You work hard for your clients. They, in return, sometimes refer you to their friends and family. Of course you appreciate it, but doesn’t it seem pretty rare?
But…what if you really were getting a lot more referrals, but didn’t even know it?
That might be happening.
Spenser Segal, CEO of ActiFi, Inc., wanted to find out more about financial advisor referrals from both the client and the advisor perspective. He purchased data from a large survey company. His staff then spent months analyzing the data, which included tens of thousands of questionnaires from a broad range of advisors and their clients.
Some of his findings were not surprising. For example, they determined that referrals remain the source of between 80 to 90% of all new clients.
His next finding was quite eye opening:
According to Segal’s research, he estimates that out of every 10 referrals, advisors were seeing at most one prospect. So, the other 90% would likely go to the advisor’s website, check them out, and decide not to make contact.
So the good news is that you are probably getting far more referrals than you realize. The bad news is, they are likely deciding not to do business with you after one visit to your website!
What can you do to stop the bleeding and make sure you’re not losing these valued referrals?
- Make sure your website effectively differentiates your firm. Many advisors have been wooed by the inexpensive template-based website services out there. These are definitely affordable, but there’s a big catch. Your website will likely look and feel a lot like most other advisors. That’s exactly what can cause these treasured referrals to look at your site and move on. While you and your clients know your strengths, your website may not be effectively communicating them. So it’s important to understand that saving money on website design may sound good in theory but may be a costly decision, if it costs your firm referrals. Instead, invest the time and money to make sure your financial advisor website effectively represents your firm in a unique and engaging way.
- Ensure that your website copy is doing its job. You’ve probably heard the saying “Content is King”. Well, good content starts with good web copy. You’ve only got a few seconds to capture the visitor’s interest. If your web copy is simply a written version of a boring brochure, the referral visitor may again choose to move on. Your copy should reflect your firm’s values and communicate what your clients get out of working with you. It has to be stated in an emotionally engaging way. Web copy is vital so again, shortcuts are usually counterproductive. Whatever you save here can be lost hundreds of times over with lost referral business. So invest the time and money with your staff and a copywriting pro to do it right.
- Offer quality, original content that addresses your clients’ main concerns. Your website’s main goal online is to engage the visitor. You can do that by providing content that is interesting to your target market. The simplest way to do that is with a blog. But here again, it’s tempting to just subscribe to a mass content service so that you instantly have as many blog articles as you need.
As with template-based websites, using mass produced content has its price as well. This content is not written by you or written for you. It doesn’t do much to help a website visitor see your perspective, or how you could help them.
Instead, invest some time writing your own original content. If writing is not your thing, find a knowledgeable financial writing service that can help turn your thoughts into words.
There’s many more action steps to take, but these basics can get you started.
Remember, you’ve only got one shot at a referral. If they check out your site and decide there’s no reason to contact you, they are not likely to return. So invest the time and resources up front so your online presence is as recommendation-worthy as your firm itself.
Jeanne Klimowski is the Founder of Wavelength Financial Content Inc. Wavelength is a Paladin Digital Marketing Partner.