Sell yourself not products


March 2, 2012


Martin Reynolds is chief executive of SimplyBiz Mortgages


Previously in this blog we have spoken about business plans and the importance of concentrating on the positives. In my opinion the biggest positive in any business are its people.


When promoting our businesses the majority of the time we tell people what we can help them with i.e. mortgages, protection or general insurance.


Whilst this is important what is it that makes someone want to buy these products through an intermediary? It’s the people – their advice and the service that they offer.


Any advertising should have words or phrases such as: “expert advice”, “whole of market”, “independent advice”, “talk to an expert”, “professional service” or “providing you with all your options”.


Any customer facing business should have a mantra of “Service, Service, Service!” Whilst this may seem obvious it’s not always followed through when we are busy and time is tight.


A key litmus test in whether you are succeeding in putting service first on a consistent basis is by looking at your last two months’ appointments. Split them into categories:


1.       A purchased lead

2.       Existing customers returning

3.       Recommendation

4.       Advertising

5.       Walk ins


If points two and three are making up at least 50% of your business, then you know that you have a very satisfied client bank. The next step is to utilise it even further.


One of the cornerstones of good customer service is the knowledge of the adviser. Whilst we cannot be expected to know everything, we do need to know the facts of the market within which we’re operating. Two examples of this could be:


1.       Do you know lenders’ turnaround times?

2.       Do you know what protection providers percentage pay outs are?


A large proportion of lenders now either publish turnaround times on their websites or email them to their registered advisers. If they don’t, ask your local BDM for updates on a regular basis.


It may even be an idea for one of the trade publications to have a section on their website for this purpose. This information is key when advising a client which lender is the most appropriate for them, especially if it is a time constrained purchase.


Equally important are protection providers pay out percentages. After cost, one of the main customer objections to taking out protection is “Well they will never pay out anyway”.


Again, most providers release their figures on a regular basis. These figures can be used as an important tool in overcoming customer objections.


Whilst all the above are technically ‘soft skills’ they are what makes your business different to others. You all have access to products but make sure you are selling yourself, not the product. You are selling your expertise and your service. You are selling YOU. Don’t undersell yourself.

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