What 3 Tech Giants Have in Common
The Twist You MUST Learn
Where to Learn More on This Hot Topic
How This Applies to ALL Financial Services
Bill Gates figured this out. So did Mark Zuckerberg. So did Sergey Brin and Larry Page (the founders of Google)…
In fact, corporate empires are built on the marketing strategy.
It is so simple… and yet so complicated because it deals with human behavior at a deep psychological level.
In fact, it’s a proven concept and has been validated many times. Indeed, the esteemed Dr. Robert Cialdini has talked about it extensively.
Here’s a hint from Dr. Cialdini himself. See if you can guess which one it is…
- Why did Bill Gates originally give away MS-DOS when IBM rolled out its PC?
- Why did Facebook give free social accounts away?
- Why did Google give away free Email accounts?
Have you figured it out yet?
“The one truth” is called reciprocity.
It is part of the basic principles of marketing & sales.
And while the concept is straightforward, there’s a critical NEW twist you need to be aware of.
Reciprocity at its core works something like this:
If I give you something of value, you are more likely to return the favor.
Microsoft gave away MS-DOS because they were going to sell a ton of software separately… and they succeeded!
Facebook gave away free social accounts when others were charging for access to their social networks because Facebook understood it could leverage advertising to generate income instead… the more members of its platform the more it could charge advertisers. In exchange, Facebook developed an extremely loyal base of members.
And Google? Well, offering free Email was a way to destroy competitors. Yahoo Email was wildly successful. By offering a better free product than Yahoo, they began to eat away at Yahoo’s customer base bit-by-bit. And Google has offered folks other things along the way… the positive experience with Gmail has made people more likely to try those other things…
Let’s say you sell Insurance…
Why do you offer a FREE quote as part of your marketing?
After all, your time has value. (Can you imagine what it was like in the ’70s and ’80s to create a quote for someone’s homeowner’s insurance?)
The work that an independent insurance agency accomplishes is immeasurable. They find the best possible insurance while also “doing the shopping for the consumer.” This is worth more than the time invested to complete the work.
An independent insurance agent is a licensed professional. They had to work hard to get and keep that license. Their advice is designed to be unbiased. And “shopping” on behalf of the consumer should help save THEIR time as well.
The same parallels can be drawn for other financial companies as well. Virtually all financial services offer some kind of comparable “free” offer. It could be…
- a “free” loan pre-qualification
- a “free” checking account.
- a “free” review of your corporate financials to see where savings opportunities exist…
The point of doing this work for FREE is to engage the reciprocity engine so the consumer is MORE likely to work with the insurance agent upon receiving their quote.
So what should you do if you are an independent insurance agency? (Or pretty much all other financial service for that matter…)
HINT: THIS IS THE TWIST!
The rule of reciprocity works best when it is unexpected.
If something you offer for FREE is offered by all your competitors, what sets you apart?
You need to begin to invest more time pre-framing what a FREE quote really means and the VALUE you genuinely offer.
The most critical part of framing why people should strictly work with you instead of going to one of many competitors is being known in your market as the go-to choice in the first place.
Ponder this: How do people buy Insurance? (Or pick a new bank, or look for a better rate on their mortgage, or seek a new bookkeeper/accountant?)
They go to Google!
Currently, in the U.S., Google dominates about 88% of search. Google has successfully inserted itself into our buying process. They are the first place most Americans turn to when looking for a new service. (This is true whether they are shopping for themselves or on behalf of a company.)
So what’s the first thing someone sees when they type in something like “home insurance in your city” or “best accountant in your city” or “top realtor in your city”?
They’ll see ads and they’ll see organic listings. They’ll possible see videos related to the search. They’ll also likely see a map and 3 companies listed in the maps section.
What will they see next to the listings?
Stars… loads of brightly colored stars. And if you click on the map you’ll see an entire list of companies that qualify for the search along with their consumer reviews. How important is your reputation? It’s critical.
So put yourself in the mind of the consumer… who are you going to call?
