Marketing for Professional Services needs a revolution

It’s Not What You Know. It’s Who You Know

I know about many great and influential people who never heard about me. Does that count as “who I know”?

Of course not. Allow me to rephrase the quote mentionedabove

It’s Not What You Know. It’s Who knows you.

But, what counts as knowing you? Isn’t it a matter of scale?

Would you consider buying a comparatively less expensive apparel from a person you just met? Yes, we do it all the time. Because the procurement of an apparel is one time transaction. But, as the price of the apparel increases, we will more inclined to buy it directly either from the official outlet of the manufacturer or comparatively well known retailer. Because we “know” the brand of the manufacturer and/or the brand of the retailer. In case of professional services, the professional is the product and the sales person herself. The procurement is not transactional but relationship based. Some may argue otherwise. An Investment Adviser may argue that she is selling investment advice. Well, not really. Professional services are not standardized like apparels or groceries. What professionals sell is the relationship.

Unfortunately, in India, relationship based marketing is less understood. What are the common methods we connect with prospects?

Cold calling and email campaigns

I think, everyone knows one secret– Cold Calls are irritating? I have not come across a single person who likes to get calls from a stranger trying to “close” a transaction. Then why is cold calling so popular? Probably simply habit. Many professionals believe that cold calling is the only option and that is the problem.

Another option used frequently now a days is email campaigns. After I registered my company, I received hundreds of emails from strangers who requested an appointment for current accounts and for various other services. The emails were mostly identical to each other. Everyone seemed to use the same format with minor changes. Nobody stood out. Many emails went directly to the spam folder.

I chose the services from institution I was already accustomed to. For example, I opened the current account with the bank I had a savings account. The offerings are same for pretty much all the banks but this is the bank I did “know” about.

Commoditisation and differentiation

Commoditisation is a process through which the perception of exclusivity (specialty) in a product and service gets eroded by competition. It is not about what is actually different or special about your service, it is about the perception in your prospect’s mind.

Professional services are exposed to the risk of commoditisation because the only scope of differentiation is the knowledge and skills of the service provider.

The problem with the traditional marketing methods described above that they cannot highlight the said knowledge and skills which are the primary source of differentiation.

Making a sale versus building credibility

What is the goal of marketing ? Yes, getting more sales is why you are doing the marketing. But, are you looking for transactions or to build a customer base who repeatedly procure from you?

Most traditional marketing methods focus on the transaction, not building the customer base.

If you ask me

The core of marketing is building credibility, sales is a by-product.

It seems counterintuitive, right?

The issue is, a marketer solely focusing on “closing” the sale will be inclined to make false claims and may not take the time to build the relationship with the prospect. The prospect may end up making a procurement but we may fail to create a customer.

What do you think about it? Please comment below.

Yours,

Sam Ghosh

Founder at Wisejay, A Social Selling Platform for Financial Professionals.

Post your financial query on Wisejay/ Openhouse in ONE MINUTE.

So, you have an investment related  or a tax related question. 

How can you get the answer?

Ask your friend . But, is your friend the best person to answer that ? In most cases, NO.

Search the internet.  Not only it will take a lot of effort, but also – answers specific to your situation may not be available,

Assume that you know the answer.  This is the most dangerous situation. Please do not do it.

 

To solve the above issue- we have built Openhouse where you can post your query easily.

Some features of Openhouse: 

1. You can post your questions anonymously to have more privacy.

2. You can upload any document. Currently, only pictures will be displayed. Other files will appear as links.

3. You can access your posted questions anytime from the Notification/Activity Panel. You can Edit any part of the question anytime with few clicks. You can delete the question any time.

4. You will get real time notification when someone answers your question. Only ‘Service Providers’ are allowed to answer.

5. You can have a discussion on the answer posted by posting reactions to the answers. Real time notifications allow you to have a real conversation.

6. Multiple answers are allowed. So, you can get various points of views.

7. The answers can be liked, shared on different social media and you can see the profile of the answer poster.

 

For more queries contact us at support@wisejay.com

 

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Claim your FREE Financial Evaluation on Wisejay.com – Client Account

The very first step towards your Financial Planning is understating your financial priorities. We have developed the Financial Evaluator  just for that purpose. This evaluator not only gives you information about your current situation, but also makes forecasts about your financial situation in the future.

This is not a Financial Plan but points to your financial pain points and priorities. Hope this helps you understand your financial situation a little more clearly. The figures in this report are not absolute and are best estimates based on current macroeconomic assumptions and your entered information. As we update the macroeconomic assumptions, the figures will change. We recommend you to create this report on a periodic basis and any time your financial situation changes. Examples of such changes are life events such as marriage or receipt of an inheritance.

We strongly recommend you not to fill this form in a hurry or from memory. After entering data in the Personal Profile page, just review the information that is required for the Financial Evaluation. Collect the documents to refer to required information and then fill the form. We do not require you to fill precise information. We also suggest that you change some the assumptions (such as Salary growth rate or Reserve Fund) and see what happens to the evaluation – in short carry out Scenario Analysis for different assumptions.

There are two ways you can get help in this page –

1. The guide on the top the page, and

2. The Green dots  next to entry fields.

Click on the Guide button or hover on the Green Dots to get more information.

To get a complete picture of your finances, we need to get information on your 1. Income sources, 2. Expenses, 3. Assets, 4. Liabilities and 5. Retirement Choices.

Accordingly, this form is divided into five sections.

 

The Income and Expenses sections require you to enter annual data.

We use popups on this page – please allow popup for Wisejay.com.  Most popups are calculators designed to help you calculate values of different assets and liabilities.

Interest rates on the page are APR or quoted rates. So, no calculation is required and you can use the rated mentioned in the offer documents.

