My answer of course is that you should have a range of options available, both mainstream and more specialist products, so that you can truly offer your customers the right solution for them, both now and in the future.
So why do some advisers take a more narrow view? Many worry about losing their customers by referring them to a specialist. These advisers are looking at referrals in the wrong way. If you refer a customer, knowing that you are providing them with the best outcome from a partner that you trust, it means that you will have retained the customer, not lost them. After all, retention is key to ensuring that you keep a customer for life.
The risk with not offering customers the right outcome for their circumstances is that their financial needs remain the same, therefore if you are not offering them what they want, they may look elsewhere. For some customers they may even end up sourcing their own alternative, meaning you could lose their custom all because you concentrated on your core business, rather than looking outside the box. Instead, you should see how specialists can become an extension of your business, not the enemy.
Alternative funding solutions should you be considering
Instead of remortgaging you could look into second charge mortgages or personal home loans. For retirement planning you could look into later life or retirement mortgages. There’s also specialist bridging or commercial finance for businesses or property investors. Each of these products have a place in the market, each offer a solution for a customer and each are meeting a need in the short, medium or long term. The question is, which do you choose?
Do your research
The first port of call should always be conducting some research. You can look online, attend seminars and training academies or even speak to lenders about their products and ask them about potential partners you should contact.
Once you have this information you should research these partners to find out more about them and whether they could be the right partner for you. And it is not just about the commercial aspect. Whilst this plays a part, you should be looking at how they can help your customers and how they conduct themselves as well, because if they are to be an extension of your business, how they behave reflects on you too.
Your perfect partner
So you’ve found your perfect partner, what next? Now it’s time to work together. Referring business might be the first step, however over time, as you start to refer more customers and see the positive impact the referral has had on your customers, you may become more confident and want to start referring business directly yourself, and why not.
Firstly, the right partner will be supportive, after all it’s your customer. Secondly, the lender will be more comfortable dealing with you because they can see your track record, with the data to back up how your business is performing. More importantly, the lender will gain confidence from the fact that you have been taught by the experts and know that you are competent.
Together with your partner you can offer a complete basket of not one, but a range of products, giving you the opportunity to truly offer that holistic approach to the customer, potentially retaining their business for life.