Letters to the editor

STAR LETTER

It was interesting to read last week’s cover story (Mortgage Strategy February 21) – ’Why brokers continue to miss the target when it comes to leads’.

Before considering any costs such as purchasing leads, the build and implementation of a simple marketing strategy is required, as the purchase of leads might not be the answer for many brokers.

Evaluation of successes and failures of your existing business is crucial.

From my business development experience in the broker market, it is vital that advisers evaluate their client bank and business strengths.

How many times have I walked into a meeting and asked a few questions, such as how many clients they have and what is the age range of the client bank, only to be met with blank faces or guesses?

And what about lead generation firms? A good level of information is provided for brokers to match their client profiles to produce lead potential, but my concern is that lead firms do not seem to have the knowledge to work with and manage broker expectations.

For example, I recall one broker purchasing some 4,000 leads covering two counties. His strategy to reach these potential clients was one letter to be sent to all, with no idea of how this was to be followed up. He might as well have thrown his money away.

In the cover feature Dominic Lipnicki illustrates the lead generation strategy for Your Mortgage Decisions. The most important part of that strategy is delegation to a trained telemarketing team converting leads to appointments.

I’m sure this works in not only converting leads to appointments, but, if not successful on that conversion, also ensuring that any future business comes to Your Mortgage Decisions. Unfortunately, most brokers do not have the resources for such expenditure.

So if you’re resource-limited and looking at what lead generation firms can offer, first produce a three-year business and marketing strategy. This doesn’t have to be complicated. You will need to evaluate your existing client bank – can it deliver additional revenue, perhaps from other product lines? Talk to local business connections about business ideas and referrals.

Make sure the marketing literature is in place so it can be produced at the press of a button. You can test out lead generation firms. Purchase say three per week, unless there is a minimum from the firm, then test out your marketing process. And keep a handle on measuring those successes and failures and learn by them. Once started, make sure you review on a regular basis.

There is no foolproof lead generation and marketing process, but always remember the wise words of George Bernard Shaw who said ’the problem with communication is the illusion that it has been established’.

Regular communication will pay off both in the retention of existing clients and gaining of new ones.

Dennis Barrett
Business development consultant