Why Money Can’t Buy You Like

As Lennon and McCartney wrote a half century ago, money can’t buy you love. But in today’s world, where people have come desensitized by ad campaigns and marketing slogans , that maxim needs an update: money can’t even buy you like.

That’s because we’ve entered the ‘Relationship Age’ where the only path for financial planners seeking long-term success is to create authentic customer relationships. Not through old traditional marketing. Old traditional marketing is: interrupting your clients with whatever they are doing. You are disturbing your clients by shoving them your marketing message under his nose.

Before I’ll tell you how te create authentic relationships with new marketing, let me tell you why I think we are entering ‘the Relationship Age’. Here are 4 reasons:


The ongoing collapse of mass media and the corresponding loss of advertising reach and efficiency have turned the economics of marketing upside down. The cost of reaching consumers with advertising messages and promotional offers is rising unsustainably, even as consumer tolerance for such messaging declines. In the meantime….


the Internet has torn down the power from big companies. Once, financial planners at big companies could operate behind nearly impregnable fortifications. Now, there is hardly any event that takes place that doesn’t become exposed to one and all, immediately and in perpetuity. Whereupon…..


thanks to the rise of social media, the news becomes conversational currency worldwide. And all of this happened at a moment in time when…


the public has decided that it cares nog only about financial services but about the values and conduct of the financial planners. Trust now frequently trumps even quality and price.

So, what does work in the new age? Where do ‘authentic customer relationships’ come from?

It’s just like a successful marriage: Honesty. Transparency. Shared values. A purpose beyond profit. And as you know, in a marriage it’s all about giving and taking. That means you have to give a high-quality financial planning service. But that’s not enough. To make your marriage work you can’t manipulate, seduce, persuade, flatter or entertain your spouse into loyalty. You have to treat your spouse like a real human being. As well as your client. Your client isn’t an abstract consumer or some data points on a spreadsheet.

But not to worry, this shift to the ‘Relationship Age’ is only a temporary inconvenience for a permanent improvement. Whether you are the financial planner working on your own or a multinational corporation in wealth management, embracing ‘Relationship Age’ practices is sustainable in a way that even the most (superficially) efficient mass marketing never was.

It isn’t hard to adapt to the ‘Relationship Age’. But it’s important to complement your marketing strategy with Credibility, Care and Congruency. Ask yourself the following questions about your business and brand:

– Does your financial planning service engender public trust by delivering on your promises?

– Does your service understand your clients needs and seek to fulfill them?

– Does its every action resonate with deeply held values?

The financial service business that win now make their clients life better first and worry about profits later.

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To your success,

Ronald Sier

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