No discussion of the value of your clients would be complete without a discussion on referrals from past clients. For most Brokers, certainly most long-term successful Brokers, it is their largest source of new clients, not to mention the easiest to work with as they come to you recommended from a trusted source.
Referrals are the single greatest potential multiplier of Lifetime Value. If you can generate a single referral from every new client — an ‘endless chain of referrals’ — then the lifetime value of a single new client is limited only by the hours you are prepared to work and your ability to leverage your time.
We will dig a lot deeper into methods for this later in this book, but the concept is clear — client referrals are crucial to your success.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that the purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates customers. If you have this concept at the core of your service, you can produce dramatic results.
Banks have a big advantage over us – they can spend millions of dollars on advertising. But if that was all there is to it, then the Mortgage Broking industry wouldn’t exist. Large organisations struggle to build person to person trust with their clients, because people know they are dealing with a big organisation and their staff aren’t personally invested in long term relationships with them – they work for the bank not for them and if they are good at their job they will likely be promoted away.
Banks try and recreate this by creating ‘Private Banking’ divisions, but that is usually limited to their high net worth clients. Our advantage over big lenders is that we are small, independent businesses who are always going to be the point of contact for our clients, allowing us to become their Trusted Advisor and generate referrals. So play to your strengths.
Your ultimate goal is creating lifetime value for your clients that in turn maximises their financial value to you. When you first get a new client you have brought them into your world, they are within your circle of influence. Generating repeat business, referrals and additional revenue streams comes down to educating your clients when they first come to you and continuing to do so for the life of your relationship with them, making that education relevant to the borrowing stage they are moving towards.