The best retailers -- companies like Amazon, Zappos and Kate Spade -- find ways to learn about each and every consumer so they can deliver the right personalized messages, offers, products and services to increase sales, especially online.
Today, people have gotten used to highly personalized interactions with retailers. They expect the same from everyone they do business with, including financial and professional services firms.
Here are 5 things financial and professional services companies can learn from retailers to build better client relationships and sell more products and services.
1. Stay top of mind.
Do you browse your favorite online retailer because you think about them all the time? Or is it because they communicate with you on a regular basis and remind you to check them out? Of course, it's because they send reminders.
Financial and professional services companies should do the same and communicate with clients and prospects consistently. You never know when someone could be in the market for your products or services, so sharing helpful information regularly will keep your brand top-of-mind when the time is right.
2. Make them an offer they can't refuse.
Ever notice how online retailers offer you ten, twenty or thirty percent off a product you like but haven't purchased in a while? It's not a coincidence. Financial and professional services companies can learn a lesson from this.
Why not offer something of value such as an insurance rate review, introduction to a new investment offering, tax review, small business accounting guide or tailored credit card to a client you haven't interacted with for a long time?
It can be a great way to renew a business relationship with a client that has grown stale.
3. Take time to chat.
Online retailers know customers have questions about even the most basic products. That's why they make it easy to chat with an expert over the phone or online.
Financial and professional services companies must do the same. Potential clients will move on to the next provider if they can't get their questions answered right away.
4. Make it easy for people to find what they're looking for.
Online retailers have responded to consumer demand for speed and efficiency by making websites simple to navigate. Financial and professional services firms must do the same.
Many people don't know that an IRA is a retirement planning vehicle, home insurance is a personal insurance product or a 529 plan is a college saving option. When it comes to professional services, prospects don't have the patience to navigate different locations, specializations and practice areas.
Websites, labels and descriptions have to be clear and meaningful, whether you're selling to average, everyday consumers or experienced intermediaries.
5. Read the visitor right.
Retailers are pros at this. In-person, salespeople take clues from what the customer is wearing and looking at to guide them to the right merchandise. Online, they use shopping history, search information and tracking to guide consumers to appropriate products.
Financial and professional services firms have the same type of information available including previous purchase history, asset levels, investment portfolio, tax information, accounting ledger data, search clues and more to guide clients on a more personalized journey to the right products and services.
What are you waiting for? Retail has paved the way for financial and professional services firms to deliver more personalized experiences designed to increase sales. Not sure how to get started? Contact an agency that has developed personalized advertising, email, social media and digital marketing campaigns for well-known financial firms and professional services companies.