Financial advisor websites serve several marketing functions:
- Create an electronic first impression
- Deliver information about firms and professionals
- Provide educational content that impacts investor decisions
- Convert visitors into contacts with immediate needs
- Convert visitors into contacts that have deferred needs
FYI, the definition of a deferred need is an investor who is gathering information now that will help them make better financial decisions in the future. Their biggest immediate decision may be information that helps them select the best financial advisor. These investors will be ready to interview investors when they get closer to a target date, for example, the month they retire.
This can make an advisor’s most powerful sales tool a well-constructed website. There are no prospects if financial advisor websites fail to do their jobs – that is, create a positive first impression, deliver the right information, and convert more visitors into qualified contacts (leads).
This may contradict the strategies of a lot of advisors who rely on their sales skills to produce new clients. However, this process is not about converting prospects into clients. It is about websites converting visitors into prospects.
Two Types of Website Contacts
Let’s assume investors use the Internet to find advisors (advisor-seekers) and information (information-seekers). Both types represent marketing opportunities when they visit financial advisor websites.
Many advisors measure the productivity of their websites based on the numbers of advisor-seekers who contact them. This makes sense because they represent the best opportunity to produce immediate revenue.
Therefore, they pay more attention to the advisor-seekers and less attention to the information-seekers.
This is a big mistake. Some of their best prospects are the information-seekers, but their websites may not deliver the information that investors are seeking. For example, investors download an eBook on a retirement pain point, like what they read, and contact the advisor for an appointment.
It stands to reason there are a lot more people retiring in the future than there are people who are retiring in the next 60 days. So, timing should be an integral part of a financial advisor’s website marketing strategy.
The advisors’ goal for this marketing strategy is simple. They want to be the source of the information the investors are seeking. When they are the source, they have an opportunity to build credibility, name recognition, and rapport. Even more important, they have a competitive advantage compared to advisors who were not the investors’ source of information.
This makes sense because all marketing strategies are based on the numbers:
- How many investors visited an advisor’s website?
- How many investors registered to download an eBook?
- How many investors filled out a landing page?
- How many investors had an immediate need to talk now?
- How many investors had a deferred need?
The more sales opportunities that are created by advisor websites the more clients they produce for their firms – now and in the future.
Most investors have very little knowledge about advisors, their planning and investment services, and their methods of compensation. This makes them vulnerable to lower quality advisors and advisors with the best sales skills and personalities.
However, the Internet opens to door to vast amounts of information on financial advisor websites that help them make better financial decisions starting with selecting the best financial advisors.
Financial advisor websites should be the source of information that investors rely on to learn more about financial advisors and the firms that own the websites.
Power to Investors
One of an investor’s biggest fears is selecting the wrong advisor. This is even more true if they have had a bad experience with a previous advisor.
Their risk escalates when their only source of information is the advisor. This is one of the primary reasons why increasing numbers of investors use the Internet to find and research advisors.
The Internet is not only their source of information, but they can also maintain their anonymity while they are learning, and they can determine who they want to contact and when they initiate the contact.
Advisors add to their credibility when they are the source of information that investors rely on to make their financial decisions.
Subjectivity vs Objectivity
Advisors open the door to more marketing opportunities when they use their websites to convert investors’ subjective selection processes in objective processes.
A high percentage of investors use subjective processes when they select financial advisors. For example, they select advisors they like the best, or the advisors who:
- Create the highest expectations
- Tell them what they want to hear
- Work at brand name firms
They do not select the advisors with the best credentials, ethics, business practices, and services.
This creates a major business opportunity for advisors who rely on their websites to produce qualified prospects for their services.
The Power of the Website
Every financial advisor has a website, but this does not level the playing field. Websites need traffic to be productive. Traffic is produced by Internet visibility – investors have to find financial advisors to visit their websites.
This is not a lot different than the experiences of most consumers when they shop at the mall. They visit the mall to find what they are looking for. Their searches lead them to particular stores. They visit the stores and become a buyer if they find what they are looking for.
On the other hand, what if there are several stores in the mall that sell the same products/services? Each store has a one-time opportunity to convince shoppers (visitors) to buy what the store is selling or in the case of financial advisors initiate contact to schedule an appointment or obtain information about the firm or about a financial topic.
Welcome to the Internet, the mall investors visit to find advisors and information.