“So, let’s talk about everything in your life going wrong” – not the best ice-breaker for a party! However, a vitally important conversation to have in Financial Planning or mortgage advice.
On episode 5 of the Legal & General for Advisers Just Covered Podcast, hosts Wayne Holcombe and Hazel Johnston ☂️ spoke with co-founder of Dunham McCarthy, DM Mortgages and MyLastWill.co.uk, Nicola McKenzie, about diversifying your business to be a powerhouse for all things surrounding Mortgage and Protection, and the benefits of making your business a one-stop-shop for clients.
Financial Planner Life | Certified B Corp™ podcast host Sam Oakes also spoke with Nicola back in May of this year, and we were seriously impressed at the passion Nicola has for not just providing a holistic service to clients but reaching as wide an audience as possible through social marketing and informative content. This passion is clearly apparent in her conversation on the L&G Just Covered podcast, and it’s shown in the progression of her business(es)!
Nicola has seen the Financial Services industry fragmented into factions and divisions throughout her career and felt that things could, and should, be different. What Nicola has done is cover all bases of referral streams, from mortgage advice, to will writing. She explains the thought process behind this stating:
“If somebody comes to see us for a mortgage, often there is an Estate Planning need. If we didn’t have that knowledge around Estate Planning, then we wouldn’t be able to necessarily provide a holistic service.”
Nicola has an exceptional bigger-picture view of Financial Services and is an expert at brand engagement and social marketing. But what backs this up is a sincere passion for protecting her clients’ financial security.
One key aspect of the diversified Financial Planning and mortgage advice process that Nicola is particularly passionate about is positioning protection to clients. A tricky tightrope of touchy topics, when discussed in the wrong way, protection is often seen as having negative connotations for the client-adviser relationship.
So, why are many Financial Planning and Mortgage professionals apprehensive about opening this conversation when speaking with a client?
Nicola discusses some of her experience around why this conversation is so important, how to effectively discuss the topic of protection with clients, and how incorporating this into your Financial Planning process can dramatically improve your protection conversion rate as a business.
“It is awkward to ask these questions, but we do need to have a conversation to say, what is the reality of a change in your circumstances, and we need to look at, right here right now, if something happened, what provisions do you have in place? …Because I see it as such an important thing, I don’t personally find that an awkward conversation.”
Now, slipping this uncomfortable aspect into a client meeting can put advisers off, sometimes associated with changing the tone of the conversation to a more sinister, ‘worst case scenario’ feel, but that’s why Nicola feels it’s so important to incorporate it as a regular part of the client-facing process! Don’t believe us? Hear what Nicola said about the result of making the change.
“We were always doing it, but it wasn’t necessarily a set part of our process. It’s now part of our process … [Following this] our sales increased by over 400% on the Mortgage department.”
So, we’ve seen the benefit that opening up the conversation of protection offers to clients, we’ve seen the impact that incorporating this as part of your regular process can have on your business, and we’ve caught Nicola’s infectious passion for protecting her clients’ financial security.
Only one question remains, which of your clients will you be calling first?