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Is jack of all trades a step too far? – Jackie Uhi

by: Jackie Uhi
  • 09/12/2014
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Is jack of all trades a step too far? – Jackie Uhi
Is it possible to be a jack of all trades and master of many, is a question which many intermediaries often ask themselves.

Too often it’s easier to equate the jack of all trades title with the somewhat derogatory term of master of none.

Well, we can’t be experts in everything but that doesn’t mean we have to limit our skill-set. It is possible to be an expert or specialist in more than one market, the caveat being how complex these markets are.

This is a subject never too far away from any evolving marketplace and recently provided the basis of a piece on Mortgage Solutions entitled ‘Skill up or refer on?’

This asked; Are intermediaries expected to be a jack of all trades; mortgages, protections, retirement planning and GI but wind up being masters of none?

Well, firms have to realise how far they can push their resources and expertise to ensure they are maximising revenue streams from new and existing clients but also maintaining the best service possible.

The balancing act between generating new business and servicing existing business stems back to the allocation of resources and focal points of the business.

So, can you, the intermediary, be a jack of all trades – master of many? The unsurprising answer is only if you have sufficient resources, desire and commitment.

A pertinent string of questions could be:

  • Am I doing enough to meet the needs of my current clientele?
  • Do I know enough about this new sector? If not do I know someone who does?
  • Might it be a profitable move?
  • How would any diversification impact my current business both in terms of generating new and servicing existing clients?
  • Would it be more cost-effective to refer business to a trusted partner?
  • Is the timing right?
  • Do I have the time, energy and commitment?

There are no right or wrong answers but being THE specialist in one, could still provide the greatest returns of them all.

Jackie Uhi is managing director, mortgage distribution at Barclays

 

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