The world has changed since my last post in February. Unlike most of the world, I anticipated my world to turn upside down in 2020. No, I am not a psychic. I was expecting my second child. On April 7, my husband and I welcomed our daughter, Maeve, to this crazy world. Hence my absence from the blog.
Within days of bringing Maeve home from the hospital we started to receive advertisements and incentives for formula, life insurance, cord blood banking, and education savings plans. I even got an offer for roadside assistance. These companies are in tune with the value their services offer new parents and my guess is they have very targeted personas. John and the Practically Speaking team have written many blogs about personas and the power they hold to help advisors market to and service clients. But personas can’t be static. People’s lives change (as we have all become painfully aware) and personas must change too.
Here are three reasons why I believe it is important to revisit your personas now and evaluate if they need to be updated.
- Communication changes: Since the pandemic has begun, virtual meetings have become the norm. Many investors are operating their professional and personal life on Zoom, Teams, Webex or Skype. Do your personas reflect this change? Do your personas reflect how clients want to ingest information? Do they appreciate charts, numbers and details or do they want the high level summary? Personas should represent the preferred communication channel and presentation method.
- New stressors and demands: Clients are grappling with enhanced stress in nearly every part of their lives. Small business owners are trying to adapt their businesses to the new world, families are learning how to function together with working parents and kids at home doing virtual school. Many baby boomers are isolated and concerned about their health. It is important to adapt your personas to reflect these new stressors and demands. It creates empathy for each situation and helps focus in on the services that you can offer to relieve some of this stress. For example, modular planning is a great approach to relieve stress around particular areas of concern.
- Major financial changes: Many clients have faced major financial changes. Some may be devastating, like losing a business or job, and others might be positive like saving money on childcare due to daycares being shut down. It is important that personas are adjusted to reflect these changes. This will help ensure your services are geared to guide clients through this financial change. If you have a “small business owner” persona this should be looked at closely and potentially amended to address the needs of a struggling business. If you work with young families are your services helping them make the right decisions with the money they are not funneling to childcare?
People’s lives change, as mine did this year when Maeve joined our family, but the world changes too—and its impact on clients can be dramatic. In order for personas to be effective, they need to be living and breathing representatives of your clients. So set aside some time in the upcoming weeks to review your personas and make any adjustments. You might be surprised to find that you need to retire or create personas due to all the change that has happened in the past 6 months.
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