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Are Your Internet Credentials Important? Ask Amazon.

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What You Need to Know

  • Agents can get a great return on investment on an internet lead.
  • The first page of Google search results may determine who a consumer really uses.
  • The goal should be to fill the first page of results with accurate, meaningful items about you and your business.

Fifteen years ago, I decided the future of the financial services industry was going to be in another direction. Internet leads became the hot item, and agents and advisors rushed to add their names to the list. Most advisors focused so hard on leads and lead generation that a completely new industry was born to satisfy their needs.

Of course, the search engines were more than happy to assist for a fee, and the cost of buying internet-driven leads rose and rose. Today, an agent can get a good solid internet lead for somewhere around $500. This seems high but gathering enough of them will usually lead to a sale that places the return on investment (ROI) much higher than in almost any other industry.

In the past ten years, the folks interested in discussing their financial situation also have wised up. Before allowing a stranger into their financial home, they do what the big retailer knew all along.

Check the advisor out! Is the advisor who he says he is?

You might wonder, what have the big retailers discovered? Unless you have been living in a hole, anything you have purchased, rented, or acquired has come with a trailing request for ratings. Look how many restaurants and hotels Yelp has created and destroyed. Would you even consider a 2- or 3-star rating when you found a four star?

Amazon figured this out a long time ago, and on average, they ask for a rating on a purchased or used product or service five times. Their system asks in many ways, but they are always asking. Why? Because we always buy 5 stars ahead of 4 stars, and so on.

With the star rating Amazon uses, now think of those same ratings in the financial services industry. A rating system might not be in place for your small insurance or advisory business. Still, your internet credentials are far more important.

An old saying about the internet is, “If you ever kill someone, bury them on page 2 because no one ever looks there!” Nothing could be more accurate; you must fill the entire page 1 with solid, meaningful, and accurate information about yourself and your business. If you do not, your call count on leads will slowly head to oblivion. Your sales will be affected, and you will wonder what you are doing wrong and why after all of this time that getting a job at the factory is sounding better all the time.

The secret to your success is simple. You must load page one with solid internet credentials about you and your business.

More on this topic

How much truth is there in what I say? Take a simple test, Google, my name, and Google your name.

There are plenty of marketing companies eagerly awaiting you to discover the facts. They all offer “guaranteed” help, but be careful.

Here is how to make sure you have chosen the right marketing firm to assist you in growing your credentials. Google them!

Anything that seems manufactured by the marketing firm should be a sign of trouble. Look long and deep and ask for referrals. Companies that hide behind their computers are not for you, and those who use silly jingles and stupid cartoon figures are only there to take your money. Their promises are just that, and over time you will feel stupid and still adrift.

Look for a pro, one who will share their successes and failures. Remember, your credentials are not a lead generation system; they confirm that you can be trusted.


Bill Broich (Credit: Broich)Bill Broich, co-owner of Annuity.com, also works as a content marketing strategist for financial professionals.

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(Image: Sergey Tinyakov/Shutterstock)