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Advisors: How to Engage Early Stage Prospects

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It is safe to say that the buyer’s journey has changed. Customers do most of their own research, and engage with more content online to support their decisions. In today’s self-educated world, we know that the information pool online is vast and buyers are picking and choosing content to support their decisions and requirements.

Most people who visit your website, no matter how well-optimized it is, won’t buy or engage with you the first time they see it. In fact, 96% of first time website visitors are not ready to buy in their journey.   So what are they doing and what does this mean for you? Ask yourself; do you have enough valuable content that can benefit your visitor even if they never become a client?

According to Google…

‘’Our research has shown that, on average, business buyers do not contact suppliers directly until 57 percent of the purchase process is complete. That means for nearly two thirds of the buying process, you customers are out in the ether: forming opinions, learning technical specifications, building requirement lists, and narrowing down their options, all on their own, with minimal influence from you.”

Sales material is not what early stage buyers are looking for when they come across your website.   Most of your website visitors come to learn, not to be “salesmanned”. Early stage buyers are not looking for why they should work with you over your competitors.   Early stage buyers are trying to give a name to their problem, consider what options exist, and be as educated as possible before moving forward.

What does this mean for Advisors?

As a result of the new buyer’s journey, Advisors need to become teachers and thought leaders that educate their audience and earn their trust.  Some of the most successful Advisors are using content marketing to engage with prospects by delivering information that makes the buyer more intelligent. Successful digital marketing Advisors are using content marketing to provide their visitor with valuable content, without selling anything; that will benefit the visitor even if they never become a client.  Below, is a great chart, courtesy of Hubspot, that outlines the different buyer stages, and characteristics of each stage of the journey.

The Buyer Journey
Advisor’s content should speak to their target audience in the midst of the learning journey outlined in the chart above. From awareness, to consideration to decision, position your business around content that addresses the problems, questions, challenges and information gaps at each stage; the goal being to seamlessly educate across the entire customer journey. Buyers are ultimately going to do business with people who have educated them and earned their trust. However, in a world where consumers are bombarded with hundreds of marketing messages a day, it is not enough to just teach; you have to teach well.

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