A broker’s primary goal is to help their clients find the funding solution that is right for them. This is a simple goal, but successful implementation requires an understanding of how a client thinks. While the broker is familiar with the intricacies of the financial world, their clients will not be. It can be a confusing and often times infuriating place. Understanding how a client thinks can not only help move the process at a smoother pace, it can potentially save a fraught deal.
The client is a layman. You’re not.
The client is probably a layman when it comes to experience with banks and lenders. Odds are their previous experience was frustrating. Many clients are more familiar with personal or home loans than commercial financing.
Your client may have already been disappointed or too worried to try to find funding on their own. They are coming to the broker because they need help. No one likes asking for assistance, but clients understand that a broker has the expertise needed to guide them through the process.
In addition to recognizing that the client’s journey to the broker has been difficult, they also need to understand how to talk to speak to their clients. No one likes being spoken down to, and someone seeking financial assistance is no different. They also don’t want to be confused. Speaking a client’s language is essential to finding a balance in tone and content that will leave them happy working with the broker.
Communicate in a way that makes sense to your client.
The client wants to communicate in a way that is familiar to them. Marketing should plainly explain what a broker is doing. Bringing in a client is partially about showing that a broker can work with their clients to make the process easier. This is the first step to ensuring that the client is happy. Using terms that are universal and that the client will understand helps them not only to keep pace with the broker, but to feel like they have some control over the process.
Further communication should be done in a timely and respectful manner. Clients want to be informed. This is a major part of their life, and ensuring that they have all the information they need is important for a broker. If a client feels like they aren’t being informed of important updates, or that they are missing out on important information, they will be unhappy – even if the funding process is actually progressing very well behind the scenes. Confusion is a broker’s enemy. Make sure the client feels like they understand everything that is going on.
What do clients really want?
No two clients are going to be the same in how they look at working with a broker. Some will be relieved, some will be frustrated by the lack of progress, and some excited. The Commercial Loan Broker Institute helps brokers to understand how each step of the process should look to their clients and what must be done to ensure that the client feels happy with the process. For example, during the initial assessment, it is critical to gather the right information AND to make sure the client doesn’t feel over analyzed or discouraged. This is their dream. If they don’t feel comfortable they may back away.
On the other hand, the closing stage should feel like a pressing and time-sensitive last step. Once an LOI or term sheet has been sent and the loan is fully approved by the lender, the client needs to be given a sense of extreme urgency. It is all too easy for them to clients like it is “in the bag” and waiting for them whenever they want it. As a result, some clients have a tendency at this stage to sit back and wait, or to start shopping for lower rates elsewhere (now that they have a “guaranteed baseline”). It is only when you have set them up with a proper sense of urgency that this part of the process will move forward immediately (ensuring that you get paid for all of your hard work!)
These are only a few of the ways that a broker can understand and better communicate with their clients. Recognizing that each interaction will be different and each client unique, is the first step to becoming a successful broker. If you want to know more about how to best cater your brokerage to ensure a client’s satisfaction, our team is always here help.