• From Judging Results to Evaluating the Relationship

“Always remember that everyone with whom you have a relationship has an invisible sign on their forehead that says ‘Make Me Feel Important’ Treat them accordingly.” – Eric Philip Cowell

The measure of success in a transactional relationship is whether you got what you wanted while giving as little as possible – did you buy that car as cheaply as possible or did the salesperson sell it for a higher price than they could have gotten away with? We care about the result of the transaction and whether we did well or poorly without much concern as to the other party.

A Trusted Advisor, however, measures their success by the depth of the relationship they have created with their clients or prospective clients. As such the actions they take are designed to continually develop and reinforce this relationship. The benefits of this are that the client is more likely to accept your services in the future and will be more amenable to your suggestions, as well as being more difficult for other Mortgage Brokers to acquire.

Whether you like it or not, your clients are constantly being bombarded with enticements to go to other Brokers and lenders. Every time they turn on the TV or radio they will hear ads from your competitors. Ultimately, the client decides who they will work with. In an industry where a client can change lenders or Brokers without ever having to tell you, your chance of another loan is only as good as the strength of your relationship. If you have a transactional relationship with them the value of your client base is constantly under threat from the next Broker with a better, shinier offer.

  • From Thanking Clients to Congratulating Them

When a transaction is completed between a business and a consumer, each party usually thanks the other. When I buy a coffee at the local cafe, when I hand over my money, the person serving says thanks, and I in turn thank them when I receive my coffee. They are saying, ‘thanks for your business’, I am saying ‘thanks for providing me what I paid for.’ It’s a way that we confirm the transactional nature of relationship and that is has concluded, at least for this particular deal. We are acknowledging that each party has played their part correctly and now we are even.

At the outset of a new client relationship, Brokers are taught to say thanks to our clients, to be grateful to them for confirming they will get their loan through us. In my opinion, this sets the wrong tone and lowers our status with them, as if we are lucky that they came to us and we owe them a favour in return – and nor do I think clients are even expecting us to thank them for choosing us. They chose you as their Broker because they believe you are the best person to help them, not because they want to help you.

Being a Trusted Advisor means you are on the same side as your client, it’s not us vs them as in many business dealings. When a client succeeds, their Trusted

Advisor congratulates them because as their teammate you share in their success. If your sporting team wins a game, you don’t go up to a teammate and say ‘Thanks for playing’, you say ‘Well Done!’ and celebrate together. In fact, if you did say ‘Thanks for playing’ it is more of a statement of the end of being on the same team — the complete opposite of what we want.

When your client chooses you over going to their bank or another Broker, there is no need to thank them, instead commend them on making the right choice. When the loan is approved, congratulate them on getting a great result. When they come back to you for their next loan or refer a friend to you, I’m not saying to be unappreciated and arrogant, but be sure to applaud their good judgement.


When your clients refer their friends to you, then yes, it is appropriate to thank them – and I would do so in a substantial way to really reinforce that you want them to keep doing so, but move this message to be a congratulatory one. Yes, they are doing something that you will benefit from which needs to be appreciated. But their motivation is not about helping you, they are doing it because they know you are the best choice to help their friends and it will reflect positively back onto them – that is what they care about.

Personally I would do something like send a gift basket or something substantial with a message along the lines of ‘Thanks for letting your friends know about me. Well done, you’ve done the right thing by putting them in touch with me and I’ll make sure they are given the red carpet treatment and really looked afterr

Ultimately, if there is to be any expression of gratitude, you want it be coming from your clients to you. That means building and implementing a marketing, sales and broking process that has your new clients glad they found you. If you set your goal as having your clients always grateful when the loan is completed, you will always be providing a great service.

Ultimately your goal is to move from having a transactional relationship with your client to having a Trusted Advisor relationship where they see you as the person who takes care of their loans so they don’t have to.

So in all your dealings with your customer, your actions need to change …

  • from Getting to Giving
  • from Understanding the Process to Understanding the Person
  • From Self Interest to Their Interest
  • From Winning Conflict to Resolving Conflict
  • From Staying in Touch with Clients to Educating Clients
  • From Getting Agreement to Gaining Acceptance
  • From Judging Results to Evaluating the Relationship
  • From Seeing Results to Understanding How They See the Results
  • From Thanking Clients to Congratulating Them

A big step in the right direction is to have your marketing aligned with these principles, so when you move into the sales stage you have already laid the groundwork for this type of relationship. That is all part of the Educational Marketing approach that I advocate, and will detail later in this book.