Part IV: I have read several of your answers about referrals. It seems like everyone is trying to sell me a referral based system. I realize that I need to get more referrals, but I don't know where to start. Can you give me some direction?
--Denise from New Jersey
To finish this segment, we would like to talk specifically about getting more referrals from your customers, starting with the loan process. Our number-one mistake typically is waiting for the loan to close before we ask for referrals. This is a big mistake for two reasons. First, at the beginning of the process, our clients are more perceptive to others going through the process. We call this the law of selective perception. Secondly, we need to train our clients to refer prospects to us and we need to start this training from the beginning of the process. We train them by letting them know how important referrals are to us and how they will benefit from them. Basically, it allows you to spend more time delivering great service instead of marketing.
We also need to be specific as to what we are looking for – prompt them by naming groups such as friends, family, co-workers, etc. And finally, we need to train them how to refer, including an introductory email from them which will alert you of the referral and allow you to initiate the conversation. This increases the conversion rate of these referrals just as we discussed for referrals from real estate agents. The last question is: when are the best times for asking? Any time you deliver extra value or good news is a great time. For example, you go out of your way to meet them late at night and they thank you for doing that. It is a perfect time to bring the topic up. Also, when you let them know their appraisal came in high or their loan is approved without major conditions. Again, obtaining referrals should be an integral part of your marketing plan. And we only scratched the surface here over the past four weeks.
Dave Hershman has been the leading author and a top speaker for the industry for decades with six books authored and hundreds of articles published. His website is www.originationpro.com. If you have a reaction to this commentary or another question you would like answered in this column? Email Dave directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.