In the movie Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise plays Jerry Maguire, a maverick sports agent desperate to hold on to his one remaining client. Rod Tidwell, played by Cuba Gooding Jr., is an Arizona Cardinal wide receiver.
The movie’s famous “show me the money” scene starts out with Jerry asking Rod, “What can I do for you, Rod? You just tell me, what can I do for you?”
Rod’s reply: “Show me the money.”
It’s a powerful, emotional scene. Jerry is a talented, idealistic sports agent, passionate about serving his client’s best interests. But before he can do so, he needs Rod to take a risk, to trust him, to engage. Rod is, understandably, skeptical. Why should he put his future in Jerry’s hands, instead of working with other, more conventional sports agents? Why should he take that leap of faith?
And what does any of this have to do with our work at SUM180?
At SUM180 we believe that everyone deserves a plan for their money. That’s why we designed a financial wellness service that would meet every client wherever he or she was. But we always knew that, apart from the huge technical challenges, our biggest challenge would be finding ways to reach and engage the underserved clients for whom we had designed SUM180:
- Individuals who, for various reasons, had “tuned out” of dealing with their money
- Individuals who didn’t feel heard or respected by the financial services industry in general
- Individuals who felt that financial wellness was for “other” people, not for them
When it comes to engaging individual clients – who often have emotional and complicated reservations when it comes to dealing with their money – our approach at SUM180 is not that different from Jerry Maguire’s. Just tell us what can we do for you, and we’ll show you the money. In other words, we listen actively and deeply to our clients. Their input and feedback enables us to continually improve our service, and deliver the personalized financial advice and support they truly need.
Listening (to both corporate and individual clients) so we can meet you wherever you are
When SUM180 partners with corporate clients to offer our financial wellness service to their employees, our deep listening approach simply expands. When you, our corporate partners, tell us what we can do for your company, that includes helping us understand your company’s culture so we can find ways to integrate SUM180 naturally into the culture of your company. When you identify needs specific to your employees as a group, we are able to customize a SUM180 program to meet those needs. This client-centered adaptability and agility is key to delivering financial wellness programs that engage and empower behavioral change for your employees. We listen so we can meet you – and your employees – where you are. Our goal is for each of your employees to respond to your SUM180 program with, “This feels right for me. I can do this!”
Connecting and inspiring through stories
We know that when we capture the hearts and minds of your employees, engagement skyrockets, but it’s getting there that’s the trick. First, we need raving fans within your company at the leadership level – because when your leadership team buys in, your employees will too. How do we win over the decision-makers at your company? Then, how do we inspire your employees to take a leap of faith and engage with their own financial wellness? One answer to both questions: the power of stories. In SUM180’s online community, members are constantly posting questions, sharing what they’ve learned, and offering one another support. Dealing with one’s money is less intimidating when you’re part of a community grappling with similar questions and challenges. Others’ stories can show your employees that they are not alone – that no one is perfect, but that anyone can start wherever they are and take steps to improve their situation. This is incredibly empowering!
Easy does it
We would be thrilled to have you and your employees to fall in love with SUM180, but at the end of the day, SUM180 is a digital product. How many people do you know who claim to love their computer? Not many; it is a tool, after all. That’s why, at SUM180, we leverage behavioral change tactics to create a digital relationship with our users that goes beyond what’s possible with most such tools. For example, when your employees use SUM180, they do not receive a conventional financial plan. A SUM180 plan highlights accomplishments – what each user has already done right. It also focuses on the three bite-size, actionable next steps that are most important for each user. The positive reinforcement and the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing each manageable step is powerfully engaging. This keeps people coming back!
To recap, here at SUM180, we have learned that in order to inspire engagement with a digital product, the following are critical:
- Truly understanding and connecting with the company culture
- Creating raving fans, especially at the leadership level
- Sharing success stories (don’t worry, members are free to share anonymously if they choose)
- Leveraging behavioral change tactics create a digital relationship
So, go ahead. Tell us what we can do for your employees’ financial wellness. We’ll show you the money.