Will you put your faith and trust in someone that has a single 5-star review? How likely are you to “hedge your bets” and perhaps reach out to a couple if they both have the same review count? (In other words, if they seem “equal”…)
Instead, imagine you saw someone in those Google search results that stood out with 10x the number of reviews? If they had 50 reviews and a 4.8-star average, would you be more likely to trust those numbers?
Think of it another way… if you are visiting a city for the first time and you’re looking for a great Thai restaurant, would you go to the one that had 50 reviews or the one with a single review?
Again Google has upended how we think about our buying processes. It has set up a review system to keep people on their search engine rather than going to other external sources…
…This review system has quickly become the #1 resource consumers leverage to decide who they can trust… it is more potent than “word of mouth” referrals… so building a good reputation is as important as having a website, phone number, etc.
How does this tie in with your FREE Quotes? Remember… if all your competitors offer a FREE Quote, what else do you have that might make someone select you as their FIRST CHOICE? What would cause them to stop shopping if they like the experience with you? YOUR ELEVATED STATUS AND ONLINE REPUTATION ON GOOGLE!
Imagine a different scenario…
What if someone typed in a search phrase and they saw the following about you in the results…
- A ton of positive reviews…
- Videos that celebrate those reviews…
- Social posts that can be found talking about those reviews…
- Press releases celebrating your “5-star status” in your local market…
How likely will someone make you their “go to” solution for what they are seeking if they see something like the above in the search results?
If you answered, “Pretty high!” you could be correct. Indeed a well-positioned company that properly leverages reputation as a part of search marketing techniques can show up in the map, in organic results, in the sidebar, and with videos all on a SINGLE search result page.
So, you want a stronger business reputation with more 5-star reviews… what does that process look like?
This is known in the local search marketing industry as “Business Reputation Management” and it is time-consuming.
You can hodge-podge together a manual system. Usually, it will involve a form on your website. You’ll need some sort of Email process to ask for the review. You’ll also need some sort of follow up process to get a person to take that review and also place it on Google.
Of course, manual systems require time to maintain and they are often neglected because they are such an after-thought. This results in spotty reviews at best.
The real challenge is that an inconsistent process ultimately has minimal impact on social review sites such as Google.
If you manage to capture reviews, the process of manually promoting the via social networks requires yet more time. (Most lack the time to devote to this.)
And, if you’re hoping to convert that review into a compelling video, you can try to leverage some cheap video service and create the video yourself… extracting yet more time from you…
Obviously, there’s a reason why people make a budget for business reputation management.
- So what should you expect to pay from others? It depends. There are some pretty basic internet reputation management services that start around $195 per month. More robust platforms with deep reporting and features tend to run more around $500 per month. Reputation management consultants reviews of your internet reputation can run thousands of dollars…
- If you want to incorporate social promoting, expect to invest more… around $300 to $500 per month.
- If you want to take your best review each month and turn it into a video, you can hire a videographer… figure around $1,500 for that.
- And if you want that video placed on YouTube and then optimized so it will show up in Google search results… you can expect to add another $500 to $1,000 per month to the bill.
What’s your time worth? What’s your team’s time worth? What’s building trust in your brand worth? What’s it worth to inoculate yourself from competitors and to truly make that notion of “Free Quote”, “Free Prequalification”, “Free Checking”, or whatever you’re offering as a trust-trigger work in your favor?
Establishing reciprocity in the form of a “free” something of value is certainly a critical key to success. However, in a market where all your competitors are doing the same thing, you need an edge to make your “free” thing seem more valuable.
Hopefully, this has given you something to ponder.
And in the spirit of “Reciprocity” here’s something FREE that you can hopefully run amok with.
For a limited time and a strictly limited number of participants, we’ll help you get 5-star reviews for 5 days for FREE. There’s zero obligation and we’ll handle all the heavy lifting.
You must be able to answer YES to some simple questions such as,
- Can you invest a small amount of time to send us the data we need, and
- Will you take action if we discover negative opinions about your brand?
Yes? Interested? Simply mention “RECIPROCITY” in the when you click the link to set up a time to get this running for you.
Then, you can see first-hand what a “done for you“ reputation management process looks like.