by Tony Vidler
This is how much professional services marketing has changed in just the last few years…the head of a national real estate firm which settles 14,000 deals a year explained the marketing process and how they achieve their results. Here it is:
Of course there is lot of other data which is interesting, but these 2 highlight how the marketing and sales process have become intertwined, and how marketing needs to position the professional.
The traditional method of consumers seeing a local agent and essentially asking them to canvas the market and shortlist possibilities is almost gone in real estate. The consumers are shopping the market themselves, and during that shopping process they are formulating their own shortlist of both properties and potential professionals to use.
The way consumers are buying has already changed. Like the real estate industry, the actual implementation of advice – or selection and settlement of the particular product – remains difficult for many consumers, and they continue to use the professional to facilitate that.
We are still in an era where the majority of the financial services “deals” are completed in person.
That won’t hold true forever, and it has in fact already shifted substantially in recent years as some of “the deals” for consumers in our space are reasonably simple and straightforward. For instance, somebody buying a funeral insurance policy where there is no underwriting, a static sum insured and a minimal premium really doesn’t feel the need to get a professional opinion most of the time. Nor do the majority of people buying basic insurance products, or employer sponsored retirement plans. These are easy decisions for many consumers. Perhaps for us it will settle into something like 60% of the deals are completed in person. Perhaps.
Where our experience is already quite consistent with the real estate industry I believe is that the overwhelming majority of customer enquiries where advice is required begin online.
Future clients have begun their self-education, product and expertise selection, and conducted their due diligence on professionals online and via their peers – before we even know we are being considered as potential advisers.
So where do you think the bulk of your future marketing efforts should be directed?