Picture yourself walking through a meadow on a sunny day and arriving at the edge of a gently flowing stream.
To continue your journey you need to cross the stream. The stream is reasonably wide but you reckon it’s just about small enough that you could jump to the other side if you took a run at it.
You can also see that, a few metres further down the stream, someone has helpfully placed a number of stepping stones in the water. You could use these to easily get across to the other side - but it obviously wouldn't be as quick as jumping to the other bank.
What are you going to do?
Take the slow but safe route via the stepping stones, or risk the big jump?
Of course, the answer will vary from one person to the next and will depend on things like what kind of person you are, whether you’re a risk-taker, whether you’re in a rush to get home, etc.
By now you’re probably wondering why I’m banging on about streams. Well, let me explain…
What is the buyer journey?
Every new client you’ve ever taken on in your business will have gone on some kind of buyer journey before becoming a client.
The bit of that journey where they’re starting to think about buying the services you offer - such as mortgage advice - is the equivalent of them walking through that meadow I asked you to imagine at the start of this email.
When they get to the bank of the stream, that’s when they first become aware of you and your business as a place where they could potentially buy those services.
But before they will actually turn into a lead by requesting a call or a meeting with you, we have to get them across to the other side of that stream.
And, as we’ve seen earlier, some people will cross that stream with one big leap and others will want to go across nice and slowly using the stepping stones.
In other words, different buyers will complete that buyer journey in different ways.
The buyer journey for mortgage clients
If you’re a mortgage broker, you’re quite lucky because a lot of your prospects are going to be willing to jump the stream.
That’s because they have a high level of motivation. They’ve often just seen the dream house they want to buy and they don’t want to risk losing it by delaying getting their mortgage sorted.
So they might be willing to submit a mortgage enquiry the first time they visit your website, even if they’re normally someone who is a bit more cautious and likes to think about things and digest some information before they rush in and commit to a phone call.
It’s the same as someone who’d normally choose the relative safety of the stepping stones deciding to jump the stream this time because there’s an angry bull chasing after them. The higher the level of motivation, the more risks people will take.
Of course, not all mortgage clients are in a rush. Some are just starting to think about whether they might move house or buy their first home. They won’t have that same sense of urgency and that same motivation to jump straight into having a call with you.
And if you’re looking for leads for things like life insurance, pensions, or income protection then, again, you’ll definitely find your prospects are less motivated to make that leap. After all, retirement always seems a long way off and no-one thinks they’re going to die tomorrow.
Add some stepping stones to get more leads
And that's why your website needs some stepping stones for the people who prefer to take that buyer journey one step at a time instead of filling in an enquiry form the first time they come across your website.
The best way to add stepping stones to your website is to create a lead magnet - some kind of useful free guide, checklist, or similar - which people can download for free in return for giving you their name and email address.
This isn’t so as you can contact them and try to sell them something - it’s just so as your website can deliver the lead magnet to them.
This lead magnet mustn’t be a sales pitch or a brochure. It needs to be something that will help your prospect overcome an immediate challenge. It needs to be something that will help them get to the next step on that buyer journey.
For example, if your target audience is people looking for an adverse credit mortgage, then you could offer a free guide called something like:
5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score in the Next 90 Days
Once someone has downloaded your guide, then they join your mailing list.
And once they are on your mailing list you can send them further emails on a regular basis. And if those emails are helpful and packed with value then each email will move your prospect further along the buyer journey until they reach the far bank of the stream - i.e. until they reply to one of your emails and ask if they can speak to you.
If you want to learn exactly how to use email marketing to bring a steady stream of leads into your business, check out this special bundle of courses.