One of the biggest challenges for a broker is to stay ‘top of the client’s mind’. FrontRunner Consulting’s Doug Mathlin explains how to do it
ONCE YOU’VE written that loan for your client, it’s often a case of ‘set and forget’.
Except they don’t seem to forget their lender, and unless you make the effort, you may find they bypass you completely and go direct to the lender when they want to refinance in three years’ time.
After analysing many broker businesses over the past 15 years, it’s clear to me that your most effective marketing opportunity is the face-to-face meeting with your client. This is where they connect with you and you build a relationship by building trust and rapport with each of them – even if you don’t write their loan at that time.
Many brokers generate client referrals and recommendations soon after their face-to-face meeting with a new client but the referral rate drops away after about three months have elapsed.
If this is true for your business, it makes sense to get back in front of your clients and prospects at regular intervals. Sadly, many clients don’t see the need to meet with you to conduct a loan or debt review. They are time poor and are just as happy to do reviews by phone or email. Therefore, the chance of getting a referral from those clients wanes.
Client seminars, therefore, may be the vehicle you are looking for to encourage your clients to get back in front of you and to attract new clients to your business.
There are many types of seminar that you can conduct, including ones that cover:
First home buyers
Property investment strategies
Self-managed super fund lending
‘Thank you’ seminars (thanks for referring or being a great client)
Financial new year
‘Any excuse’ seminars
To conduct a successful seminar you need a few important ingredients:
A well-planned and coordinated event and a good reason for people to attend (education, networking, entertainment or all of the above)
A venue that reflects the image you want to convey
An invitation process that entices people and has them commit to attending
A variety of messages and speakers to keep it upbeat
A call to action – the ‘where to from here?’
A follow-up process for evaluation, needs analysis and solution selling
Many brokers conduct seminars very successfully with their referral partners. Accountants discuss tax structuring and minimisation; real estate agents advise on property hot spots and auction processes; and lawyers can present on the conveyance of property. These are obvious presentations, but there are many other subjects that can be included in your seminar.
The main ingredient for a successful seminar is a compelling purpose for holding it in the first place.
Don’t do it just for the sake of running a seminar or to see if you can generate some leads. Do it to educate, motivate and value-add to your clients’ financial livelihood. Do it to further build the relationship that you have with your clients. Do it to introduce your business network of professional service providers.
Also, it is very important to get a reasonable number of clients and prospects to attend. It can be disconcerting for a prospect to arrive at your seminar and see only six other people in attendance. It is a smart practice to invite your own clients and ask your referrers to invite their clients and to aim for fifty people to attend – you may need to invite 150 people to achieve this.
Finally, seminars should be fun for you and your guests. Make sure you have some amusing anecdotes, presenters or videos for people to enjoy.
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