Monday I spoke with Marc B., a Walnut Creek based CPA. (Thanks for the referral Jerry)
Unfortunately I forgot the picture.
Marc agrees with our hypothesis that the two main problems with end of life events are the data (documents missing or not organized) and the people (emotional stress and differing expectations can lead to very negative outcomes). He thinks that our site could solve the data problem; he’s not sure anything can solve the people problem.
Feature suggestion: Include a way to leave notes about intentions (what to do with the house, the family business, etc). Build those conversations into the site.
He suggested that there is huge value in becoming the ‘trusted adviser’ for life planning. If we can build a long term relationship with our clients we can extend services into financial planning, insurance, and maybe tax preparation. It’s hard to sell those right off the bat though. It’s likely that we’ll only be able to make a few referrals outside of attorneys right off the bat.
Which brings us back to Steve’s question in class about how we build our referral network without the overhead of a direct sales force… If we won’t have demand for referrals off the bat, we probably don’t need a network early on. I thinking we focus on the legal document creation path for now. I don’t love the idea of competing with legal zoom, but it might be the way to go since we’ll still have a very different value proposition.