One group will suggest that, with the invention of the Internet, the industry has “evolved.” The other group may suggest that, with the recent downturn in the economy, the industry has come full circle.
Both groups would be correct although they approach the industry from completely different views.
The question is, “Which note broker are you?” And, more importantly, “Are you on the right track to get today’s business?”
The Traditional Consultant
By “Traditional” I mean a consultant that largely conducts his or her business offline. They may have a “web page” but it is really just a virtual storefront that shows you exist.
A traditional consultant drums up business in three primary ways:
- Newspaper Advertisements; and
- Direct Mail
The “referral” method has always been the same. It is a face-to-face relationship building exercise that, short of “reverse marketing,” is non-stop networking. Build solid relationships and the business will come.
Newspaper has grown over the years – so has the competition. Anyone can place an advertisement right next to yours. The modern day consultant needs to be in several states to take advantage of multiple state pricing.
Lastly, direct mail has had the most advances over the years. Even though your business may not “exist” on the Internet, many leads (or at least their information) are available. There are many services that can help you obtain the names and addresses of qualified leads for direct mail campaigns – thereby saving you time and money.
The Online Consultant
The “Online” consultant may do many of the things a traditional consultant does but the vast amount of leads come from Internet related activities. It is here where substantial advancements have been made.
For starters, you can pay to be seen first. Much like buying a bigger advertisement in a newspaper, you can pay Google or Yahoo to show your site first (or in the top two or three). It is called Pay-Per-Click. You only pay a fee if someone “clicks” on your website. Although there is no guarantee of a deal, there is an implied guarantee of leads (or traffic).
People on the Internet are looking for information. You must have a content rich site that gives prospective clients plenty to read. If your site is just a “brochure” site; meaning there is nothing more than some company info, phone number, and email address – you must rely on the advertising methods used by the Traditional Consultant.
How you manage your information is just as important as having it. There are many Internet “tricks” that can help your site get more traffic. The Online Consultant needs to be up to speed on the latest and most effective Internet practices.
The Online Consultant must also stay in contact with potential and existing clients. This is often handled by ongoing communication including emails, blogs, and online eletters.
Online or Traditional?
Is it possible to use the methods of both the online and the traditional consultant in the cash flow notes business? Yes, provided you keep in mind that the message must target the audience. In the next 10 years the most successful cash flow brokers will likely be the consultants that combine the best techniques of both the online and traditional note brokers.