Our network has recently developed a greater footprint in areas such as Scotland and Northern Ireland. Achieving widespread growth has given us a completely different perspective on the market and how advisers work.
Weighing up the level of activity in various companies across the country shows how unique some of our regional firms are. Clearly noticeable is the discrepancy between firms simply conducting mortgage advice business and those that pair it up with ancillary sales, specifically protection.
The statistics do not lie: firms in Scotland and Northern Ireland seem much more willing and adept at delivering protection advice and sales than firms elsewhere in the UK.
Why might this be? Cynics may suggest that, with lower mortgage proc fees achievable in these regions, there is a need to cross-sell activity. There may be a kernel of truth to this but in my opinion it is more a question of mindset.
If you work with high-net-worth clients, you may deem their need for protection small (which is not necessarily the case). Most advisers, however, play firmly in the middle ground, where unemployment, accidents and sickness are equally likely to happen. These clients require protection.
And nearly every client will have a need for general insurance products. The question is whether the adviser and firm are willing to wade into these sectors and provide quality advice. Those that do will reap long-term rewards from a potentially profitable income stream that adds real client value.