Today’s consumers expect a more immersive conversation with their potential financial advisor before subscribing to their services. The excess of information readily available to all consumers requires you to work harder—and smarter—to convert your leads into clients. The days of sending a one-off postcard are over. Clients want to create a relationship with you before enlisting your services.
Mapping the content that you create to different buying stages can help you maximize the success of your omnichannel strategies. To optimize the success of your content, you need to consider the different needs of your prospects at each stage of the sales funnel.
The Anatomy of a Sales Funnel
Even for the most analytic consumer, making a purchase is ultimately an emotional decision. To truly understand what will appeal to your prospect, you need to know where they stand in the sales funnel.
The most simple model of a sales funnel has three very important stages:
Stage 1: Awareness
This is the first step in a prospective buyer’s journey, and they may not even know what specific services they require at this point in the process. They are doing their research on potential financial advisors by scouring blog posts, the social media accounts of potential advisors, and industry trends in order to see what works best for their needs.
Stage 2: Consideration
The evaluation stage is much more involved, and the prospect is now looking closely at what you offer. What sets you apart from your competitors? Do you offer the specific services that they will require? In addition to the services themselves, clients will be examining their possible professional relationship with your firm. Are your personalities the right fit? Do you respond to their questions quickly and concisely?
Stage 3: Purchase
This is the final stage in your sales funnel, where you leverage your ongoing communication with the prospect to finally convert them to a client. In order to truly sell your services to your client, spend time highlighting your experience in the industry and what sets you apart from the crowd. Really drive home what you deliver for your clients! This will, of course, encompass your financial services, but don’t forget to mention how you cultivate relationships and deliver peace of mind every step of the way.
How to Tailor Content to Each Stage of the Sales Funnel
Too many companies get hung up on the sale itself and neglect the first two stages of the process. Creating a relationship with your future clients takes time, and your prospects will have unique needs at each stage of the sales funnel. An effective marketing strategy will create content that addresses those needs and distributes it across multiple channels. This sounds daunting, but don’t panic! Here are some steps to guide you through this process:
Define the content needs of each stage in the sales funnel
Before you start hammering out your content, you need to take some time to evaluate what each prospect wants to see. This can be a daunting task, but breaking down the data will help you determine the needs of each persona.This data includes the life stages of your ideal client, their demographics (age, net worth, location, etc.), and what financial services will be most helpful.
Once you have your ideal client in mind, you can brainstorm what will most appeal to this user at each stage of the sales funnel. For example:
Stage 1: Awareness
The awareness stage is vital to starting a new relationship with your prospect. This is the stage where you want to build trust and establish yourself as an authority in the financial services industry. Talk about your accomplishments, tell the story of how you started your career as a financial advisor, and post rave client reviews. Having a compelling narrative helps build brand awareness and convinces clients to pick you over the competition.
Once this content has been created, use blogs and social media to share it with the world. Posting on your social media channels gets your name out and encourages a conversation with your prospects. Be sure to respond to every comment on your page in a timely manner to prove that you care about your clients!
Once you have started a conversation with a new prospect on social media, ask for their email address and inquire what financial services they need most. This will allow you to continue the conversation in a more direct way and speak to their major pain points.
Stage 2: Consideration
This stage is a little more sales intensive, and you’ll want to convey the value that you have provided for other clients in order to prove your worth.
Begin by addressing the pain points that the prospect brought up in your first conversation. Explain how you have delivered value for your existing clients, highlight your specialties, and explain your process. Having a page of client testimonials is a great way to demonstrate your success, and it will assure the prospect that they will be in good hands!
Stage 3: Purchase
At the very end of the sales funnel is the purchase stage. The client is now familiar with your brand and the financial services that you offer, and they are ready to take this relationship to the next level. To “seal the deal” with a prospect at this stage, show off your industry knowledge by sharing whitepapers, case studies, or any recent articles that you have authored. Ask your prospect if they have any other questions or concerns, and invite them in for a face-to-face meeting at your office.
When creating your marketing strategy, you need to closely consider the stages of the sales funnel and tailor content to each step. Consumers today expect a longer conversation before committing to a service, and creating content that appeals to each buyer persona ensures that you are covering all your bases.