Steve May

Winning and maintaining client trust is crucial to commercial success for any business. For advice businesses, client trust will an important ingredient in lead generation in 2019, in the wake of the Hayne royal commission.

‘Don’t do the same thing all the time’ is a mantra for many successful businesses. If you expect a result from merely impersonating your competitors or you stick with doing the same things you’ve always done, you’ll probably go hungry in the race for leads.

Likewise, skip the hard sell. In 2019, taking a more nurturing approach may even grab the attention of leads before they realise they’re ready to buy from you.

In truth, many prospects are cautious about opting into financial planning. These fears may relate to the extent of their personal wealth, or a prospect may not be sure if a planning service is for them. These inhibitions can stymie contact with your firm. Throw in negative press from the royal commission and you have a strong argument that educating clients about the usefulness of planning will be critical for your marketing.

Nurture, don’t nag

Educating prospects by offering free eBooks, newsletters, white papers, or a weekly podcast is a fundamental way of engaging early in the buying cycle. By giving something of value for free, you can also shape a potential client’s view about a successful planning engagement.

Steve May, from Newcastle-based financial planning outfit Steve May Financial Services, started writing a blog in June 2016 and discovered the content could be repurposed for his firm’s website, newsletters, and social media channels such as LinkedIn.

“We see our blog as a low-cost way to tell people that we are experts and have an opinion on a wide variety of subjects, whether it’s the retail versus industry super fund debate or tips for buying a first home,” May says. “The blog is a low-pressure way for leads to get some information about us before they make contact.”

By far the biggest challenge when nurturing is that it takes patience. Just because a client downloads a gated eBook, and gives you their email address in the process, doesn’t mean they want to be hounded immediately. A successful program nurtures the prospect by engaging them with additional content.

Strategically, nurturing enables lead scoring, which is the ability to rank a prospect’s readiness to buy, based on their engagement levels.

Learn from the experts

There is no doubt that commissioning some marketing expertise to assist with lead generation makes sound business sense. This support can range from using an online tool to getting an expert to run the program for you.

Automation tools, such as those mentioned in my recent blog, are a great way of scoring and gathering data about your prospects. The more information you have about a prospect’s interest before you pull the sales trigger and make direct contact, the better.

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