When looking for a financial product some clients are tempted to go it alone and go directly to the finance provider or lender, cutting out the need for a broker or financial advisor. For some, this might be financially motivated – they do not want to pay a broker, or they may think they can get as good a deal on their own, but for some it is a lack of awareness of the value a broker or advisor can bring.
If you have an initial conversation with a client, how can you convince them of the value you could add to securing them funding? Ultimately you want a client that trusts you and with whom you have a long term partnership, rather than someone who feels they have made a hurried choice. Here are some points that could be useful in your discussion with a potential client.
1. Explain what makes you different from going straight to a bank
In property for example, it might be straightforward enough for a client to go straight to a bank for a homeowner loan, but it is not the same story for buy-to-let or commercial property loans. This is particularly the case when some lenders only offer loans via intermediaries. Not only will the client be able to access new sources of funding that they would not have been able to alone, but using a broker will enable the client to test the whole of the market without risking damaging their credit score by applying to numerous lenders themselves.
2. Show what brokers can add
The unique selling points of brokers are their knowledge of the market and products and the relationships that they have with finance providers. It is these elements that can make using a broker lead to faster and more suitable funding, than the client would have sourced by themselves. It is critical to show how well you know the different lenders and their criteria.
3. Demonstrate your expertise
Not all brokers are equal and the consequences of bad financial advice can be extremely detrimental to someone’s life. Not only does the client need to understand why they need a broker, but they need to be convinced that you are the right one for them. Clients may know what they want to achieve with the loan but might not be sure of exactly which kind of funding they need. Show that you know the specific area they need, detailing recent clients and transactions that are relevant to them.
4. Be transparent
Before choosing a broker, clients will want to reassure themselves that they have chosen well. Invite them to review your credentials: your website, client and lender testimonials etc. Suggest that they check the FCA register as well so that they are comfortable you are regulated and approved. Clients may not realise the value of the FCA so it may be worth pointing out the fact that FCA-regulated brokers are required to follow guidelines set by the FCA to ensure professional standards are set.
These are all pointers to make you think about how you can make it evident to potential clients why you add value, but ultimately you know your business best and the expertise you bring to the relationship. Good luck in going out and securing more clients.