I think I was more excited last year than financial advisors when the SEC released a new marketing rule, allowing client testimonials to be featured in marketing assets.
But what exactly does this mean for you? How can financial advisors make the most of this opportunity? I’m going to provide guidance on how to get testimonials, and how you can effectively utilize them to your advantage.
Simply put, a testimonial refers to any statement from a client about their experience with an advisor or a referral of potential clients to an advisor. However, it’s important to keep in mind a few crucial conditions outlined by the rule.
Here is what you need to know:
- You cannot compensate a client for a testimonial
- You cannot use any testimonials from someone personal or a family member
- The testimony’s words must be accurate and avoid making promises
- Testimonials must come from current clients
It’s important to remember that your client’s testimonial should reflect the positive benefits of working with you and your practice. Not about the performance of their investments.
At first glance, you might be wondering what good a testimonial can do if you’re not allowed to go into detail of how you helped a client with shrewd advice regarding the market. But allow me to give you some ideas on what you can do that will be just as compelling.
Focus On Experience
Every business needs to focus on customer experience. Too often, a business owner wants to immediately talk about the benefits of their product or service.
But what really gets a prospect’s attention is how your clients are treated.
For example, if a financial advisor doesn’t communicate regularly with a client or fails to connect with them after a new tax regulation has been enacted (and how it would affect their plan), then a client would understandably feel undervalued. They may start looking for another advisor if that type of treatment continues.
Here’s what you can do:
#1 Conduct Client Surveys
Develop a survey or questionnaire to gather feedback from clients about their experience working with you. Ask specific questions about the value they received, how confident they feel about your expertise, and any positive outcomes they achieved. Use the feedback and testimonials gathered to create compelling marketing materials. Make sure to get permission from your client before publishing it.
#2 One-on-One Interviews
You can learn so much from these sessions. Interview satisfied clients to explore their journey, financial goals, and the impact you’ve had on their lives. These interviews can provide valuable insights and real-life anecdotes that can be used in marketing content, such as blog posts, case studies, or social media posts.
#3 Success Story Workshops
Organize interactive workshops or seminars where clients can share their success stories and experiences working with your team. These sessions can be recorded and repurposed into marketing content, including videos, blog posts, or podcast episodes. Perhaps combine these times with one of your scheduled meetings with your client.
#4 Testimonial Request Process
Implement a structured process for requesting testimonials from satisfied clients. This can involve sending personalized emails or letters asking clients to share their positive experiences. Offer incentives, such as discounts on services or referral bonuses, to encourage clients to provide testimonials. Even gift certificates or tickets to a local sporting event can be a great way to incentivize participation.
#5 Highlight Client Achievements
Celebrate and recognize significant achievements of clients who have benefited from the advisor’s services. This could include reaching a specific financial milestone, overcoming a challenge, or successfully navigating a market downturn. Share these success stories through various marketing channels to inspire potential clients. Copywriting Tip: Feature the “after” stories in your emails.
Example: “John D. just sent the most amazing sunset photo as he and his wife enjoyed their third trip to Hawaii in two years. He said he has a bag of Kauai coffee with my name on it as a thank you gift. Maybe we can enjoy a cup if you schedule a meeting in the next few weeks…”
#6 Client Referral Program
Develop a referral program that rewards clients for referring new business to the advisor. Encourage satisfied clients to provide testimonials as part of their referrals, showcasing their positive experiences. Incorporate these testimonials into referral program promotional materials, such as emails, social media posts, or referral landing pages.
#7 Collaborative Content Creation
Engage clients in the content creation process by inviting them to contribute guest blog posts or participate in interviews, podcasts, or video testimonials. This collaborative approach not only provides valuable content but also strengthens the relationship with clients and demonstrates their satisfaction with the advisor’s services. Again, focus on the experience. Topics could include: what was surprising about retirement, favorite activities of retirement, what they don’t miss about working in an office, etc.
#8 Online Review Platforms
Encourage clients to leave reviews and ratings on reputable online review platforms, such as Google My Business, Yelp, or specialized financial advisor review websites. Monitor and respond to reviews, both positive and negative, to showcase excellent client service and engagement. I’d like to stress responding to negative comments with grace and style. When a prospective client lands on that review but sees you doing everything possible to remedy a situation, it makes an impact.
#9 Client Testimonial Events
Organize special events where clients can share their experiences and success stories in person. These events can range from intimate client appreciation dinners to larger-scale seminars. Record these events and create video highlights or testimonials to share on social media or the advisor’s website. Use “My Favorite Thing About Retirement” as a theme. Make it fun!
#10 Targeted Case Studies
Identify specific client profiles or demographics that the advisor aims to attract and develop targeted case studies featuring clients who fit those profiles. Highlight how the advisor addressed their unique financial challenges and provided tailored solutions. Use these case studies in marketing materials and outreach efforts to resonate with the target audience.
You want to always get consent from your clients before using their experiences or testimonials in your marketing. Make sure to comply with regulations and guidelines governing client privacy and data protection.
With a little creativity, you can collect many testimonials that will demonstrate not just your expertise, but your genuine interest in your client’s well-being. In the end, it all comes down to relationships. Show that you value each client and believe me, the word will get around.