Greg Konfederak and Kris Krupecki on building a niche financial advice business for Eastern Europeans living in the UK – MAF212

This week my guests are Greg Konfederak and Kris Krupecki from Profit Tree.

It’s a financial advice firm they set up specifically for Eastern Europeans living in the UK. We chat about how Greg and Kris came up with the idea, built their business and the challenges they faced.

Welcome to episode 212 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Greg Konfederak and Kris Krupecki on building a niche financial advice business for Eastern Europeans living in the UK - MAF212

 

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • Where the inspiration for Profit Tree came from
  • Why customers struggle with complex financial language
  • The services Profit Tree provides
  • How Profit Tree overcome customer objections
  • How they launched Profit Tree in the UK
  • The company’s approach to marketing

Who are Greg and Kris?

Greg now splits his time between London and the Warsaw office. He previously worked in construction, but the credit crunch made things much harder, which led to co-founding Profit Tree. They act as brokers for mainly Eastern Europeans living in the UK, supporting people to make the right insurance choices.

Kris first learned about financial services at university in 2000, where he was studying political science. In 2009 he got into the financial services industry in the UK. The unique challenges faced by the business founders, such as buying a house or securing car insurance, led them to set up Profit Tree.

Summary of our chat

Profit Tree is a financial adviser firm set up specifically for Eastern Europeans living in the UK.

All of the founders have previously worked in businesses where they were helping new arrivals to settle into life in the UK. They noticed that people struggled to adapt and had no confidence. They decided they could do a better job by supporting people the way they wish they’d been helped when they relocated.

No matter what your first language, legal and financial documents are hard to understand. Many Profit Tree customers have no idea what they’ve agreed to and just signed the paperwork finance companies give them. They appreciate speaking to an adviser in their native language so they know exactly what their obligations are.

Profit Tree offers a range of insurances: life cover and critical illness, income protection, business liability and indemnity, buildings and car insurance and mortgage advice. They’re looking to add money transfers and ISAs. They also have a custom-built fracture cover product to meet the demand for health insurance for children, which isn’t offered in the UK.

There’s an assumption that financial advisers are only interested in getting a commission, and in Eastern Europe, people are even more suspicious of them. Some people think that financial services companies don’t pay out, and it’s the first objection Profit Tree have to overcome. Then, they explain why their services are necessary, and that claims will be successful.

The business started in 2010, with a great idea but little money. They secured some funding and found a tiny office for the four founders. Then they recruited for sales members and experienced rapid growth. The growth continued after a restructure and Profit Tree now has 10 offices in the UK and two in Poland.

Early on, the business was built on referrals and excellent customer services. They do a lot of marketing offline, by attending events, particularly those for the Eastern European community. Talking to people face to face allows them to build trust and helps them understand the importance of having proper insurance cover.

One thing Greg and Kris would like listeners to take away

If you’ve got a vision and truly believe that you can do something different, that reflects the needs of your target market and fulfils your dreams, then pursue it. It’s down to you whether or not you’re happy in life and business.

Any business, wherever it is in the world, should have happy customers as it’s main priority. That means lots of things, such as good products and services, great customer support and a clear vision. The most important thing is to focus on the customer, not the sale.

Links

If you enjoyed – Greg Konfederak and Kris Krupecki on building a niche financial advice business for Eastern Europeans living in the UK – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

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Integrity in business and marketing: The car accident compensation factor – MAF211

This week I’m talking about integrity.

And this has been inspired by those phone call where they ask you if you’ve been in a car accident.

Why their sales tactics suck and the lessons we can learn about integrity in business and marketing.

Welcome to episode 211 of the Marketing and Finance podcast.

Integrity in business and marketing: The car accident compensation factor - MAF211

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • A story about an ambulance chasing car accident compensation company
  • Why integrity is, “Doing the right thing even when no one else is looking”
  • The three questions to ask to come up with an engaging customer offer
  • Examples of practices that reveal a lack of integrity
  • Pricing structures and customer trust

Links

If you enjoyed – Integrity in business and marketing: The car accident compensation factor – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

And if you know anyone who would enjoy the show – please share it with them. You can use the buttons below to share on social media.

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Paul Avis and David Shearman on productivity, mental health and well-being – MAF210

This week my guests are Paul Avis from Canada Life Group Insurance and David Shearman from LifeWorks.

We talk about how mental health and well-being affect employee productivity and presenteeism and what employers can do to help their people.

Welcome to episode 210 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Paul Avis and David Shearman on productivity, mental health and well-being - MAF210

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • Why productivity is important
  • The effect of poor productivity on businesses
  • The rise in financial well-being support
  • The challenges faced by different generations
  • How workplace employee services help organisations
  • How employers can support their staff

Who are Paul Avis and David Shearman?

Paul Avis is Marketing Director at Canada Life Group Insurance. He’s responsible for all products and communications that go out, as well as working alongside third-party companies such as LifeWorks. Paul identifies benefits that advisers and employers can introduce to their people.

David Shearman has been with LifeWorks for a decade. His role is to work with some of the UK’s leading organisations on health and well-being in the workplace. He educates them on services and solutions they can put in place which will have a positive impact on return on investment for the company but is good for the employees too.

Summary of our chat

Paul says traditionally, employers focused on staff attraction and retention, but productivity is more important. Health and well-being are high on the corporate agenda and mental health is being discussed more openly. Nationally, there’s only been a 2% growth in productivity in the last 11 years, and employees aren’t supported to improve.

1 in 6 people in the workplace struggle with a stress condition which affects their productivity. And 1 in 4 suffers from a mental health problem. 20% of a company’s workforce isn’t productive and feel unsupported. People feel they can’t come to work and struggle with both personal and professional worries that affect their productivity.

Financial well-being is the biggest growth area for holistic support services. LifeWorks helps employers to help staff manage their money and take away the pressures of the day to day cost of living. Many employees are living in poverty, and 21% are earning below the minimum living wage.

Different generations have different struggles. Millennials, for example, are renting more as they can’t afford to buy a home. The biggest demands are on the ‘sandwich generation’ who are looking after both their children and their elderly relatives. LifeWorks support them to find care services and help employers understand their unique challenges.

If implemented properly, workplace wellbeing services and strategies can save organisations millions. LifeWorks has found that for every £1 employers spend with them, they get back £6. ROI from employee assistance programmes can be measured to help companies see the impact they can have on wellbeing and productivity.

Employers have to invest in benefits and workplace services to support their employees. Early intervention has a positive impact on wellbeing. LifeWorks found that staff who engage with their services see improvements in their health and productivity. Advisors need to explain to their clients the value, importance and relevance of support services.

One thing Paul and David would like listeners to take away

Paul says that in an organisation, there needs to be an understanding of the demographics and challenges of their employees. There can be four different generations in the workplace, each with their own challenges.

Above all, when you understand what people are facing, you can make significant changes, often at low or no cost. 97% of employers thought a happy workforce is a more productive one. Therefore, think about how to make your workforce happy, because there’s more to it than money.

David believes that employee assistance services can save lives. Feedback from LifeWorks’ counsellors shows that the work they do can bring someone back from a very dark place.

Links

If you enjoyed – Paul Avis and David Shearman on productivity, mental health and well-being – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

And if you know anyone who would enjoy the show – please share it with them. You can use the buttons below to share on social media.

Don’t miss an episode of the MAF Podcast – subscribe now.

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