Whilst we all know that success comes from hard work (and perhaps a bit of luck) we also know that working smarter is often key too. However, despite this ‘always-on’ digital world that we now live in, it can often seem impossible to switch off without losing an opportunity. So what if your business could carry on working hard for you, even when you have signed off for the day? With research showing that 85% of shoppers research online before buying* it is imperative that you are ‘open all hours’ for business to win new clients. Online at least.
Here are our top tips on how to gain more customers, even when you are officially ‘Out of Office’.
Work smarter, not harder
Consumers today look to investigate and research when looking to make any purchase and it is no different with mortgages. With increasingly busy lives, they will typically do their research at a time to suit them – so to capture their interest, you need to ensure your website and your social channels are working even when you aren’t.
By adding interactive information and research tools such as a Mortgage Search plug-in or a Best Buy Table onto your website, users at least have an option to submit an enquiry to you, rather than simply be an uninspired visitor.
Your social channels are also live 24/7 so ensure that they carry on working for you after hours. Take the time to add content that is relevant, current and recent – there are tools, such as Buffer and Hootsuite, to help you schedule social media posts that can be published at times when your potential clients are more likely to be active (and you have switched off for the evening).
An influencer engagement survey found that over 90% of consumer’s trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of marketing, and 70% said they trusted consumer opinions posted online.
Provide an excellent and honest service that brings results for your clients, and they are far more likely to recommend you to family and friends.
Why not take the plunge and ask your clients to provide written recommendations that you can add to the content on your website or post on social media. These short recommendations will continue to work for you for many months to come and speak volumes about you and your services.
Achieve 5-star reviews
As well as recommendations, you could also ask clients to review your services – the trick is to make the process simple and easy to do so. You could send them a follow-up email thanking them for their business and at the same time ask them to provide a review? There are several ways of doing this:
- Reviews given on your Google Listing not only appear on your Google Business Page (easy to set up if you don’t have one) but they also appear against your business record in Google searches:
Ask for reviews on your Facebook page if you have one. Look at this recent search for ‘mortgage adviser’ – which one would you select? A customer will probably consider locality and take note of the star rating and may potentially make a choice based on the highest ratings and/or number of reviews.
- On receipt of unprompted feedback or thanks from a client, ask if you can publish what they have written. Most people are delighted to see their name and words ‘in print’.
Prove your brilliance
As good as customer reviews, testimonials and recommendations can be, many potential clients will also be interested in what you have done for other people in similar situations. Including case studies on your website can open your business up to more clients, as you not only tell them how good other people think your service is, but it also helps to explain exactly how you have solved challenges and issues that may have arisen during the process.
You don’t need to use any names in the case studies, just explain clearly and concisely exactly what the problem was or what situation the client came to you with, what you did to get them the best deal and what the successful outcome was. It provides yet more evidence as to why people should choose you as their Adviser.
Perfect your pitch
When a potential client does find you, providing them solid advice there and then will help them to conclude that you are the Adviser for them! Show your expertise, share your knowledge and give them all they need to come to an informed decision.
All clients are different, and as you know will have a varied amount of knowledge about the mortgage process and the advice available. So as long as you use your experience to make them feel comfortable talking to you and putting their trust in you, growing your client base should become second nature.
Use technology to your advantage
An ever-growing client base requires management and consistency. Taking advantage of technology to store all your client’s data securely and reduce paper-work to a minimum will save time, both for you and for your client. Your client will expect you to have the latest information at your figure tips to provide information on products relevant to them and their situation, so be ready to do.
Clients will also be relying on your efficiency, and using mortgage technology can enable you to demonstrate that you are indeed very capable, whilst you remain compliant throughout the whole mortgage advice process. It will also save time with limited need for paperwork as your records are largely entered online.
However, with 65% of consumers citing a fear of their personal information being hacked◊, you need to demonstrate that your clients’ data is both secure and protected – at all times. If you use a secure system such as the Key, not only will you be able to manage the whole sales process compliantly and with little effort, the associated Client Portal will allow both you and your client to securely message and exchange documents. Not forgetting you can now present an online Fact Find form to your client which they can complete at their leisure, and you have no need to re-key the information as it synchs seamlessly back to the Key.
Get out there!
So now you have set up your website and social channels to showcase your business and handle incoming enquiries (pull marketing), you may still need to get out there and promote yourself (push marketing). It doesn’t take long to craft an email to send to your database of potential customers. Let your prospects know you are open for business, send them your latest review or recommendation and perhaps provide news of a new fixed rate product, not forgetting to highlight your relevant services. With £35bn of mortgage loans expiring in the next 2 months+ there is huge potential to grab a slice of the market.
Spending time on expanding your presence both online and offline holds the key to obtaining more clients – even when you are ‘out of office’.
We do hope these tips will help to ensure your business is ‘Open all Hours’ – without working even harder than you already do. Good luck!
◊ PwC, Total Retail 2017