How we are adapting to support our clients, prospects and brokers

Glenn joined Aldermore in May during the first lockdown and tells us about his experience of getting to grips with a new role, the impact of COVID-19 and how we have adapted to support our clients, brokers and prospects.

How has your role been impacted by COVID?

My role is to help provide working capital solutions to businesses from start up through to corporates, utilising our wide range of products and working alongside our other product providers, brokers and introducers. Before COVID hit, being visible and seeing prospects, introducers and brokers face to face was key to any successful BDM. I took the opportunity to talk to friends and colleagues in the industry to understand how things had affected them. This was valuable and enabled me to plan my approach to a new way of working. When I joined in May 2020, during lockdown, building a pipeline and most importantly, building new relationships from the four walls of my home office was critical.

What have been the biggest challenges?

Apart from finding a quiet place for a video conference!  I would say keeping up to speed with what is going on around us, such as government grants, CBILS and furlough. Ensuring the products that we offer are fit for purpose, compliment and dovetail with the other forms of funding that are being provided by the government. To be a true and trusted partner to your prospects and introducers, it is crucial to keep on top of information and daily developments, which have been huge over the past eight to nine months. With more changes in this short period than I can really remember over my career in invoice finance.

What are the biggest challenges for prospects and clients you have been speaking to in your region?

The biggest one at present is the uncertainty of what lies ahead. With COVID, everyone’s plans were simply railroaded, and business owners had to be nimble, make tough decisions fast and without any real degree of understanding of what could happen next. Most lenders have been very supportive over this period and at Aldermore we have done everything we can to support the SME’s that drive this country economy. When we look back, I feel there will be a sense of pride and achievement.

What have you learnt over the last few months?

One thing COVID has compelled us all to do is to be more reflective and understand what is important to us. Our prospects are understandably taking more time to make decisions that are right for their business, even more so in the current environment and it’s important we are there to help and support them. 

How do you think the new environment has and will continue to impact how you work with prospects, brokers, introducers?  

It has allowed me to further understand what our prospects want and need from a working capital provider and how brokers and introducers want to assist in delivering the right options for their clients. Contact is key, making sure this is timely, regular and not just to talk about work, but also things outside of the day-to-day has made relationships that I have with people more meaningful and productive.

Thinking about “why we have always done it that way” and asking, “what if?”  There have been some great changes within invoice finance over the recent months. The implementation of a full suite of e-docs enabling electronic signatures for legal and sundry documents is a real time saver for onboarding new clients and will be of great benefit now and going forward.  The ‘Kick start your cash flow*” proposition has allowed us to provide a simple, cost-effective finance for businesses who need the flexibility at this time. Regardless if they are new to invoice finance or returning due to working capital requirements caused by the pandemic.

Couple this with the ability to offer CBILS loans & top up facilities alongside our factoring, invoice discounting, we have a fantastic suite of products to offer our prospects, brokers and introducers.

How do you think we can best support SME’s in this changing environment?

Remaining specialists and experts in our field is a priority in this ever-changing environment.  For an SME it’s knowing you have been referred to someone who understands your business, which will be a key differentiator. There are then the givens for me which are transparency, being open and honest and keeping things as simple as possible. In this environment, quick decision making, whether that be a “yes” or a “no” will be paramount.

What keeps you positive and motivated?

Knowing I have the tools and ability to help and assist businesses during this tricky period keeps me motivated. When we bounce back, it will create opportunities for all and whilst it may seem a little way off, there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel - we just have to hope it’s not another train coming!

 

To get in touch with Glenn about invoice finance, you can contact him on 07879 640786 or email Glenn.Souter@aldermore.co.uk

 

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