The success of your brokerage is largely determined by the strength of your relationships with your clients. Business owners looking for financial options want to trust their broker and know that they are receiving the best possible service they can get.
But today’s world is filled with a million competing demands for your clients’ attention. And your days are already filled to the brim. So how do you efficiently and effectively break through the clutter to add value and stand out from your competitors?
Value Of Retention
The starting point is understanding WHY this is so important. Although it may not be obvious, losing one loyal customer costs nearly twice as much as gaining a new client, and the cost of replacing a lost client is nearly 5x greater than retaining a longtime client. An excellent retention strategy is necessary for building strong relationships and keeping your customer happy.
- Gain a clear understanding of your clients’ individual needs. Having a deep knowledge of what your client is looking for in terms of financial choices will show them that you care enough to listen and act appropriately. Ask questions, start a conversation and always listen closely.
- Develop a variety of solutions to suit your client’s individual needs. You should always try to present your clients with choices, giving them more freedom to make an educated decision on their loan choices.
- Think outside the box when it comes to loan types and repayment options. With a clear understanding of what your client requires, you can tailor the entire experience for them. Spend some time creating an individualized plan and allow them to compare it to the other plans available to them. This customization along with transparency will build trust and longtime client relationships.
Value of Personalization
People want to be recognized for who they are as individuals. In order to develop strong relationships with your clients, make it a priority to personalize interactions with them. If you do not currently use a CRM program (Customer Relationship Management) you may want to start. These programs allow you to take notes, add details and schedule reminders quickly and easily. Your clients will appreciate the fact that you remembered their kids names, or that you sent a birthday greeting. Keep your CRM up to date with every conversation and be sure to note relevant information whether business or personal.
Many brokerages are strictly online and internet based, leaving out the most important part of human interaction…face to face conversation. So when possible, differentiate yourself by meeting with clients in person. If you can’t meet with them face to face, at least make time for a phone conversation beyond the initial application. Check in, follow up and interact with your clients as much as you can. Creating these personal relationships will help you to build lasting relationships with your valued clients.
Value of Knowledge
As a business loan broker, you are in an excellent position to become a trusted advisor to your clients. By helping them to choose the right loan and payment plan, you build their trust and, in turn, their loyalty. As you begin to understand their individual needs, you will be better prepared to offer them customized loan opportunities and referrals to help them grow their business.
The more concrete knowledge you have of not only your own business, but those of your clients, the better you will be able to serve them. Sharing your educated opinions and providing your clients with real knowledge about loans will show them that you truly care about their success.
Value of Service
People will always associate your entire company with the quality of service that they receive from you. Providing your clients with excellent, personalized service will ensure that they keep coming back to you for their financial needs. Here are a few simple ways to improve service and add value to your client relationships:
- Network with other brokers to expand available options for your clients. Not only is this going to build stronger client relationships (after all, everyone loves options), but it will also help to build excellent relationships with your competing brokers. Your clients won’t be inclined to leave your brokerage and your competition will see you as an asset to their business. It’s a win-win for everyone!
- Create a “Best Practices” plan for your clients and be transparent about how you will offer them the best possible service in the industry. Make promises that you intend to keep such as capping interest rates and securing clients’ private information. Again, you are building trust that your clients can’t get anywhere else.
- Most clients will need time to look over the loan specifications and to decide whether it is a good fit for their needs. It might be hard to be patient while waiting for your commission, but it it is the best way to stand out in this competitive field. Be a source of support rather a nuisance. Instead of calling clients to find out if they’ve made a final decision, try calling just to check in, answer questions and educate them. This lets your clients know that you are on their side and not just in it for the money.
Value of Security
Your clients are your biggest asset. whether they are new clients or returning customers, they will appreciate all of the added value that your business provides over your competitors. In turn, they will speak highly of your business and your reputation will grow tremendously.
The real heart of standing out from the competition, is looking at your company from your client’s’ perspective. What kinds of things would you expect from a great business loan brokerage? Make a list, make a plan and add more value as your business grows.