Despite an upturn in the mortgage market, some industry experts have shown concerns that the market could revert back to its pre-2007 state, with mortgage advisers concentrating on mortgages and deserting protection and GI sales.
However, we are seeing a far more entrepreneurial approach, that whilst advisers have to spend more time on mortgages, they actually want to maximise that time, and rather than deserting protection and GI are seeing the current market conditions as an opportunity to take their business to the next level and requesting the necessary help and guidance to do that.
We have worked with a number of AR firms within our network on this, looking at where they want to be and helping them to tailor a business plan to suit each of their own business requirements, as of course each firm has different needs. The difficulty is often in recruitment, rather than a desire to only write mortgages, but we are now seeing results where some brokers have worked with us to train people within their businesses to learn new skills and become the much needed expert required.
My own view is that businesses need to bring people on, give them the chance to wow and show you what they can do. Given the right training and nurturing, the results can be extremely rewarding. Someone that has worked with your firm for some time and seen their knowledge grow every year not only becomes a more valuable member of the team but is often a person with great loyalty because they have been given the opportunity to shine.
We have seen para-planners become specialist protection advisers, checking that clients are not left with a protection gap. We have seen administrators for GI, become GI sales people as their experience and knowledge of the product tailors them to become a good adviser.
Brokers should ensure they look after all of their customer’s needs and in my opinion letting a customer go online for ‘DIY’ GI is a missed opportunity and a big mistake. Leaving a vital piece of the sales process to someone else just doesn’t work long term for either party. If there is a disaster, you want to be the person your customer contacts first, that demonstrates the strength of the relationship. You certainly don’t want to be telling them they are not covered, when they already devastated.
In fact a number of brokers I have spoken to have said that when a friend has rung them to check the cover they have on a loved one, in upsetting circumstances, it has been the point of great relief that they were indeed covered, but also a real trigger to ensure that all clients are also looked after in the same way, should the unexpected happen.
Bucking the trend, we have subsequently seen a significant increase in our protection sales and GI sales where firms have asked us to help them grow their businesses for the long term future and ensure that their customers are protected.