‘Fachidiot schlägt Kunden tot’ (loosely translated as ‘technical jargon kills clients’) is a well-known saying in German financial circles. The meaning, of course, is that we shouldn’t try to overwhelm customers with technical details. This advice is wise – but it is far too rarely heeded.
Product names such as ‘Rainbow Barrier Euro Stoxx 50 Bonus Certificate’ do little to contribute to greater clarity. Many salespeople overload customers with information instead of telling an exciting story about the product. They hold firm to the belief that ‘more is more’ and don’t believe they can succeed with less.
Imagine you’re sitting in a restaurant. Would you rather eat a steak, or a whole cow? The steak, most likely – even if you were getting the cow with the hide, horns and hooves thrown in. Similarly, good salespeople serve up their product benefits in bite-size pieces. Just as crime writers cannot reveal the gardener as the killer on the first page, abstract, intangible financial products need a good story if the customer is to understand them.