According to a lending exec with over 30 years’ experience in the finance sector, effectively promoting one’s business as a broker requires a holistic approach in which “active, ongoing participation is crucial.”
To John Mohnacheff, national sales manager at Liberty Financial, there are two clear approaches which work together to form a multifaceted and comprehensive prospecting strategy.
Brokers have been encouraged to focus their immediate attention on their local communities as “the most logical place to start.”
“There’s the business to business approach, where you target the professionals in your area: accountants, solicitors, financial planners, conveyancers and real estate agents,” Mohnacheff said.
“Emphasise what you can do for their business and their clients, rather than focusing on leads or asking for a referral. Consider inviting them for a coffee, and try to build a bond over your shared experiences of running small businesses. Ask questions about their customer base, and explain how their customers can benefit from your skills.
“It helps to do some research before you meet as this will likely build greater connection and rapport. Focusing on them helps to forge a link and differentiate yourself from other brokers, especially if you’re presenting yourself as a solution for customers in more challenging scenarios, not just in straightforward situations.”
The second approach comes from a business to community angle, in which brokers are poised to benefit from identifying creative ways to integrate themselves into local groups and events.
Mohnacheff explained, “For both cost and time investment, nothing is more powerful than networking in your own community. Be brave. Knock on doors, introduce yourself and become an active member of the community.”
“Whether it’s through sporting clubs, community groups, rotary of your local council, the ways to get involved in your immediate suburb or surrounding area are absolutely limitless.”
However, while business to business and business to community strategies almost invariably yield solid results, especially when implemented in tandem, both require additional backing.
“Find a way to stay in touch with your leads – whether it’s through email, social media or a newsletter. Make sure you’re actively promoting what your business is doing for people in the community, share the success stories, and keep yourself front of mind,” Mohnacheff said.
“Many brokers don’t realise what a powerful tool LinkedIn can be to help find new customers in your neighbourhood. Simply filtering connections by area can bring up a whole host of potential leads – and looking at shared contacts can really help to ignite the conversation.”
“All of the above can be enhanced by using social platforms like Facebook, where you can build your profile, share great information and celebrate customer successes.”
Perhaps most importantly, Mohnacheff stressed that it may take time to find the ideal strategic combination that works for one’s business.
“The single most common mistake I see brokers make with advertising is trying one thing, one time, and giving up when they don’t achieve the desired results. Instead of throwing in the towel, adjust, moderate and experiment with your advertising until you find something that works for you,” he said.