Speaking at the 2014 Protection Review Conference in London this morning he explained how the industry must push its products out to a wider audience.
He cited physicist Brian Cox, whose accessible TV series ‘Wonders of the Universe’ contrasts markedly with his paper ‘Double Diffraction Dissociation at Large Momentum Transfer’, as a lesson to advisers. Like him, they must be able to make the complicated appear simple.
Williams said: “People in this room are the best and the worst people at solving this problem.
“You’ve got so much knowledge but it becomes really hard to think like the people you do business with.
“You think people are just as interested about protection as us!”
Running through a step-by-step guide of what advisers are getting wrong, Williams said they should stop leading on the price, stop asking patronising rhetorical questions and stop dancing around the issue by referring to “if you die” as “if the unexpected happens” for example.
What people want, he said, is for things to sound definite, while advisers should market their products by focusing on how the consumer can be helped in their everyday lives.
He used Apple’s strategy as an example, which marketed its iPad product with a deaf lady ‘going on an adventure’ with the help of the tablet.
Williams said: “It has to feel real for people because if they do not think it is relevant to them if we treat it as a transaction.
“Why not make things a bit easier to read? Why should we make it so hard?”
“For people who aren’t quite as excited about protection as us – that’s everyone – we need to make it more vivid.”