Doing Business During the Coronavirus Outbreak
With the novel coronavirus now reaching pandemic levels, financial professionals may be wondering how to conduct their business and marketing. Because so much of a financial advisor’s strength in selling relies on trust conveyed through in-person meetings, the preventative steps suggested to combat coronavirus spread (that is, avoiding large groups of people) can, at first glance, appear to curb an advisor’s marketing activity.
However, there are many tools (and approaches to using them) that can still let you present yourself as a knowledgeable financial professional. So whether you are looking to replace marketing activities or the means to communicate with your current clients, here are some ideas.
VIDEO CONFERENCING SOFTWARE
There are numerous video conferencing platforms available, many at little or no cost. Think Zoom, GoToMeeting, Join.Me and so forth. These tools can be both a way of reaching a large pool of people (seminar alternative) and engaging one-on-one with prospects or clients.
Whatever platform you use, here are some things to consider:
- Make sure your audience clearly understands how to access your video stream. Video conferencing tools typically issue an email with a participation link and a phone number to call. In the time leading up to your presentation, send out the code with reminder emails.
- Be considerate of any potential technical issues. Many of these platforms can be launched within a browser, without downloading additional software, but this is not always the case. Give yourself plenty of time at the beginning of your presentation to work out any kinks.
- Dress like you would for an in-person presentation or one-on-one consultation.
- Think about the visual aspect of your presentation. Since viewers experience it through a screen, how you and your setting look becomes very important. Think of an office with tasteful décor, bookshelves in the background. If your office is too, well, office-y, dress it up or consider other spots that may convey a sense of casual luxury. Perhaps your home office or home library, or a hotel conference room.
- Make sure your setting is well lit. People need to see you and your expressions.
- Block off appropriate amounts of time and inform your family. This is more for if you use your home as the setting for your presentation. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a similar situation as Professor Robert Kelly during a BBC interview.
Social media can be a huge asset when working from home or satellite office situation. Social networks and messaging apps can keep you in constant contact with colleagues and employees in the absence of face-to-face interactions. Tools such as Facebook messenger are faster and more efficient than email. These also feature group messaging options that allow your entire office to keep a line of real-time communication open.
The potential lack of in-person appointments and/or working remotely will also give you more time to focus on your social media marketing activities. before you might have had limited flexibility in your schedule to maintain a consistent social media presence, this would be a good opportunity to engage with consumers at a higher frequency. After all, you’re practicing “social distancing,” there’s a good chance that others are as well. It’s not a stretch to assume this means more people are spending more time on social media.
Take LinkedIn for instance. As the social network with the highest ratio of qualified prospects, engaging LinkedIn users can take time and finesse. Utilizing your free time to ramp up engagement and make more direct connections with users can pay off big in the long run. Aside from posting relevant articles and information on LinkedIn, take advantage of its messaging system to start conversations with users. Think of it as a “drip” strategy by sending consistent and relevant messages to your target audience.
Those of you who are new to LinkedIn marketing, or could benefit from some pointers, should refer to our Effective Prospecting with LinkedIn marketing kit. This complimentary download provides tips on how to leverage LinkedIn as a prospecting tool, along with message templates and scripts to help with productive conversations. Request your copy by clicking here.
You’re likely somewhat familiar with the wide world of lead programs. And true, there are many companies and solutions out there, all promising different things, so making heads or tails of what’s going to work for you can be tricky.
Here are a few ideas:
Direct Response Mailers
When it comes to mailers, agents often think in terms of seminar invitations. However, there are relatively affordable direct response programs that can be used to drum up individual leads. These leads are engaged with on a one-on-one basis, with a lead-up that generally involves phone work. And individuals may be more likely to venture out if they are dealing with just you and not a large group.
You can also adapt the lead mailer process to invite them to a webinar. This idea would require you to have the proper infrastructure in place beforehand—such as a webinar landing page, a registration link, and webinar code—but it can be a way of introducing yourself to new prospects during the coronavirus situation.
Live Lead Transfers / Inbox Leads
Depending on the level of qualification and vetting, these types of leads can come at a premium. But the price may be worth for advisors looking to get in front of the right people. And while some programs certainly involve commitments, subscriptions, or territories, others have more relaxed options. For instance, Financialize.com has both a territory model requiring a commitment of leads and an auction model that costs nothing to participate in (other than, of course, any winning bids you place).
We’ve recommended aged leads to agents in the past as a way to complement or supplement marketing activities. While there may be some grind with lists—they are aged after all and we know that leads depreciate a little bit each day—they are generally sourced in the same way real-time, direct leads are. And these leads are typically very affordable, so all it takes is one hit to get a significant return on investment.
If you would like to discuss lead programs in detail, please give us a call at 1.800.255.5055.
As the nation embraces for a long period of uncertainty during the ongoing coronavirus crisis, it is critical you keep the health of your prospects, clients, staff, and family members in mind. We don’t know how long this will last and what ultimate impact it will have. However, as we’ve discussed above, there are still ways to make connections and conduct business. It might require some adjustment and adaptation, but we are here to help you through the process.