Lightblue UK – a case story
Lightblue UK is a firm of IFAs established in 2010. As well as the investment side of the business, it has a team of specialist protection advisers providing regulated advice to people searching the internet, seeking advice on protection only products.
The firm specialises in income protection. It is a complicated area of protection, with many options and versions available, therefore difficult to buy without taking advice.
Most of the opportunities the advisers pursue are based on referrals from comparison sites, which will automatically appear on their computer screens. The team has a procedure, which they use as a ‘skeleton’ for two types of conversation; both are typically between 15 and 20 minutes each.
There are opportunities to cross sell other services (such as life protection) and the company also has large lists of potential clients that the team members can proactively contact.
The firm was keen to ensure prospective clients felt at ease when talking to its representatives, and that they were receiving pertinent, clear and quality advice.
Jan Bowen-Nielsen was invited to provide training for the protection team, all generally experienced in their role.
Mark Dennison, the Managing Director and owner of Lightblue UK asked Jan to run a workshop for 11 protection advisers, which took place in January 2017. The aim of the workshop was to inspire and enlighten the team of advisers, to make them more effective in their roles through increasing awareness of how people think and act, how they can build rapport rapidly with clients and how they can positively influence clients’ decision making.
Jan gathered information on Lightblue UK’s current working practices before designing a workshop which was a mix of theories and practical application. Jan shared theories, models and approaches and facilitated exercises and discussions around how the team could practically use these new skills in their calls to make them more engaging and effective.
Strategies for change
Jan was keen to instil a more mindful approach to client consultations, encouraging the team to put themselves in the position of the client and to question themselves as to what they could do differently. The strategies he shared included:
- Develop processes to help clients feel empowered
- Work towards making clients feel at ease by exploring good examples of how to do this
- Spend time discussing possible barriers clients may have towards seeking advice
- Understand clients’ needs and motivations to alleviate their concerns and remove any obstacles
- Help clients to feel in control by allowing them to decide at what pace they would like to progress
- Make sure that clients fully understand the options available to them, avoiding jargon and explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each action.
Throughout the training, the advisers were encouraged to focus on the client, how they could build a good rapport, and to anticipate and recognise what fears they might have at each stage of the buying process. Jan helped the team empathise with and focus on language designed to reassure the client.
As the training progressed, some of the team acknowledged that they had drifted away from the skills that they had originally been taught. The training helped them to refocus, as well as motivate them to improve their client journey going forward.
The team used their new skills to approach sales calls in a more confident manner, with a better understanding of how to build rapport with clients. They were able to give clients the information they needed to make informed decisions in a way that was clear and meaningful and to effectively address any potential barriers to purchase. The results were better than anticipated, with a staggering 54% increase in sales revenue in the first month.
Mark Dennison | Owner Lightblue UK Ltd
“I first met Jan having seen him do a short presentation as part of a seminar and asked him if he would run a coaching day for some members of my team. Jan took time to understand our business and has great attention to detail. He has a refreshing approach and his witty and engaging style encourages you to think differently about what you are doing and what you feel you could improve on, leading you through interaction to come up with your own solutions to make any necessary changes. Our sales figures increased by 54% the following month and I credit much of this to the confidence Jan gave the team. He has a calm and logical method of inspiring which produces great results and I would have no hesitation in recommending his services to others. “
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