Part III: Everyone keeps telling me that I should ask for referrals from my borrowers. I always do after the loan closes, yet I rarely even get referrals even though my service is great. What could I be doing wrong?
--Peter From Philly
In the past two weeks we have spoken about the timing of asking for referrals and putting yourself in a more comfortable position to ask. This week we will address what to say when asking for a referral.
The first rule is that you must be specific. A statement such as "do you have someone to refer to me" is way too broad. You must get specific about what situations are you are looking for: Do you know anyone thinking about purchasing a home? Do you know a good accountant? You must also get specific about their pool of referrals: Friends, family members, neighbors, coworkers? Prompt them to think!
The second point is to talk in their language. Even the word "referral" is business talk. Many of them may not be good business people. Yes, you can say -- I make my living off of referrals -- but that is way too much of a "me" statement for many and it is what makes many uncomfortable asking.
A softer approach would be to offer help. Do you know anyone else who is thinking of purchasing a home that I can help? After all, aren't you in the business to help people? While the result may be the same, I find that many are more comfortable offering to help rather than making the direct referral question. You need to use what you are comfortable with.
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.