I know financial planning changes lives.

    You know financial planning changes lives.

    Your clients know financial planning changes lives.

    But prospective clients don’t.

    This problem was described brilliantly by Deb and Lyn, clients of Fotis Joannou at Sentient Wealth, during a recent interview when they said: “I don’t think people realise that they need a financial adviser until they’ve got a financial adviser.”

    Evidence shows that Deb and Lyn are right; research from Boring Money revealed earlier this year that only 9 per cent of adults in the UK have a financial adviser.

    Even fewer will have a financial planner. Hell, most consumers don’t know the difference between financial advice and financial planning. 

    So, how do we get more consumers to engage with financial planning?

    We could tell them about the benefits. We could tell them how financial planning will help them live a better life, how it will help them understand if they have ‘enough’, how it will put them in control.

    But should we tell them?

    No.

    We should show them.

    The telling problem is particularly acute on planners’ websites.

    Most tell consumers about the benefits of financial planning rather than showing them. Despite your website being your shop window, into which most prospects will peer into before contacting you.

    Firms who insist on telling miss a huge opportunity to set themselves apart from other firms and create more engaged prospects.

    Use social proof to show the benefits of financial planning

    Short films of your clients telling their stories are the ‘gold standard’ of social proof. There’s something extremely powerful about someone who has gone through the financial planning process explaining how it’s changed their life.

    Modern technology makes them easy to produce. And, if you ask the right clients, in the right way, you will have no shortage of volunteers.

    Once filmed and edited, a client stories section should be added to your website with each film having a dedicated page, which includes:

    • The video
    • A hero statement (a killer quote showcasing the main benefit the client gets from working with you)
    • A transcript (not everyone can, or wants to, watch a video)

    An example of how we do this can be found in Deb and Lyn's story here.

    Of course, there’s no guarantee that every website visitor will head to your client stories page. That means we need to take a leaf out of the social media giants’ playbook.

    They don’t have a page of adverts you can visit if the mood takes you. Instead, they scatter the adverts throughout your timeline, so you have no choice but to see them.

    That’s exactly what we need to do with your client videos (and other social proof) by placing them prominently on the most popular pages so a higher proportion of visitors see and interact with them.

    Client videos aren’t enough 

    Showing how individual clients benefit from financial planning is crucial. However, more cynical prospects might suggest that you will only ask your happiest clients to be filmed. And they're probably right!

    So, we need to show that the vast majority of your clients are happy, which is where client surveys and online reviews (Google and VouchedFor are our preferred platforms) come into play.

    Not only will these reviews show the majority of your clients are happy, but they will also impress prospective clients who first meet you on a Google search, which they’ve run either for your brand or a service they require.

    Building social proof isn’t hard 

    Sure, it’s easier to tell rather than showbut building social proof isn’t difficult:

    • Sending an email asking for Google or VouchedFor reviews takes a couple of hours
    • Amending internal procedures to make sure they are regularly topped up is easy
    • Running a client survey project takes longer, but the benefits your business will accrue are huge
    • Asking clients to appear in a video might make you nervous, yet in reality, most will be very happy to help

    If you’re up for the challenge you will set your business apart from the pack and prospective clients will arrive at your door ‘pre-sold’ and ready to do business.

    Here’s a little story to end on to show that this works.

    We recently ran a project to collect more Google and VouchedFor reviews for a great planning firm in Bristol.

    I chatted to a planner there last week who told me that later that day he’d got a meeting with a new prospect who had specifically come to them after being impressed by their positive Google reviews.

    That’s the benefit of showing, not telling!

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