“Strong customer relationships drive sales, sustainability, and growth.” – Tom Cates
Understanding what a Trusted Advisor is can point us in the right direction, but we know that when clients first contact us they are focussed on a single transaction they want us to help with.
It’s up to you to actively reframe this and move them from the transactional relationship they are expecting to one of Trusted Advisor, which is the relationship they really need.
The path to moving from having a transactional relationship to
being their Trusted Advisor is to create Ability Trust and Personal
Trust with your client.
In a transactional relationship, each person or group is in it for themselves. They only do something for you with an expectation of getting something back, and If they don’t get back at least what they were expecting the relationship will end. Many relationships, particularly ‘one-off’ sales relationships always stay at this level and it is normal for them to do so. For Mortgage Brokers, however, or any business that wants repeat or referral business for that matter, this is not what we want. It is also a big part of why our long-term interests are so closely tied to our clients.
When a client first contacts you looking for help, what they are telling you is that they are unhappy with their current lender, loan or Broker. Even if they are a first home buyer they have a bank they are already with. As far as they are concerned, something is not right with their current options.
What they are also telling you loud and clear is that they do not have a Trusted Advisor currently in the area of finance. If they did, they would have gone to that person and you wouldn’t be speaking with them now.
In the last chapter I spoke about ability trust and personal trust. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that because your client completes a loan with you that you have achieved both these types of trust, and therefore the status of Trusted Advisor with that client, and that they will therefore be highly likely to come back to you in the future.
When your client first contacts you they are intending to make a transaction with you – they want you to get them the loan they want and in return you will get paid for doing so. There is something in it for them and something in it for you. This is a transactional relationship and it is the starting point from which you can launch your campaign to becoming their Trusted Advisor.
Depending on how the client came to you in the first place will have a great impact on their initial trust level with you. If they were referred from someone the client holds in high regard, their endorsement means you are starting with a higher level of trust. Alternatively, if they have just responded
to a simple advertisement their trust level will be much lower, leaving you with a lot more work to do.