Profiles

A linked in BDM

By Nick Gardner

Dino Pacella is just the kind of guy you want as a business development manager (BDM). Innovative, energetic and enthusiastic, Suncorp’s Western Australia BDM is a whirlwind of new ideas and initiatives that are helping his company broaden its market share while keeping its accredited brokers up to speed on everything from responsible lending to regulatory changes and social media skills.

He spends four-and-a-half days of his working week on the road, visiting different brokers and assessing each one to evaluate exactly how Suncorp can fit into their business model, or how it can help the broker’s business expand.

“It’s not just about promoting Suncorp’s products,” he says. “We take a very holistic approach which means listening to the brokers and seeing how we can help. It may be that they don’t need any help on the product side but I can help them with their lead generation or social media presence.

“Ultimately its about keeping Suncorp at the front of a broker’s mind so that we are considered when they are assessing a clients’ needs, but there are a myriad ways of doing that and simply trying to push your own products is not the best way. Building relationships and helping the brokers grow and manage their workloads, increasing leads and revenues – that’s what I find is most effective.”

Pacella is an avid user of social media and has started a group on LinkedIn called BDM & Broker Broadcasts, which has attracted nearly 2000 members in under a year.

“It’s purely a forum for sharing business tips and ideas for lead generation and business growth,” he explains. “It’s proving successful and feedback has been great. Social media is a fantastic tool because it can reach right across the country rather than your own district, and is fantastic for sourcing ideas and garnering feedback which can be used to improve a business.”

Pacella enjoys helping brokers set up their LinkedIn profiles correctly. “I show them how to share stories and items that may be of interest and how that can help generate more income. It’s very rewarding and seems popular with our brokers.”

Pacella is particularly passionate about educating the public about the benefits of using finance brokers and helping brokers communicate those benefits more effectively.

One idea that has been embraced for next August is a National Finance Brokers Day, the first of what is hoped will be a long line of annual events to help promote the industry and educate the public about how brokers can genuinely improve their clients’ financial affairs.

“The rationale for the broker day was quite simple,” he says. “At the moment we have about 52% of home loans sourced via brokers across the country which I thought was a little low. So I started researching brokers online and discovered a lot of negative feedback on social media sites about public experiences with brokers or their perceptions, and found a lot that I think could have been avoided with some better broker education and tips for conducting their business.”

According to Pacella, the idea of the Finance Brokers Day is to promote the positive impacts brokers can have and increase public awareness.

“We’ve already started with a Facebook page which has a video series of industry figures talking about the positive impacts broker can have and tips for how brokers can increase their business levels.”

Pacella highlights the great support for the event from the MFAA and the FBAA, with the first one to take place on 17 August next year. The aim is to hold them on the third Wednesday of every August thereafter.

“We will have events in every capital city where brokers can invite their clients and we can link up the events via live video and social media streaming, live tweeting, and we’re also giving away an unlimited number of public financial education courses that normally cost $50 so that the public can really benefit if they choose to,” he explains.

“What I hope happens as a result is that brokers see increased levels of business and engagement with their clients and new leads, and that the public feel they have benefitted through an engaging experience where they have learned something new and positive about how brokers can assist them in achieving their life goals, that will be a huge success and I’ll be very happy with that.”

 

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