News article

The 3 triggers for seeking financial advice and how they affect your website

Your marketing strategy should be built on knowing and explaining:

  1. What you do
  2. Who you do it for
  3. Why someone should choose to work with you

It’s the second of that list which we’ll look at this week.

Unless you know who your target markets are, and have an in-depth understanding of them, it’s impossible to effectively market your business.

To start with, that means creating detailed personas for each group of target clients. These should include:

  • Their triggers; the problems they want solving and/or the aspirations they want to achieve. In other words, the reasons why they are seeking professional guidance
  • Demographics, including gender, age, location, income, employment status, level of wealth, desired retirement age
  • Background, including their level of financial awareness, previous advisers and investment experience
  • Identifiers including their communication, social media and content preferences, reassuring factors and anxiety triggers, values, and their decision-making process
  • How you can help and why this group of clients should choose to work with you
  • Objections for taking advice, which might include cost, trust or perception of value

The three types of trigger

Unfortunately, it’s relatively rare for someone to request a financial plan. Hopefully, that will change over time. Right now though, most people will have a problem or aspiration which triggers a search for professional advice.

These triggers fall into three categories:

  1. Something which on its own might seem innocuous, such as a pension statement showing a fall in value, a MiFID II charges disclosure, or negative publicity, such as we’ve seen recently around the Woodford funds. On their own, they might not be sufficient to trigger a consumer into action, but two or three strung together could be enough to motivate a consumer into finding an adviser
  2. Big life events, such as birth, death, marriage, career change or divorce, which have a significant financial impact and can trigger the need for professional advice
  3. Aspirations, such as retirement, the sale of a business or wanting to make gifts to family members

What next?

So, what do you do once you understand these triggers? Empathise, show that you work with people like them while demonstrating that you can deal with their triggers by helping solve their problems and achieve their aspirations.

Nowhere is this more important than on your website, where doing so will increase the numbers of visitors who take a call to action.

Whether someone is on your website having been referred to you, discovered your brand elsewhere or found you after an online search, the first thing your site needs to do is pass the split-second test. That means using words and images to help the visitor understand (in broad terms):

  • What you do
  • Who you do it for
  • Why they should choose you

Visitors to sites which pass the split-second test are more likely to continue exploring than others. So, after passing the split-second test the homepage should:

  • Empathise with the visitor
  • Show that you can help solve their problems and achieve their aspirations
  • Explain in more detail who you work with

Of course, you also need to show how your firm is different, include bucketloads of social proof and the right calls to actions.

However, it’s a mistake to talk too much, too soon, about yourself. To put it another way. If you went to a party or a networking event and only talked about yourself, showing no interest in others, you’d soon be very lonely.

The same is true of your website. Don’t come on too strong!

We’ve previously written about the trap many financial planning websites fall in to. You can read that article by clicking here.

Three big questions

Now, take a moment to visit your website and ask yourself three questions:

  1. Does headline text and/or image explain what you do, who you do it for and the reasons someone should use you?
  2. Are you empathising with the visitor?
  3. Do you show you can deal with their triggers?

If you’ve answered “no” to any of the above, you’ve probably got some work to do. We’d be happy to help you, feel free to get in touch by calling our office on 0115 8965 300 or emailing

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