The variety of financial tools and services available today has multiplied dramatically from a generation ago. On both the personal front and in the business sector there has been a dramatic increase in the number of products available, the methods by which they are delivered and the services they require.
The internet is a perfect system for laying out preliminary information in the financial services industry, where product options can get complicated fairly quickly. Businesses of all sizes that are engaged in some portion of this industry are finding that a website makes good business sense.
An enormous amount of financially related business is still done at the local level. Mortgages, auto and home loans and insurance policies are still usually secured from a local agent. The small businessman engaged in providing such products need only think about the amount of time he or she spends on the phone explaining the basics of their services to realize how much time a website could save them.
When a customer calls about auto insurance, think about the ability to refer the caller to your website to learn about the required minimum coverage, about the relationship of the vehicle's value, about the relationship of personal injury coverage to health insurance.
Think about having a website that explains the four or five home mortgage options that are available, about how they are affected by down payment, credit history and loan amount. Consider the enormous number of variables available in health insurance for both individuals and families, and envision a chart on your own website that explains how those policies work.
That's only a start on the types of benefits a website can provide to a small businessman or regional company in the financial services business. Your website can provide explanations, charts, even video clips explaining:
- Retirement planning
- Medicare insurance options
- Home loans, including specialties such as tenants-in kind
- Real estate history and trends in your area
- Auto insurance, including the effects of driving records and assigned risk
- Investments - mutual funds or annuities? Stocks or CDs?
- Estate planning
- Health insurance - a new policy, or COBRA?
These are a few examples plucked from a vast array of financial services that are out there today. Your website can become your reference library, your consulting tool, and your business partner when it comes to educating your clients. Websites provide multidimensional explanations of material in a far more effective fashion than brochures. No matter how glossy, stacks of paper that use terms only half understood are intimidating to people.
Your website can have an entire dictionary section, so that potential customers can learn terminology at their leisure, rather than ask embarrassing questions. And of course, the fewer questions they have when they pay a call on you, the less time is consumed in moving towards a potential sale.
Use the graphics capability of a website to maximize the attractive nature of your particular company. Take advantage of a personalized business website to explain why your services are better, unique, priced more reasonably, performed more thoroughly. With any complex financial product, you'll need to explain how your selection of products can meet an entire range of consumer needs. Your website can do that for you.
Financial products can be presented online just as attractively as real estate is today. For every financial product, there is a personal benefit that can be reinforced with images. For products with multiple options and complex purchasing decisions, a website provides a consumer with an invaluable tool that is available 24/7. Your potential customer won't be sitting across from you, concerned that there's been a question missed or an issue not fully understood. A website is like an office staff to a financial services professional: there's no better business for harnessing the efficiency of the new technology.