Taking the step to become qualified as a financial planner can make a significant difference to brokers’ client conversion rates, says one successful finance professional.
Speaking to The Adviser, Finance Made Easy director Tony Bice emphasised that since becoming qualified as a financial planner, he has found that his strike rate insofar as providing clients with risk insurance is much higher than it was previously.
“I looked at providing general advice and I found my strike rate was not that high because the onus is on the client to make the decision. When you go the extra step further and become a financial planner in your own right providing full advice, then you take control of the transaction, you control where it goes, your advice is what then becomes critical to assist the client in making their decision, and your strike rate is a hell of a lot higher insofar of conversion,” he said.
Mr Bice explained that mortgage brokers who have no experience or connection with financial planning and would like to assist their clients with risk insurance at the time of taking out a mortgage are only able to provide general advice.
“General advice simply means that they're highlighting the importance of risk insurance with the client, which is life insurance, total and permanent disability, critical illness and income protection, but because they're not a financial planner they're restricting their ability to give that advice and the client having to make the decision,” he elaborated.
“Your strike rate insofar as providing clients with the type of risk insurance that they need is much higher when you're in full control as a financial planner providing full advice, because you're able to steer the client around a lot more, you're able to give to give them the advice that they probably haven't thought of themselves, and you can really affirm the importance of your advice with the client and get them on the same page a lot earlier.
“If you leave it up to the client, you get a blank piece of paper and say ‘Tell me what you'd like’, those clients probably won't even know or they probably wouldn't see the importance of it, and it's probably not taken up in as many instances as it should.”
Further, Mr Bice stressed that, provided they have the resources to support them, it is indeed possible for brokers to be the jack of a number of trades.
“I think the days of a broker simply being a broker are numbered. I think if you adopt the attitude that you're just going to be a mortgage broker in today's market, I think that's fraught with danger,” he said.
Clients of the current market are very different to those of 10 years ago, according to Mr Bice.
“They're sourcing information online, they're looking at different opportunities, they're driving the transaction. So, if you've got a client that's much savvier and they've got the opportunity to do a lot of online work, it's going to make it more difficult for you to be able to win clients particularly when there's a saturation of so many mortgage brokers that are out there.
“The obvious thing you need to do is make yourself different from another mortgage broker. Differentiating yourself now will give you that unique selling opportunity to capture clients other than just being a mortgage broker, and that's critical.”