors and how best to engage with them in a way that they are open to new ideas around managing their finances. It also presents a wider issue for consideration raised by the current digital revolution and the need for the industry to plan for meeting this challenge.

My bank manager knows I am risk averse, time poor, reasonably IT savvy but transferring funds as described while standing in a line seemed to me a step too far. Not so as it transpired.? I took this step because I trust my adviser.

So what are the takeaways for advisers from this scenario?

  1. There is power in getting to know your clients better than they know themselves
  2. Becoming a behaviorally smart adviser will enable you to get below the surface to the real issues much quicker
  3. By building a framework to communicate with clients on their terms you will increase engagement
  4. You will be able to customize the financial planning process for each client

Make it a priority to develop deeper relationships with clients to build trust. Doing so will set the stage for introducing the kinds of change needed in the financial industry to continue to win clients and stay ahead of the competition.







Carol Pocklington is a Human Behavior Solutions Analyst at DNA Behavior, assisting with the research and development of behavioral products. DNA Behavior helps grow behaviorally smart businesses and financial advisors worldwide to increase competitive advantage using the most reliable behavioral discovery and performance development systems on cutting-edge technology platforms. Solutions are delivered in the areas of client experience management, financial personality management and human capital management.

Visit the Financial DNA website to learn more.

Carol Pocklington

Carol Pocklington

Carol Pocklington - Chief Insights Accelerator

Carol is a Human Performance Accelerator. She has worked with Hugh Massie since 2001 since the Financial DNA understanding concept was conceived. She works with people and businesses worldwide. Her real-world application of behavioural insights, gives her the capability to serve as a business strategist, coach, mentor, and trainer. She is also a prolific blogger, a public speaker and author, specializing in human behavioural insights.

Carol's DNA Natural Behavior Style is - Facilitator

Carol is a Facilitator. Facilitators are persistent, goal-oriented people who promote team effort in order to complete tasks. Facilitators lead by setting examples and by achieving goals. Their strong work ethic encourages others to excel and they have an excellent ability to deal calmly yet firmly with people using a facilitative style.

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