As an important element of the research completed for Brokers Ireland on “The Evolution of the Broker Market 2030”, we identified 12 areas to be considered by Financial Brokers to help prepare your business for the changing market environment.
In this latest area, we consider the role of business partners and potential introducers. Partnerships with accountants, solicitors and tax consultants have been an area of opportunity for Financial Broker businesses for many years. The reality is though that these have typically been ‘one-way’ relationships, with the partners acting solely as a source of referrals for the Financial Broker business.
There is now a move globally towards financial advice businesses coming together with other professionals to provide a full suite of professional services to clients. In some cases, these are having a broad range of professionals (Financial Broker, solicitors, tax consultants etc.) under one roof: in other cases through third party partnerships. This trend is likely to continue. According to a PwC survey of 2,100 small businesses in the UK, 53% of small businesses are seeking connected digital services – effectively a ‘one stop shop’. While this survey was predominately about general insurance and digital behaviours, it flags the desire of businesses for ease of doing business across a range of services and highlights the importance of professional partnerships.
Teams of advisers will specialise in problem-solving, and Financial Brokers will align with other professionals to deliver a complete solution to the complex lives and challenges of clients.
Something that is important here is that Financial Brokers have the required level of confidence in your own capabilities as peers of the other professionals. This is what you are – their peers. As a profession, you are now highly qualified, have expertise in an extremely valuable area for clients and can transform the lives of your clients through your advice and recommendations. You almost certainly add as much if not more value than the other professionals – now you just need to truly believe in the value you are adding.
As you strive to build an effective partnership network, there are a few steps to consider taking. These begin with being able to clearly articulate your value to other professionals and develop a clear ‘pitch’ based on this value proposition. Then you should commit to actively building a network of professional partners through networking, content marketing and social media platforms such as LinkedIn.
Once you start to construct your network, it is beneficial to build in a structured feedback loop with regular meetings, to keep professionals engaged and working collaboratively with you. Finally, it will also be helpful to develop a set of case studies and seek partner and client testimonials that demonstrate the value that you add in your relationships with other professionals.
Putting these steps in place will help you to build a network that will support the future growth of your business.
 PwC Global Digital Small Business Insurance survey, 2017