Advisor Technology | 09/14/2016
Should Advisors Use Scheduling Software on Their Websites?
Digital marketing has helped streamline much of the lead generation process for financial advisors through smart websites, customized email drip campaigns, and content downloads. That’s all fine and good for getting people into the top of your funnel, but what can technology do for prospects that are a little farther along and want to meet with you?
Enter appointment-scheduling software.
Scheduling software is becoming more and more prevalent as advisors look to streamline their process. Some software is hosted on a third-party site, while others can be baked into your site, emails, and content to make the experience more native to users.
But it’s not for everyone. In the midst of adopting software like this, it is important to weigh whether or not this type of software is in character with the rest of your client experience.
Here are two questions you should seriously consider if you’re thinking about implementing appointment-scheduling software:
1. Are You Comfortable Letting Just Anyone Schedule Time on Your Calendar?
This is a key question because all of us can attest to times where we met with someone who was not a fit for our services and the meeting was a waste of our time and theirs. In this instance, a couple key screening questions would be useful.
I hear you saying, “If they would just read my website, they would see that I’m not the right fit.” That may be true, but only about 28% of what is written on the web actually gets read, so you can’t count on that happening.
Some firms employ an open door policy in this area because they work with pretty much anyone. They have a zero minimum solution for early-stage investors, often providing them with low-cost, non-AUM-based services.
But a lot of advisors don’t have the time or interest level to meet with the young professional who wants to invest $5,000. If that’s you, then you’ll need to come up with something else.
- A middle-ground solution could work well here, although you’ll need the staff to make it work. Rather than tying the scheduling software directly to your personal calendar, sync it to that of a junior advisor or administrative person who can do an exploratory call to see if it’s worth your time. That way you don’t have to talk to anyone who isn’t a good fit and someone else can do the preliminary work of explaining your firm’s philosophy and process.
- Don’t show the scheduling option upfront. Using a smart form like Typeform or Gravity Forms, get a prospect’s information on your site’s contact page. One of your questions would be something like, “How much money would you say you have to invest?” The answers would come in tiers – 1. Less than $100k; 2. $100k to $1 million; 3. More than $1 million. When someone chooses “More than $1 million” (or whatever level you prefer), your online appointment form magically appears. If they choose something lower, they don’t get that option.
2. Does Telling Someone to Look at Your Schedule and Choose a Time Reflect Your Service Model?
In my experience, some firms feel that self-scheduling gives clients the wrong idea—creating more of a transactional experience versus the high-touch, full-service experience that is key to that firm.
In this instance, you would want someone to fill out a basic form or call your office and then your team and process takes it from there. And while this can be tedious and painful at times to work with schedules, some advisors feel it aligns better with putting the client ahead of your own convenience.
Other firms—particularly those that work with clients with less than $3M in assets—can often find the implementation of scheduling software to be a great enhancement of the client experience. This is especially true if your clients are typically in the middle of their careers or have kids with already busy schedules. In this case, make it as easy as possible for them to find a time that works.
3. Does Scheduling Software Make Sense with Your Funnel?
We’ve worked with several firms who have a designated sales person or department, and they want to be meeting with people all the time. Scheduling software makes perfect sense for these companies. But we also work with one- or two-person firms where they can’t spare someone to take meetings at will. Still other firms don’t necessarily want their first interaction with a prospect to be a live conversation.
At Mineral, I am the one who spends most of my day talking to potential clients—whether it’s in-person, on the phone, or online. We have decided not to use scheduling software because my time is focused on talking to new customers vs. doing client services. In the event that you are wearing a lot of hats, scheduling software on your site can help you focus your time more effectively.
But our situation is clearly different from an advisor’s. Consider your own situation carefully.
Other questions to ask yourself:
So Which Scheduling Software Should You Use?
While we don’t use scheduling software on our own site, we have implemented it for several clients and we can speak for two options. ScheduleOnce and TimeTrade both work well and we have nothing but good things to say about both. They can both be embedded in your site and they both offer breakout advisor-specific pages.
When you’re examining a particular solution, ask yourself: Is the software user friendly or will it frustrate prospects? Will it complete the scheduling instance and tell everyone when, where and through what format the call will be? If it doesn’t check all of those boxes, keep looking.
Want help streamlining your sales funnel? Drop us a line.
READERS ALSO ENJOYED
Advisor Technology | 05/23/2018
The General Data Protection Regulation – a new law aimed at protecting the data of EU...
Advisor Technology | 11/14/2017
This week, I’ll be attending Schwab IMPACT 2017 along with Mineral CEO Jud Mackrill. We’ll be...
Advisor Technology | 06/13/2017
A shorter version of this article originally appeared at WealthManagement.com As my wife was driving on...