We all know the Buyer’s Journey. As a refresher, it’s the mental phases someone goes through when they decide to purchase something. Many financial advisors spend a large amount of their marketing efforts trying to attract prospects. Prospects fall into three stages.
In the first stage, prospects are just becoming aware of a need they have. They’re about to retire, in a life transition, recently widowed, or moving. Once their need is known, they start considering their options. Does their current advisor have the right solutions? If they didn’t have an advisor, do they need one? Once the prospects have weighed their options, they start looking at the details so they can make a decision and become a new client.
This is illustrated in the funnel below:
But there’s a problem with this thought process. It’s something I realized years ago and have been teaching advisors ever since.
The major problem I have with this model is it’s not complete. The journey doesn’t stop once a prospect becomes a new client. The unfortunate truth is some of the advisors I have coached over the years spend so much time doting on their prospects that they forget to take care of their clients. Once those prospects become clients, the honeymoon phase is suddenly over.
The Buyer’s Journey can lead to buyer’s remorse if the advisor is not careful.
The journey doesn’t stop once a prospect becomes a client. Advisors need to constantly prove themselves to their clients if they want to avoid developing an attrition problem down the road, and this means building a client-centric plan.
Below is the Completed Buyer’s Journey:
Once prospects become new clients, they start looking for validation of their decision. Did they make the right choice? After that, the clients start building social bonds with the advisor. They become more loyal and less likely to change advisors in turbulent times. In the final stage, clients become the megaphones that preach the good word about the advisor to their friends and family.
At any given time, prospects and clients fall somewhere on this path. The natural flow is from top to bottom, from awareness to advocate; but if the advisor is not careful, the flow can reverse and go from advocate to attrition.
Knowing these phases is half the battle. The other half is building a marketing strategy that moves people from one phase to the next. This means developing content, systems, and events for the stages of this journey all the way to advocate. Here are some ideas to get started:
Prospect becomes aware of a need they have. Add the following brand awareness pieces to your marketing strategy that aim to educate:
- Social Content
- Free Whitepapers
- Brand Awareness Ads
- Charity Events
- Content/Events on Niche Problems
- General Education / Research
Prospect starts considering options. Add the following prospecting strategies to your plan that focus on solutions to common problems:
- Fillable forms
- Landing pages
- White Papers with Lead Capture
- Ads with Call to Action
- Content/Events on Niche Solutions
Prospect starts researching their options more closely before making a decision. Add the following to your plan to show how your company solves common problems and concerns:
- Branded Handouts on Niche Solutions
- Menu of Services
New client needs confirmation he/she made the right decision. Use the following to reinforce the new-client experience:
- Introduction Letter
- Welcome Kit
- Onboarding Process
- New Client Survey
Client and advisor ongoing relationship established. Add the following to your marketing plan to strengthen client relationships:
- Weekly emails
- Monthly letters
- Seasonal Newsletters
- Annual Client Surveys
- Touch Base Calls
- Client Reviews
Client and advisor relationship solidified. Use these tactics to create referral opportunities and experiences clients want to share:
- Larger Client Appreciation Events
- Educational Events
- Deliberate Acts of Kindness
- Birthday / Anniversary / Holiday Cards
- Intimate Social Events
Telling the right story for the right audience in each stage of this journey is paramount to the success of any practice. It’s more than just having content for the sake of content or doing events for the sake of doing events. It’s content and events with a purpose; it’s marketing with a meaning. Put the strategy in the context of where the prospects or clients are in their journey. Ask yourself, what story are they wanting to hear?
* * * * *
This blog is Part 6 in the Storytelling in Internetland series. CLICK HERE to learn the only process you’ll need to know for all marketing campaigns.