I knew from my earliest days in the industry that referrals were the best business, and I knew I wanted more of them — as many as I could get. You probably know this too, so I’ll spare you the list of reasons why referrals deserve your focus. I wanted to share some ideas this week that will undoubtedly help you generate more referral business. Here are a few of my favorites:
Establish Clear (and high) Standards
Do you have targets you’re committed to hitting with every client? Providing highest-level service is a good start, but it can’t stop there. Break that down into achievable specifics — you want to have a clear client-experience strategy. Establishing clear standards for yourself that you meet with every client, you make sure that every experience you provide is the kind that people will want to leave online reviews raving about, and the kind that they’ll talk about to their friends and family.
Invest in Networking
Past clients are just one source of referrals. Another valuable area to focus on is your networks, both professional and personal. This isn’t just logging in to your LinkedIn account and sending unsolicited messages — I’m talking about making new connections, either online or (preferably) in person, and working to develop the relationships you have online and off. Don’t trust your gut on where business may come from. There have been many people that I thought wouldn’t be a good source for business, that have surprised me and sent dozens of prospects my way. When you truly invest in your connections, you stay top of mind; ensuring that if the word mortgage comes up, they’re going to think of you first.
Realtors are valuable and you should meet more of them, but there are a whole host of other professionals that you can collaborate with to grow one-another’s businesses. I’m talking about some of the more obvious like CPAs and financial planners, but also the less obvious, like divorce attorneys, builders, remodelers, community leaders, school administration… the list goes on. Give your network another look to see if there are opportunities for partnership that you haven’t considered before.
Ask for Them
This is the simplest tip of all, and surprisingly, something I see many LOs too timid to do — just ask for referrals. Nobody is going to take offense, and if you don’t currently ask, I guarantee you that once you begin, your business will grow. It’s not desperate or aggressive, and it won’t be perceived that way. Instead of winging it, come up with a couple sentences that you use with everyone. Something concise that lets your clients know that your business is built on referrals, and that you’d appreciate them sharing your name with anyone they know that’s in the market for a loan. When you have something prepared in advance, you know you’re sending the message you want heard.
More referrals are out there, and by implementing these ideas, you’ll begin to earn them.
Good luck and let me know how any of these tips may have helped you!
If you’re a loan officer, sales manager, or branch manager considering new opportunities, don’t hesitate to get in touch.