March 24, 2017
How can a website redesign possibly save you this kind of money? The short answer is by attracting just one new client, or keeping one.
$50,000 is actually conservative. According to Nerd's Eye View, the go-to authority for all things advisor, the lifetime value of an advisory client is somewhere in the $40,000 - $80,000 range. Admittedly they're using a simplified formula, but it's the ballpark that matters. To make our point for this post we've chosen a nice conservative round number: $50,000.
So that's roughly what you stand to gain with the acquisition or retention of a single client. That's a significant number, and one that could double, triple or more if we're talking high net worth or institutional clients.
You might be thinking that's not going to happen for your firm. After all, you're not getting any clients through your website now, and probably won't in the future. Your industry is different. Your clients aren't simply doing a Google search for 'financial advisors', clicking on a website, and entrusting their wealth and family's legacy to some firm they found online.
Oh, but they are. That's exactly what they're doing. And while there's certainly more to obtaining a client than just the initial contact, data shows that people who reach out on a website are typically 70% of the way through their buying journey. That means the majority of sales is being done by your website on your behalf, like it or not.
Even if your website doesn't currently rank well on Google, you're still receiving visits from qualified prospects over the course of a year. But if they find your website outdated, slow, mobile un-friendly, or just unprofessional, they will quickly move on to a more appealing website – one belonging to a competitor. You'll be none the wiser.
An outdated or unprofessional website also harms your current client base. You can be sure your outdated website bothers at least a portion of your clients. They may find your lack of attention to detail troubling, enough to get a wandering eye, and they certainly won't be showing your website to their buddies on the golf course.
While a website redesign doesn't come with a guarantee of new business, it's almost hard not to have that be the result. Let's start with the data.
This explains why an outdated website drives potential clients away. On top of lower Google rankings (visibility), when people do find your website they are getting turned off quickly, likely never to return. They certainly aren't hanging around long enough to engage with you about your services.
So, clearly the numbers are heavily weighted in favor of a website redesign. It's still not a guarantee, but life (and certainly business) is not about guarantees - it's about stacking the odds in your favor. It's about giving yourself the best possible chance to be successful in a competitive marketplace. Ignoring an outdated website and allowing it to harm both your client base and your reputation is a clear mistake. And given the high lifetime value of an advisory client, it's an especially big mistake for financial services firms.
Even in the very unlikely event that your new website comes up crickets for years following a redesign, you still get the benefit of a valuable sales asset. Having a professional website to point prospects to can often help seal the deal when you're pitching person-to-person. Prospects will be checking it out anyway, so why not be able to highlight it and be proud of it, rather than embarrassed by it. It can be a powerful closer.
And don't forget the other important factor here - client retention. It's not always about landing a new client, sometimes it's about saving one. All it takes is one client who may have been considering taking their business elsewhere to see that you've put some time and money back into your business. A redesign says you're successful, that you care about your client's experience, that you're up to date on marketplace trends, and that you pay attention to detail. Those things go a long way toward maintaining a client's confidence in your firm, especially through downturns.
The lifetime value of an advisory client ($50k+) is simply so big in relation to the cost of a website redesign ($5-10k) that making sure your website is attractive to new and current clients always makes sense. Doing the opposite - going years without redesigning your website, and turning off any number of potential and current clients - never makes sense. You're never saving money by putting off a redesign, you're always losing money. There's a reason the best firms always have a nice website, and why you'll never read an article featuring a successful firm who attributes their growth to "saving a few grand by letting our website cobweb". It just doesn't work that way.
As a trusted advisor, you put your clients in the best position to reach their goals - and you should be doing the same with your own advisory firm. That starts with doing what makes clear business sense, and following what others have done to be successful in today's marketplace. Listen to what the data is telling you. Listen to what the experts are telling you. And most importantly, don't make the mistake of stepping over dollars to pick up pennies.