“People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.” – Seth Godin
As I have said, our primary goal is to become their Trusted Advisor. We set the scene for this by educating them through our Initial Marketing, but it is through our Sales process that this relationship is really built and we prove that we are worthy of being trusted and deliver on the promises we have made.
So it is worth here working through what I think are the most relevant steps of moving your clients from a transactional relationship to that of you being their Trusted Advisor and addressing the exact methods you need to apply that I spoke about in the previous post on this topic. All of these directly support our goal of them becoming your client, whilst also setting the stage for future loans and referrals. In turn, our approach of really listening to our clients with no set sales agenda or predetermined sales path is the foundation of this more beneficial relationship.
From Getting to Giving
By starting the sales process by giving them a copy of my book about home loans and how to pay them off faster, I am starting the relationship as someone who gives to them. It’s much better to be around someone that freely gives than someone who is always wanting something. You need to give them more than they are expecting. If they get what they expect from you, that is just ticking the box. You need to take it further — which you can do in ways that directly benefit you.
A small ‘wow’ moment at the beginning of a sales appointment can make a massive difference.
I’d go so far as to say that every business should start by giving to their potential clients as much as they can to make a strong first impression. People see a business as something they get something from, so let’s start on the front foot. It’s only by giving that we can expect to receive anything and grow our businesses. Sure, there are some people who will never reciprocate, but you wouldn’t have done business with them anyway.
Give something and then ask for a small commitment or action in return. If you don’t get it, you have saved yourself a lot of time by filtering out people who were never going to become clients no matter what you did.
The same holds true for potential referral partners.You start out by giving to them and over time you will see the ones that return the favour, and those are the ones you can develop a mutually beneficial relationship with.
So you must be constantly and freely giving to your clients, and I mean in more than just the home loan you are doing. For me, by starting with my book I have the luxury of discussing it with them and how they can apply its methods to their own situation, creating a deeper conversation and a better solution to their financial needs. In turn, because it discusses regularly reviewing their loan and the reasons why better ones will become available to them in the future, I am setting the groundwork for when we should be talking about reviewing the loan I am organising for them now. I am educating them as to why and when we may be doing their next loan.
Personally I found clients were generally very receptive to me talking about the more interesting topics that lead on from this home loan, such as property investing in the future, including my own experiences in this area and things I had learnt and read. I would give them copies of books written by other authors (with my business card stapled to the inside cover). By doing this I am letting them know that I have learnt everything that is in this property investing book, and positioned myself to help them when they are moving into this area.
“To build a long-term, successful enterprise, when you don’t close a sale, open a relationship” – Patricia Fripp
Often Brokers find themselves in situations where they help clients without generating a commission. This may happen if you help them get a cheaper loan with their current bank, or in some way provide them with a way to improve their situation without a new loan being involved. Where this happens, I would still consider them a client and will stay in touch with them for when they are looking for their next loan.
You have proven they were better off by dealing with you than with their own bank, so you need to capitalise on that and set yourself up as the person who looks after their loans for them, not their bank. If you can get them a 0.25% discount from their current lender, let them know to come back to you when the next home loan need arises and put them onto your post sales marketing system to maintain that connection.
The value of a client you have helped but didn’t earn a commission off can still be very high in the future. This client is telling you, by the simple fact they contacted you, that they don’t trust their bank and are open to using a broker, so keep in touch with them.
Just because you haven’t made a commission doesn’t mean you can’t make them your client. But neither should you assume they will come back to you. You need to keep in touch and make sure they know you are their point of contact for home loans from now on.