Post-Xmas greetings from Lajitas, TX. We’ve been here for six weeks so far … no snow, lots of sunshine, and most days in the mid-60s to low 70s.
Some of you found last week’s Alexa-find-me-a-business-valuation-expert conversation a little disconcerting, i.e., more technology to master. But we are using the very same technology at home already. The difference is that now we are the product being searched for, not the customer doing the searching!
On to this week. Next generation search is just one new opportunity presented by voice-controlled devices like Amazon’s Echo. Below are two more Alexa opportunities to consider for your practice. And if you don’t see others doing it in our staid industry, that’s even more of a reason to jump in now. They call it being ahead of the curve for a reason.
January 6, 2016 UPDATE: Amazon is reporting it has sold over 100 million Alexa devices.
And if you’re new here, welcome aboard. This is what we do!
So you didn’t find a 2019 BVLS Practice Development Marketing Plan tucked under your tree or stuffed in your stocking?
Pshaw! Well, you can still download your copy in time to start the New Year with, well, a plan. It’s turnkey, and it will take the guesswork out of what to do, why to do it, how to do it, and when to do it. What more could you ask for?!
It is a fact that we are moving beyond computer keyboards and text. As I noted last week, PC sales are declining, except for the 2-in-1 laptops that fold into tablets and hybrids like Surface and iPads tablets with keyboards.
At the same time, voice-controlled devices like Amazon’s Echo, Apple’s HomePod, Google Home, and Facebook’s Portal are becoming more common. As they move into the office, that has implications – practice development and practice management implications – if we take to the time to think about it.
With a little research, here are two ways I found how Alexa could help us.
#1: Practice Development
Spread the word about what we do
Want a fresh new way to distribute information to your leads, prospects, clients, and referral sources? Consider an Alexa Flash Briefing to deliver pre-recorded audio content on a daily or weekly basis.
When you set up a flash briefing, it becomes available to Echo owners in the Alexa Skills store. After installing it as a skill, they can say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing” to listen. A briefing can be up to 10 minutes long. Think of it as a micro-podcast.
We can create a flash briefing to offer things like our niche’s industry news, valuation insights and tips, case law updates, etc. Market research firm Futuresource Consulting recently reported that 32% of smart speaker owners use the devices for news updates. Some of those people probably need experts like us.
Why I think this is important: People are reading less and less. That means it’s getting harder to build Authority using text-only “messaging.” At the same time, I see reluctance on the part of BVFLS practitioners to put together a podcast, much less getting in front of a camera to record YouTube videos. For the introverts among us, an Alexa Flash Briefing may be the Goldilocks’ “just right” alternative.
#2: Practice Management
Deliver a valuation report
Ripped from the (NACVA QuickRead) headlines:
Valuations that Literally Speak with Your Clients
“What if your valuation reports could have a two-way conversation with your clients? How would that improve the usability of your work product? Could it increase the value of your firm’s intellectual capital?”
The article’s author demonstrates how Alexa can deliver a calculation report to a client. You can listen to an audio recording between Alexa and the author posing as a fictitious business owner to see how it works (and sounds).
All of this is powered by Alexa Voice AI. And you’ll see/hear some the benefits to valuation practitioners and clients that can’t be achieved using our more traditional written reports. More specifically, it is a slick alternative for liberating the content of a valuation report that is otherwise barely read to a harried business owner or attorney.
Further into the article, the author shows how Alexa can be used in another valuation-related skill, delivering training to staff.
Why I think this is important: I love shows like (the original) Star Trek. I was amazed at how then-current special effects showed me what everyday life would be like in the future. Our future is just around the corner. Soon (likely sooner than we think) our younger colleagues will look back on how we prepared today’s reports and say, “God bless their hearts.”
It certainly is a brave new world. And these applications are still evolving. You might ask, “Who/what/where is the audience for this?” Dunno. But if you wait to find the answers, your audience will belong to someone who didn’t.
In real life
You might think that these applications are kind of nerdy and will only appeal to a small patch of techy valuation practitioners and clients. Caveat emptor … the geeks shall inherit the earth.
Reading that can help
Don’t have a voice-controlled device yet: Here’s How to Choose Between the Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod.
For the step-by-step actions to get a flash briefing done: How to Set Up an Alexa Flash Briefing: A Guide for Marketers.
To hear a valuation report: Valuations that Literally Speak with Your Clients.
– If you like what I write about, tell a colleague.
– If something resonates and you want to reach out directly, email me.
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– If you want a sense of how well your practice is working for you, take this Practice Self Assessment.