From the desk of the DG: Marketing made easy

1st March 2019Brian McMillan0

Have you ever given thought as to why a company the size of Sky would use M&S vouchers as an incentive to take their own product? Although M&S may not be doing too well on sales, the brand is well known for quality, and before coming to a decision they had probably spent millions on market research before it was launched, and brand is what it is all about – but your brand means everything to you, and it does not matter whether you are a sole trader or a will writing company with a hundred consultants, brand is everything.

When you are considering partnering with another organisation to promote your business, their brand needs to be as strong or stronger than yours and guarantee it can deliver.

One of Ted Bakers statements, printed on the inside of packaging purchased online is “Ted always delivers”, this simple statement does not simply mean that the package has arrived, but also that they deliver on style, deliver on quality and deliver on price and that they deliver on client satisfaction.

One I came across recently was from Hollister, in the parcel was a card which simply said, “You could have shopped anywhere in the world, but you’re here with us, we appreciate that”. It could just as easily say “you could have used any Will Writer in Barnsley but you chose us to work with you, we really appreciate that.”

Short statements, but effective and appreciated, rewritten correctly can be used by you to simply tell your clients how much you appreciate their business.

I’ve seen small packets of Haribo used in a similar way, cost almost nothing, but say a lot about you and your business when your client opens the envelope expecting their Wills, to find a small gift.

Advertising and promotions do not have to cost the earth.

What, if anything to do with a Will, are we selling? Answer: Peace of Mind.

When it comes to referrals, how do you do it, if you do it at all? If you’re the sort that asks for a referral the moment the job is complete, I suspect that your conversion rate is low (I might be wrong, it has been known on occasions), but how about using the Haribo trick and this time writing to them after ten days (not forgetting the Haribo)? Don’t leave it too long or they go cold, asking the clients if they were happy with the experience, the product and service and if the answer is yes, now is the time to ask for the details of any friends or family they feel could benefit from your service.

If all went well, the clients should have the Peace of Mind knowing that they have “sorted matters out” and that the experience was not as sombre or morbid as they thought it would be, in fact it was all very pleasant and not at all stressful. It is whilst in this state of mind they are more likely to give you a referral. Since GDPR you do need to make sure that they ask the peoples permission.

So here we are back at the start, because you can offer your clients an M&S voucher (albeit probably today an Amazon voucher) when a referral turns into paid business.

So, the moral of this is, don’t always go out to make a cup of tea when the adverts come on, go around keeping your ears and eyes open to suggestions, and always keep a notebook in your pocket.

Good hunting,


Brian McMillan

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

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