We all put in the time and effort to prepare for that all-important job interview, so why don't mortgage brokers do the same before meeting clients? Phil Whitehouse, managing director of MCI Mortgage Club, looks at how brokers can establish better customer relationships.
If you had an important job interview coming up, chances are you'd put a bit of effort into preparing for it. You'd probably read up on the company, to ensure you have something decent to say when the interviewer asks ‘so what do you know about us?'
You might take some time to consider what might be asked of you and prepare some winning answers. And, if you're sensible, you'd take some time to plan a couple of questions to avoid the awkward moment when asked ‘Is there anything you'd like to ask us?'
What you wouldn't do, I'm sure, is put the date in your diary and think nothing more of it until you get there. Yet, strangely enough, this is the approach some brokers take when meeting clients to win their business.
When a potential client arranges a meeting with you to discuss taking out a mortgage he or she is essentially interviewing you. They don't have to give their business to you. What you do in that hour or two you spend with them will determine whether or not they do and that is why preparation is key.
Essentially, you should be starting the sales process even before you meet the customer. For example, ask your client to send in the necessary ID and bank statements so you can get an idea of their financial position and look at ways to help them to save money.
Let your customer know ahead of the meeting that you are going to cover such products as conveyancing, life protection and household insurance and manage their expectations so they are prepared for what you are going to say and will be more receptive.
One of the best tools at your disposal when it comes to preparation and getting ahead is a good technology system.
The client will want efficiency and speed and the right technology will help you to offer this, preparing likely illustrations and information before you've even had your first meeting.
There is technology available that can give your customer their own ‘portal' in which to view their own records and upload and download documents safely and securely and to speedy timescales.
Such tools will allow you to automatically get indicative quotations for conveyancing and life and household insurance using minimal information when you first make contact with the customer.
This can then be sent to the customer automatically with a message stating ‘You will need a conveyancer for your property transaction but don't worry, I have that already sorted out for you - and here is the cost!' or ‘You will need to consider taking out suitable insurance to protect you and your home but don't get concerned, I will take care of that for you and here are some indicative quotations so that we can put such cover in place to cover easily'.
Your customer will be impressed by the service and the risk of them going elsewhere or being poached by other brokers is minimised.
What's more, the income you generate will be significant, especially when you consider that it has been earned without much input from you.
With all the necessary information stored you'll also be better prepared when it comes to renewals, meanwhile, even better technology can prompt customers who did not initially take out a product with you at completion of the mortgage to now take out the product.
In a world where efficiency is key, preparation is a must. Advancements in technology are happening every day, give yourself an edge on the competition by making use of them.
Published by Mortgage Solutions