The other day I was part of a meeting with several others. We were discussing the recent media attention about the industry and specifically about the negative press that the industry as a whole was receiving and the implied lack of growth. There was a great deal of doom and gloom amongst the other people at the meeting about the apparent poor reputation of the industry, which as a marketing person I couldn’t really comprehend. From every corner of business, small business, large business, government, religion and yes, financial services, there are true, honest, kind, compassionate leaders that can be trusted. And, unfortunately, there are dishonest, unscrupulous people who behave unethically. And unfortunately, nowhere is this more obvious than in the realm of marketing.
How can we fix it?
Firstly let me start by saying that we are all in sales, I acknowledge that you may be in the business of offering strategic advice but when it boils down to it, it is a sales process. And all sales processes need a high level of trust, especially in the world of financial advice. The process starts with a simple conversation. It may be a conversation between you and a potential client, between one of your clients and a potential referral, between one of your business partners and a potential client or between your website and social media platforms and a potential client. An effective marketing strategy will turn these conversations into relationships of trust with these potential clients over time. Remember not everyone is ready to engage with your advice, just yet.
We know that people buy from those they trust and this is never truer than for financial advice and for the times we live in now. If you don’t have the trust it doesn’t matter how well your systems work, how well you’ve defined your offer or priced your advice. If a potential client doesn’t trust you, you have no opportunity to change their lives for the positive.
This also applies with your referral partners. Perhaps you set up what you thought would be a rewarding professional relationship but over time, you haven’t been receiving the referrals you envisaged you would. The trust element is woven throughout the fabric of your business. And, its for that reason that your marketing strategy should support that and communicate loud and clear why and how you can be trusted and supported by others who have experienced that trust.
What are they thinking?
When someone meets you for the very first time they are thinking, consciously or not, “Who are you and how can you help me?” Knowing that, we all need to ensure that we are able to communicate the answer to that question quickly and concisely and this can be done throughout your marketing communications strategy.
Your potential client and referral partner may also be thinking?
- Can you really deliver what you say you can? Demonstrate that through your experience. Show them that you can because you have a positive track record.
- Can they trust you to hold their personal information and that it wont be shared? Explain how you do that.
- Do they like the other people in your business, can they trust them? If they are to liaise with any other people in your business make sure you introduce them and share their credentials.
- Do they believe that taking your advice will result in the outcomes they are looking for? Demonstrate you’re past experience working with people just like them.
If you are looking for a pipeline of clients that will want to take your advice and referral partners that want to work with you, remember that you can never under estimate the level of trust that you need to communicate to them to ensure you get the amount of clients your business needs to grow.
Trust has been spoken about for decades across all service based industries but I believe now more than ever before your marketing message needs to be reviewed to ensure that you are articulating and supporting the fact that you can be trusted because trust is something that is being questioned and written about by many people at the moment.
Review your website, marketing collateral and every touch point where a client and referral partner may interact with your business, is there any evidence that they can see, hear or read that demonstrates that you and your business can be trusted? If the answer is no, then I would suggest that this is a golden opportunity to address that and shout from the rafters that you can be trusted and explain why.
I know that some advice businesses don’t have a marketing plan and I never understand why. Marketing encompasses many elements of a business and in this article we’ve addressed just one being trust. If we all know that relationships are built on trust and that trust is being questioned by the media and some clients, why aren’t more businesses communicating the fact that they can be trusted? Your marketing will do that for you.
If you would like to know more about how you can improve your marketing then please feel free to get in contact email@example.com