From the Desk of the DG: Marketing made easy – the sequel

15th March 2019Brian McMillan0

Two weeks ago, I talked about watching what other companies do and how they market themselves and their products. I gave some tips I’ve picked up over the years and now I want to expand on that article.

We know that “selling off the page” through newspapers does not work unless you have something special, difficult or unique to offer. We have also experienced members who, using the discount vouchers such as Groupon and similar have got themselves into potentially serious trouble.

Wills, LPA’s, funeral plans etc. are best sold face to face, so how do you get in front of clients?

You could buy leads, the more ‘qualified’ they are, the more they cost and the more you may lose.

However, that said it is a tried and tested means of getting business, but you do need to be fully aware of the GDPR regulations in this area. You also need to be ready to take rejection, probably 9 out of 10 calls you make will reject you.

Have you ever considered what the receiver thinks when the person making the calls begins with Wills or Funeral Plans? No? then perhaps you should. People in general do not want to face their own mortality – maybe try a new opening, possibly put it as estate planning or Powers of Attorney.

Remember also what I said last time: People do business with people they like. If you did not like the person would you continue to do business with them? It is said (but I don’t know who said it) that it takes just 12.5 seconds to weigh up a person.

So, what is available, and how can you access these markets?


The first has to be charities, and I’m not suggesting to contact Cancer Research UK and offer to work with them globally, I’m talking about contacting local groups who are supported by the various charities; local charity support groups meet regularly to give support to each other, often in the most difficult circumstances, but also to listen to people such as yourselves who can give a good presentation on the need for the products and services your offer and as I talked about last time, the presentation needs to be specific to that group.

Over the years I’ve given many presentations to charitable groups, most will cost you nothing, some might benefit from you sponsoring the teas, coffees and biscuits for the evening. The important thing to know is what does the charity stand for and what do the group expect from your presentation.

The talk you give to groups of parents of autistic children will be different from say, the spouses and partners where their partners are suffering from some form of dementia.

I use the ten top reasons for making a Will, on an A1 flip chart. I would write the numbers and a very brief description, the rest is down to me to deliver and answer questions. Much cheaper than using a power point and less likely to break down in front of your audience.

Don’t be put off if you cannot get a slot for several months, they do receive a lot of requests.

IFA’s, Mortgage Brokers and Accountants

Other professionals are as hungry for work as you are, and this section talks about the three main ones.

Working with other professionals provides you with regular income, and if you price it right a good income.

The professionals in this group, overall, have considered Wills etc. but are too busy to do it themselves. And why should they when they could have you doing it for them?

IFA’s especially are usually too busy selling and chasing the next lead to want to spend time drafting Wills, and the same could be said of the other two in this group; this is where you come in. Of course, you will need literature and a perfect presentation, but that’s what it’s all about.

An average sized town will have 30 – 40 IFA practices, similar numbers in mortgage brokers and many more accountants. The ACAEW has over 180,000 members, and that’s just the chartered ones, there are many more who are not.

If you are looking to increase your business, or things are a bit slow at the moment then now is a good time to sit down and plan your target audiences.

If you are struggling, talk to your Society, that’s what we are here for, we can help in design, printing and marketing.

Please let me know if you find these short articles interesting.


Brian McMillan

Director General of The Society of Will Writers, leading the way in the Will Writing profession since 1994.

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