The Growth Series

The Perfect First Meeting

First impressions are important and your initial meeting with a potential new client is an opportunity not to be missed. There are plenty of tips to help you ensure that those meetings go to plan.

Read more: The Importance of Customer Onboarding

Making a good first impression

Be prepared and on time

It’s one of the oldest pieces of advice in the book: show up on time. You’re expecting this client to feel comfortable putting their mortgage in your hands; demonstrate that you’re the right person for the job by being organised and punctual. Sometimes events occur which make it impossible to arrive on time, if that’s the case then apologise and make sure you give your client as much warning as you can.

When you do show up, come prepared. Any information you can gather regarding your client and their requirements prior to the meeting will be helpful.

Bring your best attitude

When you first meet your client it pays to let them know that you’re happy to see them. The possibility of working together should bring you excitement, so don’t be afraid to show that. Remaining professional is important, but you can be yourself. Your client has come to you, so if the marketing material or recommendation that has led them to you is consistent with who you are, then you should be fine! 

Show that you enjoy your work - after all, they’ll be delighted to know that helping clients secure the right mortgage brings you joy.

Don't make it all about them

That might sound like it goes against conventional wisdom, but stick with us here. While it is of course important to focus on the needs of your potential client, you should also give them the opportunity to ask any questions they have about you. Developing trust is an important aspect of the broker’s role, and allowing space for your client to work through any concerns or hesitations is a part of that process. 

What the client needs

Throughout your meeting, try to keep in mind the outcomes that your client will ideally walk away with.

  • Clarity - Make sure they understand the terms you use and processes you describe.
  • Confidence - Ideally they will leave the meeting with the belief that you’re going to secure them the product that they need.
  • An understanding of your USP - Explain the benefits of using a broker’s services, rather than going directly to a lender. 

Read more: 5 Customer Retention Strategies for Mortgage Brokers

A Perfect meeting starts before they enter your office...

Being prepared yourself is one thing, but this meeting is about both you and your client. Make sure they have the opportunity to be prepared too. If you’ve had prior communication then let them know in advance what to expect. For example, explain to them that having their mortgage paperwork complete and organised helps make the home buying process as smooth as possible.

If they arrive with everything they need, they’ll be helping themself along the path to their dream home even faster. 

Remind them that they’ll need:

  • Payslips from the last three months to verify income.
  • Their most recent P60.
  • A passport or driver’s licence as proof of identity.
  • Proof of address.
  • Bank statements from the last three months.
  • Record of any debts, including credit card loans.

...And prepares them for when they leave

The meeting may be over, but if you act appropriately then the relationship with your client will not be. Make sure to give direction on what they need to do next, and follow up with them to stay in touch and keep them updated on their options.

Maintaining consistent communication is integral to developing ongoing customer relationships. Most clients will have a preference on how they are contacted, so ask. 

Read more: Boosting Customer Retention with CRM

Ask the right questions

Make sure you understand what the client knows about the mortgage process. They’re not experts, that’s why they’ve come to you! After you’ve made your initial introductions, invite them to speak and ask them exactly what they’re looking for. 

Some important essential questions to ask are:

  • How much do you earn?
  • Where is your deposit coming from?
  • Do you have any debts?
  • What do you spend your money on?
  • Do you have children? Are you likely to want any (more) in the future?
  • Have you ever had any adverse credit?

But also ask about their goals and the life they envision building for themselves. Understanding their lifestyles and objectives as people beyond purely their financial means will help develop a clearer picture of the right solution for them. 

Listen to their answers and take notes. The more information you can gather, the better.

Make sure their aims and aspirations are realistic.

You’re not there to be a yes-person. Be honest with your clients, and make sure that they understand the reality of their financial situations, the wider economic forces and the options available to them.

Read more: The Brokers’ Guide to Customer Experience

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