The Art of Growth: How to attract new customers

by Phil Quin-Conroy September 6, 2016

As a customer-centric industry, our business practices should be guided by the principle of meeting the customer’s needs and the sixth step on McKinsey & Co’s ‘Staircase to Growth’, attracting new customers, is one of the most important.

A key way to attract new customers is to include potential clients in your database. PLAN Australia’s Business Effectiveness Assessment Tool (BEAT), a self-diagnostic business analysis tool we offer our brokers shows this is a step overlooked by 20% of broking firms, despite how critical it is to businesses.

Consider that you need to make contact five times with a prospective customer before they become a client. If you don’t include potential clients in your database – how will you keep track of the number of contacts, and turn them into clients? An automated Customer Relationship Manager like Podium really shines in this regard, by keeping you on track and reminding you of good opportunities to touch base with prospective clients.

Australians no longer need to look far into the future to see how digital disruption is transforming the business landscape and digital marketing and social media offer powerful opportunities to attract new customers. One of the first things many customers will do is google your name, and they will make a judgement call based on your online presence. By using different web platforms, including a personal website, LinkedIn and Facebook you are increasing your online presence and building your reputation with them before you even meet them.

As Gen Y increasingly enter the property market, this will become especially important as they are digital natives who are not just accustomed to having all the information they want at their fingertips, but tend to expect this as a pre-requisite. If you’re not online, you’ll never make it on to their radar.

For brokers keen to gain or improve their skills, we launched a Social Academy to help you use social media effectively within your business.  It’s designed to give you the practical skills you need to reach current and potential customers. Within the hub, you can learn how to create a strategic and structured approach to digital client communications and to measure its effectiveness.

Built on five one-hour webinars, supported with additional materials for learning in your own time all of the tutorials are followed up with a ‘wrap-up guide’.

The webinar topics we have recently covered include:

  1. Your digital presence and dynamic content
  2. Understanding the social media landscape
  3. LinkedIn 101
  4. Using Facebook and Twitter to build brand awareness and generate leads
  5. Social media tool-kit

It does go without saying that new customers are essential to business growth, and while there are tactics you can employ to increase the number of customers you can reach – the real way to get new customers is to excel at what you do.

If you give every customer the attention they deserve, and provide a seamless loan experience then referrals and repeat business will almost self-generate. The additional tactics we have discussed above are the ‘icing on the cake’!

In my next blog, I’ll continue this focus on the customer and discuss how you can maximise your existing client base on the final step to business growth.

Phil Quin-Conroy

Phil Quin-Conroy Linked in

Phil was appointed as CEO of PLAN Australia in May 2013. Previously Phil spent three years leading the broker services and operations department, responsible for the delivery of key business initiatives for the Advantedge group. During this time he oversaw and was accountable for the implementation of Podium, NCCP and On-boarding projects. Phil has over 20 years experience in the financial services industry; of which the last eight have been spent working closely with mortgage brokers. Previously he lead the Insurance & Licensee Services department at MLC. He has a passion for working with entrepreneurial, self-employed business owners and is able to draw on a global perspective, gained from time working in Australia, Asia and the UK. Always being one to enjoy advancing his skills and knowledge, this is reflected in his studies which include a MBA and studies in strategic leadership at Oxford University. In addition to work life, Phil is married and has two children and enjoys all that comes with family life, including the morning school drop off.

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