How You May Be Losing $$$ in Your Practice

And How to Fix It

In a recent survey undertaken with 1,500 agents and advisors across the nation, two big challenges surfaced: appointment no-shows and prospects procrastinating due to indecision after presentations.

It’s no secret that missed appointments are a source of frustration to producers and advisors. From the wasted preparation time to the lost revenue, especially when there’s driving time involved, a “no-show” can throw off your game considerably.

Even when prospects do keep their appointments, their procrastination and indecision after presentations can also be painful, especially after advisors have invested considerable time into illustrations, presentations, and other aspects of the process. Are these customer behaviors inevitable? Are we condemned to experience them as a regular occurrence, just “part of the job,” or can we take proactive steps to avoid them?

Not only do we believe that agents and advisors can do something about these frustrations, we’ve actually discovered what factors underlie them: We have found a strong correlation between the sales process and digital presence and online reputation – or the lack thereof. This guide is designed to provide you with new insight on how these aspects may be affecting your bottom line, plus we’ll offer exact solutions for improving them so you can grow your business with less effort.

How Important Are Online Reviews, Really?

As an independent agent or financial services professional, it might be hard to see whether or not it’s worth the time investment procuring and managing online reviews or optimizing your so-called “digital presence.” After all, you’re busy enough as it is with prospecting and serving your clients. It’s nice to have a website and social media presence, but you may wonder, how much difference does managing your online presence really make when it comes to your revenue growth?

Couldn’t you do away with such things as Google reviews, content marketing, and lead magnets, and simply go about your business in a more traditional way? Not to mention, there are compliance-related limitations to what agents and advisors can promote. You may even be aware of some advisors who succeed despite not having a strong online presence.

While these are all valid considerations, we have some surprising findings to share with you that will likely change the way you think about the way your business appears online – or make you start taking notice for the first time.

Consumers are now looking you up before they meet with you.

Put yourself in the shoes of your prospects. When you’re thinking about buying a new product or service, or considering meeting someone for professional services, what’s the first step you take? Chances are, you’re turning to the World Wide Web in search of information and reviews. As it turns out, you’re in good company.

According to Forbes, 91% of online adults use search engines to find information on the web and 84% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Interestingly, 93% of searchers never go past the first page, instead using only the first 10 search results to form their impression.

So, the question is: what happens when a new prospect googles you and your company prior to a scheduled meeting with you? Also, what reviews and successes will they find after they meet with you for a presentation as they seek to solve their indecision about whether or not to move forward with your proposal?

If you google yourself and your company, you can immediately find the answer.

How do these search results affect your revenue? The same article mentions that businesses risk losing 22% of business when potential customers find one negative result on the first page of their search results. Similarly, no results – i.e., your prospects find no reviews online on you – may also have a negative impact. If a business cannot be found, it raises concerns and may prompt a lack of trust. Nearly half of U.S. adults googled someone before doing business with them and 45% said they found something in an online search that made them decide not to do business with the person.

It’s not only Millennials, but Boomers and Seniors too!

“Okay,” you say, “but most of my prospects and clients are not Millennials.”

While Millennials are more dependent on digital information than older generations, the gap is closing. A recent study by Global Web Index published in their “Social” report of 2018 shows that technology adoption and social media are rapidly growing among 55- to 64-year-olds, a key age demographic for many producers and advisors.

Validating those findings, Pew Research Center also found that 87% of adults aged 50 to 64 and 66% of adults 65 + are online, with percentages growing.

 The word “google” now has become a commonly used verb in our language. With many search engines available, Google leads in terms of views according to Spiegel Research Center – 63.6% of consumers looking up Google reviews specifically, and as many as 36% of consumers agreeing that Google reviews have become the most important factor when choosing a business.
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