Here are a few things you can do to get yourself on the right path.
Develop your value proposition
If a prospective client asks what you can do for them, what do you say? How do you define yourself? How do you differentiate yourself from the competition?
Understanding the market and being confident in your area of specialisation is critical to running a strong broker practice. Don't go too broad; pinpoint a specific area of expertise and look for ancillary sectors or industries where your expertise might be applicable. Write down your ideas but don't worry about getting it perfect; you'll have plenty of chances to refine it later. Having it written down will help keep you accountable and inspire you to update it if you decide to change your business strategy or pivot your approach.
Build your buyer personas
If you've been in the business for a few months or more, you're probably already collecting enough data to build out buyer personas of your ideal customers. The term 'buyer personas' is commonly used in marketing to describe a typical client or customer, however you'll probably have 1 - 3 buyer personas for your business. In order to create these personas, you'll want to narrow down the general categories that your clients fall within and define the shared sets of characteristics that you see most frequently.
You know that every client is unique. You spend hours trying to understand their requirements to ensure you are sourcing finance that is complementary to their personal and business circumstances. And yet, so many people still send out generic, one-size-fits-all marketing materials and cross their fingers in the hope that it will work.
Segmenting your audience can be a great solution to this problem. For example, perhaps you create an EDM or newsletter to send your client database. Before you send it, spend a bit of time analysing your database or CRM; it will tell you a lot about the prospective recipients of your email. For example, you may discover that 35% of your client base has residential-related requirements. Great, you can send them specific information about residential mortgages and other financing arrangements! Tailoring your marketing materials will help your email stand out when it hits your client's inbox.
In every domain, people seek out specialists rather than generalists, because we want access to the best expertise that money can buy. Show your clients why you're a specialist in a particular area, and convince them that they don't need another broker; you've got everything they need.
At Valiant, we value honesty and transparency. We're in the business of finding great deals for our customers, and we tell them so! We believe that having honesty as a core tenet of our business means that we should be telling our customers what we're all about, and letting them make an informed decision about whether they want to work with us.
What are the core values of your business?
Do you tell your clients about your values?
If your clients buy into what you do, and believe your mission, they're more likely to refer business to you. Your clients won't recommend you unless they can be sure that you'll work hard for their friends and family. At the end of the day, they want to recommend great people because this reflects positively on them. Would you want to be associated with a product or service that was sub-par? Give your clients the best you've got, and build rapport from day one.
Plan the post-settlement experience
When you successfully support your clients through the experience of attaining finance, what have you really done? You've helped them fund the purchase of an exciting new property, or perhaps you've helped them grow their business just a little bit more. Whatever the reason, you've made a difference to that person's life. Don't miss the opportunity to tell your client how excited you are for them, and ask them to share their future successes with you.
At the time of settlement, mark some future dates in your diary. Make a note of three months, six months and one year post-settlement, and write a memo to call your client on these 'mini-anniversaries'. When you make these calls, make sure you're not in all-out sales mode; the client has already used your services! Instead, use this time to check-in with the customer and see how they're finding the arrangement. Ask them if there's anything you can do to help, and remind them to give you a call if they've got any questions or concerns. It's that easy!
If you're looking for ways to grow your business and diversify into commercial and business lending, Valiant may be able to help. We've got a team of specialists ready to support you, and the client is always yours. Give us a call on 1300 780 568 and help us learn more about your business, and explore ways that we can accelerate your growth trajectory.
Andrew is the Head of Third Party Distribution at Valiant Finance. He has vast experience in finance, working with brokers, accountants and referral partners.