Reviews are hugely important to financial advisers and their marketing. Whilst many variables can influence a client’s decision to commit to your services, one of the big factors will be the trust gained in your brand, gained from consulting family, friends and authoritative websites which recommend you.
Think about buying decision you make, whether it’s an electronic device bought from Amazon or an expensive holiday purchased through a travel agency. We all read lots of reviews first. We want to be sure that what we’re paying for will actually come through for us, and deliver what was promised.
If modern people do this will items worth £10, think how much more important this dynamic is when it comes to financial marketing! People approach financial advisers with their life savings, mortgage and pensions. So they need to feel confident that you are a proven, safe pair of hands to rest in.
So, how do you generate lots of positive reviews for your financial planning firm?
#1 Create review assets
If people wanted to find reviews about your business, where would they look? Moreover, would your business profile and client reviews be present in those places?
Here are some potential review platforms you should consider:
Yes, make sure your business has a Facebook page – even if you believe current and potential clients are not active on the social network. The fact is, even people who are not active on Facebook often check it for business reviews and recommendations.
Make sure you monitor your account for messages, and respond to them quickly. (Facebook informs users of average response times when they post questions to the page). Consider also inviting your clients who are currently active on Facebook to leave a positive review, so you have a nice, glowing 5-star rating from dozens of people when a prospect visits.
Google My Business
Often, people interested in your services will Google your business name. Your financial marketing therefore needs to ensure that your Google My Business profile appears at the top of the search results when this happens. Again, invite clients to leave a Google review if they have not already.
#2 Give some incentives
Clients need a good reason to take the time to leave you a review.
Often, a good time to ask is immediately after you have fixed their problem. At this point, they are likely to be riding on a high and feeling very positive towards you. Their attention is still focused on what’s been achieved, and how you helped. So take full advantage of that momentum before it dissipates!
If that moment has passed, then offer your clients a carrot to encourage them to leave a Google or Facebook review. For instance, could you enter them into a prize draw? Perhaps if your client base is full of cricket fans, you could offer to give away 2 tickets to a game at Lords.
#3 Ask in the right place
Timing and incentives are important aspects of financial marketing when it comes to gaining positive reviews. In addition, you need to ask through the right channels and avenues.
For instance, if you are asking for Facebook reviews, try asking them through the Facebook Messenger app. This of course requires your clients to have an active Facebook profile, and for that profile to be following your Facebook page. So this might not always work. However, at the very least make sure you include a link to your Facebook page in any emails you send out, asking for the review.
The same applies when asking for Google reviews. Here, your main channel to ask for the review is likely to be email. Make sure you give a clear link to the place where they can review your business on Google My Business. Take care to explain the process in clear, simple terms. (In our experience, many IFA clients can be quite techno-phobic!).
#4 Include an invitation in your newsletter
It’s a very simple idea, but effective in financial marketing. In your monthly newsletter (or however often you send one out to your clients), make sure you include a section on there with a call to action to review your IFA business on Facebook/Google.
Ask your readers scroll through your content, it might be that they read an article they find particularly valuable and useful. At that point, they might just pick up the phone and ask for your advice on an important financial matter. After a helpful conversation where you gentle request for a review at the end, they could well just go and do it!
#5 Share your current reviews
If you manage to get some positive reviews in, then share these with your clients. Consider putting the review in your next newsletter, in a social media post or blog.
Viewing heart-warming testimonies like these often give other people the inspiration and motivation they need to share their own positive experiences too.
#6 Ask in face-to-face meetings
Of course, a big part of a financial adviser’s job is to conduct personal meetings with clients. Even if it’s just once per year in an annual review.
Others go further in their financial marketing by inviting clients to special days out (e.g. to the golf course or horse racing), in order to build relationships and a sense of community with the brand.
Obviously, you need to be careful not to be too pushy with it, but these occasions can be great opportunities to invite your clients to review your business (especially if things are going well!).
It can also help to have some signs in your offices, inviting clients to leave a review as they are waiting in reception or in your offices.
Be strategic, shrewd and considerate with how you use these tactics in your financial marketing.