Archive: Feb 2015

Five Steps to Boosting Protection Sales

National Protection Sales Manager Bernie Buron wants to help you maximise your protection sales by recommending a holistic approach to offering and selling protection!

Step 1: “Make sure you introduce protection right from the start”

Plant the seeds right from the outset and make your clients aware that not only will you arrange their mortgage and help them buy their dream home, but you’ll also offer them the best possible protection of their lifestyle and their property should anything happen. Let them know it is your job as a responsible adviser to ensure they are given every opportunity to protect themselves should the worst happen.

When asking your clients to gather information such as bank statements and payslips, use the opportunity to inquire about any existing policies they may have, and any sick pay they may receive from their employers. This will spark the conversation you want and get the process of offering them comprehensive cover moving forward.

Step 2: “Make protection-only appointments”

Try and separate the conversations you have with your clients about their needs. This will allow you more time to focus on understanding you client’s protection concerns, what cover they may already have, and what the potential solutions are. An ideal time to have or book these appointments is around the AIP stage. With the mortgage process still in the early stages, the clients will be more receptive to talking about protection in detail, knowing there is a potential mortgage offer coming at some point.

Step 3: “Consider your Fact Find. Make your client’s needs a priority!”

Try and introduce soft conversational questions to get your client thinking about what could or would happen. For example:

“In what circumstances that you could imagine would you lose your home?”

“What financial impacts would mean you are unable to maintain your lifestyle?”

“If anything was to happen to you or your family, what lifestyle would you like to maintain?”

All these questions are designed to get the client thinking about protection. Don’t assume they have considered every situation, as many clients may have misconceptions and a lack of knowledge about the cost, effectiveness and necessity of protection.

Step 4: “Create bespoke protection portfolios”

Simply put: Build trust. No one wants to be sold to, so avoid the hard sell techniques associated with insurance. Instead, empower your clients with the facts, figures and advice thus allowing them to make an informed decision. Talking about protection does not need to only be about selling insurance. Instead, it should be a simple and responsible conversation. Talk to your clients in their language by asking them if they have thought about protecting themselves. They may not have given it much thought, considering that they are in the middle of taking out a mortgage.

Don’t try to be interesting. Instead, be interested in what matters most to them and make sure they understand you are simply being responsible by helping them to keep what they love and treasure. Creating bespoke protection portfolios with menu plans and quotes will show a commitment to caring and responsibility. This can go a long way to proving how seriously you have taken their protection needs.

Step 5: “Think like a dentist! Book follow-up appointments!”

Not every client will take your full recommendation and you may find a majority will only initially take out life cover on their mortgage. But don’t be perturbed by this as it doesn’t need to be the end of the road as far as protection goes. This could be the ideal client and the perfect opportunity to return to the conversation when the client has had time to reflect.

In other words, act like a dentist and look to book in a review meeting. As an example, call it a “protection check-up”, and commit to reviewing their situation in 12, or even 6 months’ time. This will give you the opportunity to discuss their protection portfolio directly with them and highlight gaps in their protection needs and requirements.

Follow these five simple steps and watch your protection sales grow!

Mortgage Intelligence Reveals a New Corporate Brand

As part of a strategic review Mortgage Intelligence has transformed the look and feel of its corporate brand.

Mortgage Intelligence, is an award-winning mortgage and insurance network & club, helping brokers achieve more through an unrivalled, highly experienced team.

The rebrand has been integrated across all their marketing collateral, tools and platforms. The rebrand also includes a complete redesign of their broker website tailored to providing personalised solutions, support and training, that will help their advisers prosper now and in the future.

Mortgage Intelligence was acquired by Countrywide plc, the UK’s largest property services Group, in 2011. The business has gone from strength to strength and grown to offer members a wide range of services from its member-only broker zone and support helpline to face to face events such as, conferences and road shows.

Commenting on the rebrand Sally Laker, Managing Director, Mortgage Intelligence Holdings, said:

“It is important that our brand reflects not just how the company has evolved but also the market we operate in and the clients we serve. The new branding looks modern and fresh and delivers a strong corporate message, as always putting our advisers at the heart of our business.”

Commenting Sharon Mawby, Head of Sales & Marketing, Mortgage Intelligence Holdings, said:

“It’s been a fantastic journey and the Mortgage Intelligence team look forward to seeing the rebrand benefit our members as it continues to evolve. Upon refreshing our current brand and website we made the strategic decision to implement and upgrade our online services and corporate look.

“As well as being easy to use, our new website offers an array of services available including ‘Broker Zone’, marketing event information, access to webinars, online training and new/ existing product updates. We will also be advertising our network firms’ vacancies via our website assisting them in growing their businesses.”

For further information regarding our new corporate rebrand and newly launched website please call Mortgage Intelligence on 0845 130 7446 or visit

Something’s Gotta Give

Following recent comment that 90% of intermediaries would welcome a paperless mortgage transaction with lenders, it is surprising that despite the technology we now have at our fingertips, this is still so far away.

Yes it needs to be fraud proof but when you know that some lenders are still using fax as a type of communication we may still have quite a wait.

It will eventually happen and, when it does, it will complete the circle of speeding up the entire mortgage process. Post MMR created lender utopia and lenders now have all of the documents being submitted to them with fully completed applications at outset, saving time and therefore creating huge efficiencies.

The next big step is improving the application to completion process. The fewer phone calls there are asking where the case is in the process, the better. This would save time for both the advisor and the lender, so we are seeing a return to providing access to underwriters and even dedicated teams to talk any queries through on submission.

Years ago that function was fundamental for attracting intermediary business but gradually the cost became too much and more automated processes were implemented. The trick was to underwrite as much as possible without involving telephone calls and interaction with the broker. It worked for that particular time but now criteria is constantly changing and not always straight forward, it has got more complicated and the consequences of getting it wrong are costly.

So access to people is coming back, talking through any queries with underwriters, submitting the case on line and emailing documentation straight away with the opportunity to discuss that case if needed to establish any additional information required at that time.

Clear guidance from a case handler, dedicated teams and ongoing progress updates via the channel of your choice, are all likely to return this year. So with all that in place, service will be at another level, so what next?

Rates are at an all time low, if service does reach the levels lenders are talking about then to attract a bigger market share ‘something’s gotta give’ and the only thing left is criteria.

This is not an easy one as criteria has hardened over the past few years and there is still reticence to trail blaze in this area. In fairness there have been a few new ideas coming through but it will require some of the big lenders to take brave and innovative steps to make significant criteria changes, which are not easy in today’s world. However, I do have faith, as this industry is one that manages to survive and improve all the time, so I am watching with interest to see what happens next.