by Tony Vidler
One of the ongoing challenge in marketing professional services is simply getting people to “act now”. We have to overcome their lack of urgency.
Our service will still be there tomorrow, right? And usually the need to be addressed is a future need, and maybe well into the future….so there is little urgency, or immediacy. In the customers minds they are often thinking things like:
“The insurance probably won’t be needed until I am in my 50’s really.”
“Retirement is still 22 years away….”
“That tax return isn’t due for 4 more months…I’ve got time…”
…and on it goes.
To be fair though, the customers are sort of right. There often IS still plenty of time to plan. The mortality statistics ARE on there side. There really isn’t actually “urgency” to act. It’s not like we have product scarcity driving a frenzy of potential “buyers” lined up at the shop door…you know; “only 12 insurance policies left” or “hurry! Retirement plans in their final days“.
But acting sooner rather than later is one of the keys to successful financial planning, right? We know that the earlier they act, or plan, the lower the overall cost to them in the long run, and the more (or better) choices they have for managing their future needs. We know too that if we can get them to act earlier there is a stronger likelihood of us being able to deliver a strategy and a plan that actually achieves what they wanted. So time is of the essence really.
The dilemma then is that while the customers are right in that there is often not an urgent requirement to act in the next week (or whatever), it is important that they do actually get on and act, rather than wait until a crisis comes and there is genuine urgency. High importance, but low urgency is something that advisers need to resolve on the clients behalf.
One way to do this is to consider introducing a service features that does deliver a sense of urgency. A marketing department might call that a “compelling offer” perhaps. Something which says subtly “do this now and gain this additional valuable benefit because you acted now”.
There are a host of genuine compelling offers that help customers decide to act now rather than defer seeking advice, that have proven track records in professional services. Some examples would be:
The point is that we can create a sense of urgency to act by introducing an element of scarcity, or a guarantee, or additional resources that are not usually available and then placing some genuine restrictions upon them. They are for a limited time. Or they are for a limited number of customers. or they are for a fixed price, or saving. Or buying the bundle does include stuff they otherwise wouldn’t have got, or got at that price point. It is the additional valuable benefits that are available on a restricted basis which become the compelling offer to act now.
It is simply marketing perhaps but the reality is that while our service and expertise is important and valuable, we do need to try and create the sense of urgency to act if we are to help customers to our best ability to achieve what they aspire to. Bundling products & services into a “value package” can do it, and so too can introducing exclusivity or scarcity if they are genuine. So think about this: how many new clients can you actually handle and take on personally this year?
For my business there is an absolute limit to how many I can coach personally. Simply putting it out there that I can only work with 15 pesonal clients a year does create a sense of exclusivity and urgency and shortens the clients decision-making timeframe. And that is ok…it is not false “salesmanship” and nor is it doing a disservice to dozens of others who may (or may not) have wanted to work with me…I can’t help everyone and am not going to try either.
So how many new clients can you actually handle personally this year?
Why not tell your target market that there is a limit? that will get some folk moving at least I’d bet.