OK So How did We Get Here?
In the late 1980's when I first entered into Financial Sales the emphasis was on product knowledge. Companies including IBM, NCR and Xerox were famous for their rigorous product training programs. In some cases the salesperson could not even have a conversation with a potential client for more than a year.
Customers soon learned to trust the salesperson who knew the most. Pretty much all companies starting having dedicated trainers and began setting standards for necessary sales knowledge. In Financial Services this was an improvement because early on the emphasis was really on getting the money and saving whatever was necessary to get the deal.
As most salespeople became product competent the buyer could no longer distinguish who to buy from based on knowledge. About this same time (mid to late 1990's) sales psychology became the new buzzword. Sales People began studying Hypnosis and NLP as way to trigger the buying response. In many cases these sales were made regardless of the best interests of the client.
Soon most companies were relying on scripts and techniques and this popularity caused the buyer to find out the level to which they were being manipulated. They knew they had to protect themselves at all costs from being tricked into a purchase.
This coupled with the fraud and crime being reported so regularly in the media and you have the situation we currently live in today. The Bottom Line is Your Customer Does Not Know What They Want Because They Have Forgotten Who They Are.