For decades we’ve all strived to create the perfect sales process. We stage our offices, dress the part and rehearse our questions and scripts. We spend a lot of time thinking about how we’ll get the prospect to engage with us in the sales process and take the journey to becoming a satisfied client.

But what if all of these steps are in vain? What if all the preparation in the world did you no good because no prospects ever came through your office door to meet with you? Sounds like a nightmare right? The truth is, this could become reality for many producers if they do not wake up and realize that the sales process starts long before the prospect walks through the door for the first time.

In decades past, the above approach was sufficient. However, in today’s marketplace, the relationship-building process takes place long before the first meeting, and it’s happening online. On the one hand, this is not surprising because as consumers, we know this to be true. You have begun your search for new products and services online, probably even in the last 30 days. And yet, what is surprising, is how few advisors are adapting to this fact. They are not implementing marketing strategies to capitalize on this new trend in prospect buying behavior.

What do you mean, Brandon? How in the world would I begin to script and implement a process for engaging prospects online?

Great question! Consider this: What if the process you’ve used for years that unfolds in your physical office took place online, in your virtual office as well? What if you greeted and connected with prospects in the same way, and even offered as much value as you do in person? How?

Here are two tips to better engage prospects online:

1. Use video to make an instant connection.

When a prospect lands on your website homepage, he should immediately be greeted by you just as he would in your office. You would never dream of having a prospect stop by your office and then just leave him in the lobby. And yet that’s what so many advisors do when they fail to engage with visitors on their site via video. Those who use video, create an instant human connection. This is vital in ensuring you get the relationship off on the right foot. Imagine the edge you gain over the competition when your site is the only one in your market that connects with prospects in this way. As a consumer, who would you rather work with? The advisor you’ve never seen? Or the one you met via a website video?

2. Give value right away.

Gone are the days of “come and see me for the answers.” The advisors who will thrive in today’s information economy will be those who understand the importance of providing real value right from the beginning. What does this look like? Consider offering free downloadable resources on your site or even videos that teach prospects something that will help them on their journey to a safe and secure retirement.

Some advisors are afraid to give real content online because fear they will have given away all of the secrets. In reality, giving away content draws prospects to you because you’ve actually demonstrated your knowledge and credibility by taking the time to educate them. And that’s what today’s consumers want — education.

While the thought of creating an online relationship process may feel daunting or overwhelming, it is an essential element of any successful practice. Fortunately, you don’t have to be the one to build it. Do your homework — there are a ton of resources available to help you accomplish your goals for online marketing and presence. And as with everything, don’t get overwhelmed trying to do it all at once. Create a plan, then implement it one step at a time!

For more information and resources on this topic, check out AutomatedAdvisor.com.

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