by Tony Vidler
Everyone wants easy business yet we so often make it harder than it has to be. Get the low-hanging fruit first. Twice as easy to get, and just as sweet.
Nothing is wrong with it – and it’s smart business.
It’s not always simple to recognise where the easy business is, but some very interesting numbers provide the answers as to where the “easiest” business is to be had for most advisers.
Let’s see how these apparently un-related facts add up to an opportunity:
* The majority of new prospective customers are unlikely to be talking to you first. They are more likely to be talking to the people who already do know you though or know of you, so the impression that those people have of you matters enormously.
* How the typical adviser describes themselves professionally causes confusion, or doesn’t seem right, or doesn’t clearly convey what they really do. That should be an easy fix, right?
* Most advisers are too impatient to let the prospect move along the decision-making path at their own speed, and either lose touch or push the prospect away through trying to force decisions before they are ready. A lot of genuine opportunities are simply “lost”.
Add to that, we know instinctively that the more time we spend with people giving them good practical help without pressure, then the more likely they are to turn into good long term customers that trust us and and follow our advice.
Finally, there has been research in recent years showing that generally “nurtured” leads make 47% larger purchases than newly qualified people who are being “sold to” immediately. Those nurtured leads also have higher conversion rates – 50% more of them result in sales. From a cost per client perspective the research says nurtured leads actually cost about 33% less to acquire in marketing costs, than quick one-off sales.
Several conclusions can be drawn from all of this:
1. There is a massive opportunity for advisers to engage better with their existing clients. There is research which suggests even our own clients don’t see us as their primary information source. Do you have a content strategy within your marketing to ensure that you are delivering the right sort of information consistently to be THE trusted source to yoiur existing clients? If not, why not? It HAS to be where the easiest wins are – or the “low-hanging fruit” (and lots of it too it seems). Spending more time educating, empoowering and delivering value to our existing clients will undoubtedly (in my mind) deliver higher returns than many alternative uses of our time or money.
2. There HAS to be a trust-barrier between the consumer and the adviser if what the adviser says they do is not what the consumer sees in action. That HAS to affect the advisers ability to do the business. Is your marketing, information, branding and labelling actually consistent with what you really do? If you have a clever and grand-sounding title is it consistent with what the consumer sees and hears you talking about? If not, change the title. Or do what you say you are. But whatever you do, get it consistent and on point and remove confusion from prospects and customers minds.
3. Given the choice between spending limited marketing budget on generating new leads – many of whom you will never get across the line potentially – or spending it on existing customers, which is logically the best allocation of your limited resource? If you dare, work out how much you spent on marketing for new clients, and how many new clients you actually got for it. Compare it to how much you spent on “marketing” to your existing clients – and how much you got from that.
So before rushing oiut and spending enormous effort and resource trying to gather more interest from strangers;
Simple and consistent content marketing of useful information to build trust and credibility, within your own network and clientele to begin with will be the most effective marketing spend. It is also the most effective way to get the low hanging fruit of greater wallet share from existing clients and their networks of influence – and there is a lot more of it ready to be picked than most advisers realise.