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5 stats that confirm why advisers and planners need to take online ratings and reviews seriously

We’ve always believed that adviser directories can be a useful way of attracting new clients.

Before anyone suggests that using directories is somehow outsourcing their marketing, it isn’t. It’s simply taking advantage of platforms available to you and they should only be used as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy.

That said, referrals will always be the best source of new clients; they probably have an immediate need, they’ve already heard great things about you and they will probably have the highest conversion rate and return on investment.

So, following a call with VouchedFor’s founder, Adam Price, earlier this week, we were fascinated to learn about some of the research they’ve recently undertaken, as well as some of their new developments. This week’s blog looks at the research and next week we’ll discuss how they are developing the platform.

Before we get to that though, I’d like to spend a moment considering how the directories have developed over the years. Unbiased and AdviserBook are still principally ways of generating new enquiries. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that; both are great in their own way. However, VouchedFor’s offering has evolved over the years to a point now where it’s as much a tool for an adviser/planner to manage their online reputation as it is a way of generating new enquiries.

That’s exactly how we explain it to our clients. If they are used to their fullest extent, VouchedFor’s reputational tools are just as important as its ability to generate new enquiries. I also love how innovative VouchedFor has been over the years. Sure, not every development will be universally popular, but the tools they already offer, plus some which are soon to be launched, will prove very useful.

More of that next week but, for now, here are five killer stats to help you with your marketing.

 #1: An average of 11.8 people per month will Google a specific adviser or planner and read their VouchedFor reviews*

We know that a compelling online presence is vital to effectively marketing your business.

Why? One word: Google.

People who have been referred to you or have learned about your brand from elsewhere will often Google you before getting in touch. Some will be looking for relatively mundane information such as your address, while others will be carrying out more comprehensive due diligence to understand whether you are the adviser, planner or firm who can help them.

What these people see online will increase or decrease the chances of them getting in touch. If they see a firm with Google, VouchedFor, Facebook or Trustpilot reviews, they will be impressed and therefore more likely to get in touch.

This stat confirms what we’ve always felt to be true; consumers are interested in reading reviews. Therefore, it follows that firms who don’t have them will find marketing their business more difficult.

#2: 10 people click from an adviser or planner’s website or email to read their VouchedFor reviews*

This shows the benefits of using VouchedFor’s reputational tools to their fullest extent.

The widget, to display reviews for an individual adviser or a whole firm, should be used on your website. It’s a great way to show off your rating and client reviews, and the pop-up nature of the widget means visitors never have to leave your website. To see the widget in action scroll down the homepage of this site which we launched a few months ago.

Email footers shouldn’t be overlooked either as they are seen by dozens of people each week. Maximising their effectiveness by displaying reviews, asking for reviews, or reminding people that you welcome referrals is such an easy ‘win’ but is all too often overlooked.

#3: 1 in 3 new clients say they saw their adviser’s reviews before deciding to become a client

Again, this just shows the value of social proof.

While the research naturally focuses on VouchedFor reviews, the same could equally apply to reviews on other platforms.

#4: 79% of people agreed with the statement: “My adviser’s reviews on VouchedFor mean I would be more confident referring a friend to them.”

As we said earlier, we all know a referral is the best type of new enquiry.

So, how can we generate more referrals? This stat confirms online reviews will help. They might be on VouchedFor, they might be elsewhere: either way, it’s pretty clear that it’s easier for existing clients to recommend you to others when it isn’t just them saying how good you are.

I can just imagine a client talking about you to a friend over a pint or a coffee: “My financial planner is great, but don’t just take my word for it – look at their reviews online.”

The prospective client then Googles you or your business name, finds your reviews on VouchedFor or one of the platforms, and is suitably impressed to make contact with you.

#5: On average, subscribing advisers or planners get 1.7 new enquiries per month via VouchedFor

As I said at the start of this blog, VouchedFor has two roles: generating new enquiries and helping advisers and planners manage their online reputation.

According to VouchedFor’s research, subscribers will receive around 20 enquiries per year. Even if you only get half that number and only convert 25% of them, the fees earned will far outweigh the annual subscription costs.

How are you looking?

Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective client, perhaps someone who has been referred to you, and Google your name and that of your business.

Do you see online reviews on Google, Trustpilot, VouchedFor etc.?

The evidence is clear: online ratings and reviews are important when it comes to generating new clients and are particularly useful when trying to maximise the referral opportunity. If your reviews are non-existent, or you’re one of those firms with two Google reviews from 2014 with one from a member of staff and the other your mum, now’s the time to take action.

A great starting point would be to read our ultimate guide to collecting ratings and reviews online. by clicking here.

Then, it’s a case of getting into good habits and building repeatable processes. Once the reviews start flowing, share them with your clients and your team as both will love them. And so should you!

*Based on the top 25% of VouchedFor users

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