Times are changing and there are now many different skills a modern day finance broker should look at possessing to stay current and competitive. The business world is increasingly reliant on new technologies and different ways of communicating. Many people can now work from home and in fact many can now work from anywhere in the world, so it is important to be aware of the impact that these lifestyle changes have on the financial world and to be able to adapt in order to carry on offering the best service to their clients.
We have come up with 5 skills that we consider are vital to possess for a finance broker in today’s financial world and we hope they will help you to navigate your way through the challenges of businesses today.
5 skills brokers should possess:
- Good communication skills
- Developing empathy skills
- Know your stuff
- Embrace new and emerging technologies
1. Good communication skills
To be a success in the modern day if you are a finance broker dealing with clients on a daily basis, it is essential that you have communication skills that are effective and appropriate for the situation you are in. To be effective, you need to make sure that your client has understood what it is you are trying to say. Make sure the language you use makes sense, is not overly familiar or complicated and try to adopt a level of self-awareness when dealing with clients.
There are so many ways to communicate with customers now that it can be a bit of a minefield, so be aware of the communication tools your clients prefer to use as this is important for building good relationships. Increasingly communication is more focussed through apps, chat boxes and other more effective online platforms as contact can be made through them more quickly and efficiently.
Clients now expect replies to queries quickly so you need to be aware if contact has been made and to be quick in your reply with friendly, informative and useful communication. This applies when dealing with customers and colleagues.
2. Develop empathy skills
There is a greater importance placed on empathy in the modern world of business and finance. It is important to be empathetic when dealing with both clients and colleagues. People like to feel listened to and understood and listening is the only way you can understand where they are coming from.
To listen properly you need to be present and to give your full attention to the person or people who are speaking. Be aware of body language, it can give vital clues to how someone is feeling and alter your behaviour accordingly. If a client feels listened to they will feel valued and it will make it easier to achieve the outcomes you both require.
3. Know your stuff
This might seem obvious but it is essential when dealing with clients that you understand everything that you are talking about. Not all clients understand financial jargon so make sure you can explain what the terminology means and try not to use too many acronyms. When meeting a client, you need to come across as an industry expert - if not, they will quickly lose confidence in you. Make sure that you understand what you are talking about and have the skills to communicate it effectively.
4. Embrace new and emerging technologies
The last few years have seen borrowers become increasingly tech savvy. Finance brokers should now be aware of the online tools available to the industry and be able to harness the benefits of these to improve their client’s experience. This will ensure flexibility in the ways of working and of dealing with clients. Many paper-based activities are now almost exclusively done online and this digital transformation has changed the way the finance industry works.
There are many positives to this, including:
- Automation of dull and tedious tasks reduces costs and efficiency is improved.
- Having a secure record keeping system helps finance brokers to keep on top of their accounts.
The emergence of big data has also changed the playing field in a big way. The ability to analyse industry patterns and trends provides the finance broker who understands these technologies a huge opportunity to use their skills to analyse the information extracted from these large sets of data. This information can then be used to perform more effectively in their role and to greatly benefit their clients.
COVID-19 and issues around 5. Brexit have affected most industries, some have had a positive experience but many have been thrown into difficulties. Different organisations will have varying strategies to dealing with their own recovery and a good finance broker will have the skills to be able to offer bespoke solutions depending on the client’s situation. Spending time with each client, listening to their requirements and getting to know the individual situations will allow a more flexible and personalised approach to be taken to help guarantee the best results for them.
Keeping an open mind and developing new skills will allow you to make the most of new opportunities, to conduct business more efficiently and offer a more valuable service to your customers. If you have a reputation for flexible ways of working you are more likely to gain repeat business amongst your clients.
In the new uncertain world that we are living in customers are searching for more trusted and proactive people to help them navigate through it. Now is the time for finance brokers to harness new skills and to try and become that person to trust in the industry to help ease worries around cash flow for new and existing clients.