It must have been said a thousand times now – the pandemic and subsequent lockdown has inspired advisers and planners to change the way they run their businesses.
Existing plans to move into digital have been accelerated, and now clients and advisers alike are benefitting from these time-saving processes: portals with easy-to-read data, cashflow modelling they can access on their terms, and flexible communication.
And while advisers may have been apprehensive at the thought of working remotely with clients, many have found they welcome it. Why interrupt your day when you can have a video call with your adviser at your convenience? No schlepping into town or aggro finding a parking spot.
The only casualty is your carefully selected brand of coffee beans and organic shortbreads. Clients will have to supply their own.
But have you upped your game in all other areas? Are you telling people about these benefits and time-saving measures? Are you communicating this in a clear, approachable, conversational tone?
Now that you’ve implemented these changes, you don’t want the rest of your marketing collateral to let the side down: to seem inconsistent or old hat.
Where to start?
You have a lot of areas to explore here: from your website to your emails, your stationery and brochures. I’m going to dive into the detail and home in on one area that can be a quick fix, that’s really important to get right. That’s client testimonials.
Clients can tell an anodyne testimonial a mile off.
That line from the client with the fake name and the cheesy grin about how you were always on time is not going to cut it anymore.
And not getting this right is a missed opportunity.
Authentic testimonials prove what that you’ve said is true and are a powerful tool in your marketing kit. So whether you’re starting them from scratch or editing them from VouchedFor, here are some quick pointers:
Make sure they tell a story
Ideally what we’re looking for is a beginning, middle and end: what was the situation before, what problem was that causing and how did they feel afterwards once it was resolved?
Compare a) with b) below and you’ll hopefully see what I mean:
a) “The unfailing courtesy, friendliness and expertise we receive from ABC Wealth makes any contact a pleasant and positive experience.”
b) “All I wanted was to leave work at 60, but I didn’t know if I could do it or not. I‘d ended up with a huge pile of stuff that frightened the pants off me. Geoff instantly took my anxiety away.”
In the second example, we’re getting straight to the meat here, i.e. the transformation that you help clients to achieve. This has much more of an impact than the first, which is still nice, but could be about any service provider.
Edit them (but not too much)
You don’t want people to get bored reading these, so make sure they’re punchy. But don’t edit them so much that they lose their fizz; you don’t want to cut out the natural turns of phrase that make them so genuine.
Also don’t be afraid to use them in the first person, directly as they’re spoken – this makes them much more immediate.
Vary the details
Choose an even spread of testimonials that showcase the range of services you provide, so they’re not all talking about pension planning. Sprinkle these with aspects of your service such as accessibility, friendliness, efficiency etc. The time-saving aspects of working digitally, how convenient it was, how secure…seeing these themes repeated will make it more believable.
Don’t hide them all on one page
Spread the love and think about where you place your testimonials. The home page is your first port of call. But there are other key pages too, such as your contact page. Try and match the quote to the theme of the page – for example, if it’s on your “About us” page, make sure it covers you. If it’s on your “Contact us” page, make sure it’s about your speedy response.
So there we have it. Using your testimonials strategically can add another layer of messaging that complements the claims you’ve made elsewhere on your website. They say that people need to be told something 7 times before they remember it, but testimonials are a great way to repeat positive themes without sounding boring.
Ultimately, they can help prospects see what it’s really like to work with you and move them to take action.
Email: [email protected]
About Faith Liversedge
Faith Liversedge is an experienced communicator with a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the adviser profession. She was Marketing Manager at Nucleus for 5 years, creating innovative and award-winning campaigns. Before that she worked for Standard Life, Prudential and Royal London. In 2017 she set up her own consultancy to help forwardthinking financial advisers and planners to become more profitable through websites, communications and other laser-focused marketing techniques.