Thursday, March 25, 2010

Building Credibility

In an earlier post, we discussed how to answer the "five questions" that all consumers have before they'll purchase a product or service. With wealth management, and all that is at stake, resolving those issues before they are articulated is key.

Remember the question "Will this specific wealth manager solve my needs?"

This is where, and why, building credibility prior to and during the sales engagement is essential. Certainly, this isn't a cold call. Nor, I hope, that it's simply one preceded by a persuasive appointment-seeking call.

If you're doing your marketing correctly, (at its simplest) you've been providing at least some helpful information by mail. An introduction letter with a really interesting article, then a series of mailings with service- (not sales) oriented information. Or, a newsletter. Something to provide name identification and provide a service to the prospect (which, you've thoroughly qualified - again, see earlier posts). Don't start blanketing the prospect with your sales brochures. Company-provided information bears little credibility, particularly if it's a sales piece.

It's a "build" process before a sales engagement

If you've picked-up a business card from a casual interaction (which is typical), building credibility first - before you try to solicit business - is essential. Suppose you met someone at Rotary and exchanged cards. Start building credibility and differentiating yourself with helpful information, be it by mail or by email. Build that name ID, that credibility BEFORE you try to solicit a potential sales engagement.

That's a rule, not an option, in marketing.

Be certain it's "of service." Even better, a "third party endorsement"

Again, over and over, be certain that you provide information that is helpful to the prospect. New tax laws and changes (you can bet that there will be many in the next years - thank you Mr. Obama), market insight, retirement planning. Make it of service.

If you've written something for your local business journal, or a professional publication, capitalize on the "third party endorsement" provided by the media's credibility extended to your thoughts. Get reprints and send them to your prospects (and, of course, your existing clients).

Make yourself credible and you'll get more business, faster, and easier. Those are three benefits of marketing: more, faster, easier.

(Next post: "Using PR to build credibility")

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