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5 simple tips for projecting a professional image online

October 16, 2013 by

Recently a financial professional told me he lost a potential client because his company’s social network accounts didn’t have consistent messaging. It certainly made him take notice.

Even if you don’t realize it, a lot of your clients and prospects (or their children) are researching you and your company online before meeting with you. Ensure you have consistent, well-branded messaging now, so you can establish a foundation of trust and credibility before you ever talk to prospects.

If you wouldn’t discuss certain topics with your clients and prospects in person, you shouldn’t do it online either. First impressions are lasting impressions, and trust is something you need to establish immediately if you don’t want to lose a relationship.

Follow these five simple tips to ensure you’re projecting a professional image on your social networks:

  • Know what social network accounts you have in place. Delete accounts you don’t update. Provide a consistent brand message on your active accounts. It’s important to monitor your active accounts to ensure all information listed is current and accurate. They also need to respond to anyone trying to reach you through those channels.
  • Do not share personal opinions or jokes about potentially controversial topics: politics, religion, etc. Don’t offend clients or discourage prospects from using your services because you have conflicting views. Keep your content positive, educational and helpful.
  • Use professional photos and graphics. Present yourself online in the same way you would present yourself to clients in person. Wear business attire in your profile photos. Use web-quality graphics and images.
  • Write a clear, concise company description. Take the time to write a description that includes a list of services, relevant background information, and your contact information. Be sure to use the same description in your entire online marketing presence— website, social networks, brochures, etc.
  • Triple check grammar and spelling. Spell-check is wonderful, but it doesn’t catch everything. If you’re unsure about your own grammatical skills, entrust this task to someone who possess these skills. Grammatical errors could cause your prospects to second-guess your attention to detail.

Projecting a professional image can help you provide your clients with a consistent, positive experience.   For more tips on creating a consistent client experience, read our post, “Consumer Touchpoints.”

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Five customer loyalty tips

October 1, 2013 by

What is customer loyalty? If you search this question online, you will find many definitions and opinions on how to cultivate it. BusinessDictionary.com defines customer loyalty as the, “Likelihood of previous customers to continue to buy from a specific organization.” How likely are previous customers to return to you for financial services? Do you have a plan to keep them coming back?

There are many ways to foster customer loyalty and most are not new. Here are five of my favorite customer loyalty tips to keep customers coming back.

  1. Make people happy. I love this quote by Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, “The single most important thing is to make people happy. If you are making people happy, as a side effect, they will be happy to open up their wallets and pay you.” Enough said.
  2. Provide superior customer service. Many times I have walked into a business and sworn never to return because of poor service. However, when I experience superior customer service, I become a brand advocate, spread the word and send referrals. Have you ever asked your clients how you are doing? Check out our blog post “What’s your client’s experience?” for tips on soliciting feedback.
  3. Do more than expected. George S. Patton, considered one of the most successful combat generals in U.S. history,1 said, “Always do more than is required of you.” Take the time to add personal touches: Send hand-written thank you notes, acknowledge birthdays and remember the little things—even if it’s as simple as if they prefer coffee or tea.
  4. Listen. Principle number seven in Dale Carnegie’s famous book How to Win Friends and Influence People is, “Be a good listener. Encourage other to talk about themselves.” In the financial services industry, this seems especially important. We must understand what clients need (for example, income or legacy planning) before we can propose a solution.
  5. Keep in touch. Create a client nurturing program to make sure you stay connected with customers on a regular basis. Nurturing not only helps you maintain and build client relationships, but it helps move customers from point A to point B in the buying cycle. To learn more about nurturing, visit our blog post, Nurturing Dos and Don’ts for Sales.

1 “George Patton. biography.” bio. True Story.. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sep 2013. <http://www.biography.com/people/george-patton-9434904>.

2 Carnegie, Dale. “Golden Book Principles from How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Dale Carnegie Training. Dale Carnegie and Associates, Inc., n.d. Web. 18 Sep 2013. <http://www.dalecarnegie.com/assets/1/7/GoldenBook_English.swf>.

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Kristine Garrett

Kristine Garrett joined Brokers International in 2012 as a Marketing Project Manager. She brought with her a strong background in sales and marketing that she uses to write helpful blog tips and marketing ideas to grow your business. Kristine shares a hobby farm near Panora with her husband, farm critters and beautiful bulldogs. 11854-1/30/13

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