Last week I learnt the power of relationships, and I am not talking about relationships with your significant other but relationships with other industry professionals. Let me explain…
In the past I have heard and experienced the difficulties with cross selling or up selling other products with finance such as insurances and financial planning to a financial planner. I hated these terms “cross sell” and “up sell”. It made me feel uneasy like I didn’t have the customer’s best interests at heart. The challenge however was that deep down I understood the importance of having people’s assets and risks covered, and this obviously makes sense but it just didn’t feel right.
So last week I met a new client who came into the office to talk about financing a second investment property - a young electrical engineer and given it is her second investment property she would most likely be already well connected. The conversation went from finance to other topics like the asset, risk, tax, legal and superannuation. As we were talking about risks she wanted to know more about risk minimization and after touching on the topic of tax she asked for recommendation of good accountants. And to compound that just the other day, I got a message from her asking if I knew of any good conveyancers.
Conveniently earlier when I was starting out, I had been spending a lot of time building and nurturing new associations with smart and likeminded professionals outside of the finance industry. Finding these associates was pretty easy, however finding ones I would be comfortable recommending to my clients was a different story. I then established a criteria that the foundation I build my circle of influence is based on ethics, trust and doing the right thing. One way I did this was to have a no “referral fees” or “kickbacks” policy, period. Why? Well for me it is not about the money, I was endorsing these professionals purely based on skills, abilities and I would rather my clients be taken care of.
The deep difference between cross selling and referring had dawned on me - it was mind blowing as my conversations got better and more engaging, I was being more trusted. Yes it is still early but there has been an increase of clients asking for my recommendations and so now another battle going from banker to broker is nearing an end.
With over 10 years’ experience in the banking and financial services industry, PMM Australia broker Anthony Hong identifies that the key to building and maintaining client relationships is primarily down to a meticulous level of customer service as well as continually educating clients about ever-changing products and services available in the market.