Building referrer partnerships are never easy but with the right approach, attitude and perseverance, business relationships can flourish. Mick McClure from Buyers Choice shares three easy ways to approach referrers and foster a partnership.
1. Finding the right source
Often enough cold calling or taking a direct approach doesn’t produce results. A good place to start is to approach other professionals who are dealing with your client. It could be the solicitor or conveyancor who are handling the other supporting documents during the loan approval process.
The best way to approach them is to give them a call, introduce yourself, let them know who you’re looking after a mutual client and keep in contact with them on how things are travelling leading up to the approval or settlement. Reassure the referrer that you will work with them through hurdles or roadblocks to make the process seamless as possible for the client. This is one way to promote your business and get your foot in the door for future referrals.
In addition, by keeping in contact with these referrers, you now have the opportunity to set up an appointment to meet them in person in order to talk more about your services, what solutions you can offer and provide them with some of your marketing materials which they can distribute to future clients. If you need marketing materials or want ideas, just look in Campaign Manager to help you with that.
2. Be pro-active and get out of your comfort zone
It’s easy to sit around and wait for people to knock on your door, but will you ever grow your business by doing so? Being pro-active rather than reactive is a must these days, as there is more competition in the market place.
When you see a business/industry seminar or breakfast meetings organised by the local council, real estate agencies, other brokers, solicitors or financial planners, get out of your comfort zone and attend the event. No matter how big or small the attendance fee is, if you work the crowd right you can gain a few key contacts which will pave the road for new business partnerships.
I have attended a couple of these events and found that when you have a conversation and start exchanging business cards, people will start asking you about what you do and that’s your cue to promote yourself and your business, the solutions you can and have provided. I have had a couple of good leads from such events which have been converted to business/referrer partnerships. I’ve certainly got back my return on investment at these events.
3. Consistency and commitment is key
There is no substitute for regular contact in keeping your business name alive. With existing referrers make sure you constantly update them with how your client’s deal is progressing. Also, make sure you send them any new updates about your business, drop by for a visit or invite them to attend some of your events.
With new referrer contacts, follow up with phone calls and touch base with them on a regular basis as this is a good way to remind them of your services. Regular "oiling of the wheel" is crucial as often over time, the drive to pursue or follow through withers away.
Lastly, don’t be afraid of rejection. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Put on your sales cap and sell your business and the quality service you provide. Back up your claim with professional marketing materials such as the Choose Your Mortgage Broker Carefully leaflet on Campaign Manager. This promotes your accreditation with PLAN and makes a good impression to the referrer.