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Should Financial Advisors Offer 'Free Consultations' On Their Websites?

I have never talked to a financial advisor who said a free consultation offer produced a steady flow of new leads and contacts. Instead, the offer sits there on their website as inert as a lump of clay. 

It may look like a valuable free offer and a great financial advisor marketing tactic, but it does not produce any measurable results. The same can be said for free plan and portfolio reviews. Investors are not going to give up personal financial information to firms they don’t know or trust.

What is the problem? That is what we are going to look at in this article. And, we are going to provide a solution, but you have to read the entire article to find it. It is definitely worth your time.


The Internet is a GameChanger

Every financial advisor, who has been in the industry a few years or more, has no doubt used outbound marketing to produce new clients. Outbound is based on advisors initiating contact with investors by cold calling or sending them direct mail. This was always a disruptive marketing process because investors did not want the contact. Therefore, rejection rates approached 100%.

The Internet has changed the game. It makes inbound marketing possible where investors initiate contact with financial advisors. This is definitely a better way, but there are some serious challenges. 

Financial advisors have to give investors valid reasons for contacting them. One reason is the free offers that reside on higher quality financial advisor websites.

This is the new top of a sales funnel based on inbound marketing strategies designed to connect investors and financial advisors on the Internet, helping investors to learn more about them on their websites, and registering for a free offer that solves an important financial problem.


Is There a Better Way?

This is good news and bad news response. The good news is there is a better way. The bad news is the better way is very tactical. You have to do it right to produce a steady flow of leads and contacts

There is a four-part sales and digital marketing strategy that is critical for producing these results:

  • First, you need a free offer that is really compelling. That is why the best offers provide solutions for financial pain points. The bigger the pain point the more investors will register to get the solution.
  • Second, the free offer has to be informational or educational and not promotional. At this stage, investors are not interested in learning more about your firm. They are seeking solutions for problems and challenges (pain points). In an ideal world, your firm is a contender when it comes to implementing the solution.
  • Third, you will need a well-designed landing page that captures the desired information by making investors feel safe. Investors will not give up their anonymity and submit their contact information if they do not feel safe.
  • Fourth, use multiple CTAs (Calls To Action) throughout the side to guide investors to your landing page. 


What is the Basis for Investor Concerns?

At this point, you might be wondering what is the big concern that would cause investors and prospective clients to withhold their contact information? There are three reasons that should be addressed in a subliminal fashion that does not overtly address the issue.

First, is the investor who has spent years getting cold calls from financial advisors just as they sat down for dinner. There is no question that outbound marketing is an invasive process. The other form of invasion could be spam emails. Filters and Caller ID have greatly reduced the impact of these marketing tactics, but the concern is still there.

Second, is the investor who has had a bad experience with the financial service industry. They are the proverbial deer in the headlights. They are frozen based on their past experiences. They do not want to make the same mistakes twice. 

Third, they know giving up their contact information is the beginning of a sales process. Once you have the information you are in a position to call and email them on a frequent basis.

These investor concerns may have nothing to do with your business practices, but investors don’t know that because they do not know your firm. All they do know is they have found some intriguing financial information and they have to register to get it.  Therefore, it is imperative that you get them over the hump by addressing their concerns without acting defensive.


How to Design a Compelling Financial Offer

There is no secret sauce for designing a compelling free offer that produces the results you are seeking. This is simpler than you think. All you have to do is ask yourself four important questions.

First, is your firm positioned to provide an expert response? People don’t go to brain surgeons for knee replacements. They want advice from firms that specialize in providing particular types of advice and services. Does the content on your website position you as an expert on particular financial topics. 

That’s right, the content on your website may be the determining factor that will cause investors to register for your free offer.

Second, does your free offer solve an important financial problem for your ideal type of client? Let’s say your target market is investors who are going to retire in the next 24 months (pre-retirees). You want to reach them before they start finalizing pre-retirement financial decisions. Your tactic is to identify a major concern (pain point) and write an eBook on the topic. This is the free offer that is strategically located throughout your website.

Third, on the landing page, why is your firm uniquely qualified to solve this problem? It pays to have proof statements that are backed up by testimonials and reviews from current clients that support your statements.

Fourth, without giving investment advice in an eBook, will the solution to the problem drive investors back to your firm when they are ready to implement the solution you recommend in the eBook? This may be simpler than it sounds. The eBook has established your expertise on a particular financial topic. You are the solution to their financial problem. The next step is to schedule a time for an initial interview.

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