Effective mentorship can play a critical role in the professional growth and development of brokers. This is because mentors can provide the wisdom, guidance, inspiration and encouragement needed to help new and established brokers overcome challenges and take their business forward. Tas Bindi speaks to BDM-turned-mentor Heather Gallagher about her perspective on mentorship.
Adelaide Bank is proud to sponsor The Adviser’s Meet the Mentor series. As a lender solely dedicated to third-party distribution, our passion is supporting brokers while ensuring our industry continues to thrive well into the future.
"No matter what stage you’re at in your career, or what career you’ve chosen, you can always learn something new from someone else,” says Heather Gallagher, outsource financial’s state manager of strategy and solutions for NSW and ACT.
“No one has everything figured out, and if you’re serious about your success, you will want to fill those knowledge gaps.”
Ms Gallagher has always had a passion for education, and she herself has benefited from the assistance of mentors at various stages of her career. But her path to becoming a mentor was somewhat unconventional.
Prior to joining outsource financial in February, she spent four years as a business development manager for BOQ. During her time at the bank, she would consider ways in which she could differentiate herself from other BDMs and decided to provide coaching and mentoring to brokers as a value-add.
“Now I’m in a role where I get to do that full-time,” she says. “My job is to help brokers be successful, whatever that means to them.”
Having mentored nearly 50 brokers throughout her career, both formally and informally, one of Ms Gallagher’s main observations is that many brokers struggle to have “whole-of-wallet” conversations with clients, which would allow them to generate more revenue by catering to more of their existing and future clients’ needs.
“They’re all very comfortable talking about the home loan, but they don’t know how to identify other opportunities… such as insurance opportunities, equipment finance, business finance,” she says.
“So, one of my big focuses as a mentor is designing and running programs to help [brokers] have that, as I call it, ‘whole-of-wallet’ conversation.”
One new initiative Ms Gallagher has established at outsource is a monthly, virtual learning session, called “Bring Your Own Cuppa”, which is delivered to NSW-based brokers via videoconferencing software Zoom.
“Earlier this year, I invited three of [outsource’s] lender partners to talk about how to have a conversation with an accountant referrer or a client’s accountant to generate opportunities… I invited some of our partners, who have plug-and-play unbranded marketing materials that are perfect for social media or for sending out to clients, to talk about how [brokers] can use them,” she explains.
“Off the back of that, one of my brokers, who’s been in the industry for a while, has just been absorbing all of this information and has redesigned her monthly communications to her clients using some of these tools – and she’s already starting to see rewards from that.”
When it comes to choosing a mentor, Ms Gallagher’s advice for brokers is to find someone they connect with and who has the skills that they lack.
“I think it’s really important to find someone who complements your business. There is no point in finding a mentor who isn’t an expert in, say, social media marketing, if that’s what
you need help with. You need to find someone who can fill your gaps,” she says.
“The nice thing about our industry is that successful people are generally happy to share how they got there.”
Tas Bindi is the features editor for The Adviser magazine.
Prior to joining Momentum Media, Tas wrote for business and technology titles such as ZDNet, TechRepublic, Startup Daily, and Dynamic Business.
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