Modern commerce is very much a two-way street. Products and sellers influence consumers, and consumers influence products and sellers. Therefore, any successful marketing campaign will seek to analyze customer needs and preferences, and adapt the business model to meet those needs.
The explosion of internet commerce means that giants like Ebay and Amazon are influencing customer expectations. And likewise, customer expectations should shape the way you do business. If you want to appeal to today’s digital customers, modernize your approach in the following five ways.
Focus on the customer. Today’s customer has a wealth of information at their fingertips. They can read reviews of products, services, and even businesses. They don’t need you to tell them what to purchase; they’re looking for services that are personalized to their needs, provided by a highly connected business professional. Provide them with the personalized information they want, and you will inspire confidence in your abilities.
Create an experience. Today’s consumer is accustomed to advertising that is tailored to their specific needs. When they log into Amazon or Ebay, they’re offered products based on their tastes. On facebook, they’re shown ads related specifically to their “likes”.
Obviously you aren’t Facebook or Ebay, but your website should still offer similar value. A video will allow potential clients to “meet” you face to face, for example. You should also promote special offers based on the interests of your target demographic, and offer them the ability to reach you via the format they prefer (phone, email, etc).
Expand your walls. Just as shoppers no longer visit a bakery for bread, a butcher for meat, the farmer’s market for vegetables, and so on, they also look for financial services under one all-inclusive roof. Consider partnering with CPAs who offer tax advice, or estate planning attorneys who can help your clients make important decisions about their futures.
Broaden your services. Offering customers the ability to access a variety of products, special offers, and media helped launch Amazon to the multi-billion-dollar business it is today. Similarly, you can apply this same business model to your practice. Seek to be more than just the guy who helps clients make financial decisions; refer them to special events that suit their interests, offer Social Security seminars, and connect them to other professionals or services they may value.
Seek to attract, rather than convince. Pushing clients to take action is an old, outdated method of selling. Modernize your approach by focusing on the law of attraction: give what your customer seeks, and they’ll be naturally drawn to you. Engage your audience with blogs, inform them with videos, and offer them special, valuable opportunities via your website. Seek to inspire loyalty and confidence in your services, and clients will be naturally attracted to you.