- From Understanding the Process to Understanding the Person
“The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.” – John Russell
When your client comes to you for a home loan they are seeking to be taken through the process of getting a good home loan. As a Mortgage Broker you understand the process of comparing lenders and making loan applications.
What you need to do to move to being a Trusted Advisor is to focus on understanding them as just a client, but as a person. A Trusted Advisor understands you and your situation, so you know the advice they are giving is relevant to you. Time and again, people will prefer to deal with someone they feel really understands them. In a transaction you explain what you want whilst already thinking you know what the other party wants in return. As a Trusted Advisor you listen to hear what your clients are trying to tell you so you can actually give them an accurate response.
People want to be understood. When personal relationships break down it is because people feel like their partner doesn’t understand them, doesn’t really know them or doesn’t care to. When people feel they have expressed themselves to you and feel heard, this is the basis of a long term relationship.
So the way to make your clients compelled to keep coming back to you is to truly understand their situation so they know the advice you give them is targeted and specific to their unique circumstances. For the most part that means shutting up and not trying to be the smartest person in the room, actively listening and asking questions with the goal of getting to the real concerns and goals of your clients. Definitely not having a pre-set agenda and sales process or fixed view of the outcome you expect to happen.
Once I was trying to purchase a subscription to a real estate data system. I had a clear idea of what I needed from it and I asked the sales person if it would do it. He replied, “yes, of course it can do that” and continued to go on about all the other features. I kept trying to bring him back to the single feature I was interested in and how it worked so I could be confident it did what I needed in the way required, but he was following his linear sales path assuming the more he told me about all the things it could do the more I would want it. The end result was that I felt this person didn’t understand what I wanted and hadn’t made it clear I would get it, so I ended up going to their competitor.
It is easy to walk into an appointment and know with a high degree of certainty based on your earlier phone call with them which is the right loan for them. That is all well and good but you need to put your ego aside and see that the purpose of the appointment is to understand them, not just for the purpose of getting them the right loan, but to ensure they feel heard.