Terminology in Loan pop-ups:

Original Principal:

The actual amount of loan you have received. We are assuming that you have  received the whole loan amount at once. If you have received the loan amount in installments, then consider them as separate loans.

APR:

Quoted interest rate for the loan. If not sure, contact the lender.

Payments already made:

The NUMBER of payments already made. For example, the loan term is 5 years and you have to make monthly payments i.e. 12 payments per year. That  means 60 total payments. It has already been one year since you took the loan and you  paid monthly EMI – 12 payments so far.  So, Payments Already Made = 12.

Rest of the figures will be be calculated automatically.

Retirement Inputs:

If you are single and do not have a pension plan-  you can simply click submit and go to the report.

If you are married or have joint finances, you will need to enter  your spouse or partner’s date of births.

If you have a pension plan, but do not know the details – just click the checkbox for that purpose. Same for your spouse or partner. You do not have to guess the Pension Percentage the system will calculate it automatically.

The rest of the inputs will be automatically calculated.

Sample report pages:

 

 

If you have any more doubt about terminology, etc. Please post your question on the Openhouse.

Or, you can contact us at support@wisejay.com

 

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How to create Wisejay.com account in seconds?

Creating an account on Wisejay.com is a matter of seconds.

There are two types of accounts on Wisejay.com:

  1. Client Account : If you are looking for help with your finances.
  2. Service Account : If you are here to help people with their finances or sell financial products.

 

Step 1:

Choose what type of account you want to create.  need a Tax Number for Service Account.

Step 2: 

If you want to create a Client Account, click on “Create Client Account” button and access the Client Registration panel.

If you want to create a Service Account, scroll down and click on “Create Service Account” button to access Registration panel for Service Providers.

Step 3:

You can either use Email- Password combination for registration or use Facebook account for quick access.

Email- Password Combination:

Enter a valid email in the “Email” field, enter a password of your choice in the “Password” and “Re-Enter password” fields. For security reasons the passwords require to follow some rules

1. Password at least 8 characters and at most 16 characters long.

2. Password must contain at least one capital, one small letter, ,one number and one special characters from : ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ – + and

3. No other special character is allowed.

Click on the “Submit” button. This will create your account and send an email to your email address for verification. Open your email and look for mail from Wisejay with the subject “Wisejay account activation”. Open the email and click on the “Click Me” button. This will activate your account and then you can to login to your account using Email and Password.

Note: If you create account using Email – Password, you cannot login using Facebook even if your Facebook account has the same email address.

Facebook Sign-up:

On the Registration panel look for “Sign-up with Facebook” button. Click on the button. If you are already logged into Facebook, your account will be automatically created and you will be taken to your Personal Profile.

If you are not logged into Facebook, a new window will be opened and you will be asked to enter your Facebook Email and password. 

Note: If you an create account using Facebook credentials, you cannot login using Email- Password,  even if your Facebook account has the same email address.

 

Contact ussupport@wisejay.com

 

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Is Wisejay.com secure ?

We are the proverbial “new kid on the block” and we are yet to prove ourselves. Security is something most people are concerned on the internet and rightfully so. Not every website is safe and it takes a constant attention and care to make and keep a website secure for users.

In this post, we would like to briefly discuss the actions we have taken to make your experience secure at Wisejay.com. Before we talk about that, let us understand how your computer or cell phone connects to the websites.

A Simple Network 

The above picture shows a very simplistic network. The “Client” is the browser on your computer or cell phone. The “Web Server” in our case in the server using which we are sending the website contents to your browsers. The “Database” is another server which contains the data you save using the website.

Common Vulnerabilities 

Client Side: 

Believe it or not, many web attacks can start browsers. For example, in Cross Site Scripting  (XSS) attack, an attacker sends malicious code to your browser. The code is designed to steal your information from cookies, session tokens, etc.  For example, they can access your passwords for banking websites.

In Transit: 

Data is transmitted through the internet in the form of Data-gram packets with details of the sender and receiver in the header.  Without proper encryption and authentication (that your browser is receiving information from a trusted source) any person with the necessary skillscan intercept, send and receive data not meant for them. This is called Man in the Middle attack.

Server Side Attacks:

These attacks try to steal the data from a database or make the server fail. For example, an SQL Injection attack tries to include malicious code in the user input, which can change the database interaction with the web server from the interaction intended by the developers. They can get  access to data without authorization or damage the database.

What we are Doing 

Web security in a continuous process and as we grow, we will continue to make it a priority to protect your security on our website

As shown above, we have taken various steps to secure your experience.  We will discuss some of the above. We do not want to reveal all details because that can make us vulnerable to attack

Content Security Policy (CSP)

This is how Mozilla defines Content Security Policy :

“Content Security Policy (CSP) is an added layer of security that helps to detect and mitigate certain types of attacks, including Cross Site Scripting (XSS) and data injection attacks. These attacks are used for everything from data theft to site defacement or distribution of malware.”

CSP becomes part of the HTTP header and allows browsers control which scrips or commands to run and which one to ignore.  We use strict CSPs to protect you from XSS and other type of attacks. 

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) :

We use SSL certificate provided by industry leader Comodo. This safeguards your data while in transit by encryption and authentication.

AWS Firewall:

We use Amazon Web Services to host our website. AWS provides a firewall to protect web applications. It provides a network-based blocking mechanism. You can define what ports of the server can be accessed  from which IPs and for what kind of data.

Server Security Settings

Our servers are configured to prevent various types of injection attacks.

Hashing of sensitive credentials

We encrypt sensitive user information such as passwords to protect your privacy.

Access Control of Database  

Access to database and other resources is only allowed on a need to know basis.

 

Thank you for reading. For more information or concerns write to us – support@wisejay.com

 

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