MIF LATEST: Brains and brands

Recent highlights from Marketing Innovation Forum (MIF), a free online service where advisers and providers chew the fat with 17 industry gurus

&ltstrong&gtThe Brain game&lt/strong&gt
The new Sales skills guru has been championing a sales approach involving ‘brain profiling’, which advisers may like to consider to better understand your customer’s thought processes and buying behaviour, in order to adapt sales activity, behaviour and language accordingly. The aim of the game is creating a better rapport with clients, putting them at their ease and, consequently, clinching that sale. What are the clues from your client’s behaviour which suggest whether they base their decisions on facts or instinct, logic or emotion? And how should you adapt your own activities as a result? A fully-rounded approach appealling to ‘the whole brain’ is recommended, tailoring it as you learn more, to better appeal to the client’s personality and sensibilities

As always, a sceptical reply was forthcoming, with one user suggesting that gauging clients’ communication preferences is a fundamental part of sales, which may even come naturally. The new guru was quick to reply, offering that his experience suggests that although some cannier advisers will do this instinctively, it’s something that many experienced salespeople don’t even consider, which can really help improve conversion of prospects into paying customers

Join the discussion and make the new Sales skills guru welcome – or indeed test him out with your own questions – in the Sales skills forum on &lta href=&quothttp://www.marketinginnovationforum.com&quot&gtwww.marketinginnovationforum.com&lt/a&gt.

&ltstrong&gtShifting sands, shifting brands
&lt/strong&gtMeanwhile, in the Brand and design forum, there has been talk of the unique opportunities available for lender brands to reinvent themselves as the future market landscape is taking shape. The point was made that past reputations – good or bad – will count for little as new product and service propositions emerge, so it’s an ideal time for firms of all sizes to reinvent their brand image to position themselves however they think best suits the customers of tomorrow

In particular, the previous shift towards speedy processing and automated underwriting was highlighted as a thing of the past, and not an association many lenders would readily want associated with their brand in ‘the new world’. Rather, a cautious, stable approach can be expected, but for how long will lenders want to be considered purely as a safe pair of hands, especially if it makes completing a case nigh-on impossible?

The Brand guru commented that the entire financial services sector has something of an image problem, requiring a concerted effort at one level, while simultaneously a firm-by-firm effort to distinguish each firm from the competition. With so few mortgage lender firms right now, for instance, the status quo suits only the FSA, the Brand guru commented. Let’s all hope we see not only new offerings from ‘the big guns’, but also new entrants to shake up the landscape, and sooner rather than later!

Air your views on this, or kick off some discussions of your own, in dozens of forums at &lta href=&quothttp://www.marketinginnovationforum.com&quot&gtwww.marketinginnovationforum.com&lt/a&gt