by Tony Vidler
One of the ongoing challenge in marketing professional services is simply getting people to “act now”. We have to overcome the 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….there is little urgency, or immediacy. In the customers minds they are saying 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.
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.
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.
To help resolve this issue we should consider introducing service features that 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. It is the additional valuable benefits that are available on a restricted basis which become the compelling offer to act now.
Some may feel that this is simply salesmanship, however the reality is that while our service 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.
You may also find this post useful: A Common Sense Approach To Getting Clients To ACT0