- Not generating outgoing referrals
“If you show up regularly with generosity, everything else is gonna take care of itself.” – Seth Godin
You might say that marketing is telling people you can give them what they want, while in return you are expecting to get what you want (i.e., a new client and a commission).
Imagine that your Broking business was consistently generating outgoing referrals to allied local businesses – real estate agents, accountants, financial planners and so on. This would put you in a very strong position to require, if not demand, their clients referred back to you in return.
Whenever a potential client contacts your business, you want to find out as much as you can about their situation with more in mind than just determining if you can do a loan for them. Maybe you can, maybe you can’t, but if you find out they need a good local real estate agent or family lawyer – who is better positioned than you to know who that might be.
Right now, as I am writing this book I know there are a range of production services I will need to complete it – graphic designer, typesetter, printer, proof-reader, editor, etc. Rather than run around from one business to the next, trying to find and then co-ordinate between them all, what I really want is someone to say ‘If you like, we have people we regularly work with who can professionally handle all the production aspects of your book at a competitive price.
And not just your potential clients, anyone you meet in any walk of life, you should try to learn about them. This isn’t about being invasive; people want help from others when they are in an unfamiliar situation. This is so you can:
- Determine if you want to recommend others to use their services
- Determine if they need something such that you can recommend their services to others
By putting people together who have matching needs and services you are positioning yourself as valuable to both parties. You are giving them both what they want and simply letting them know that if they or someone they know needs a Broker, they should speak to you.
I was recently talking to a Broker who had been in the industry for about a year. They had previously worked in recruitment, which is definitely a sales industry itself. In her interactions with others, she went out of her way to understand what they did for a living and to consider how she could recommend others to them.
One person she spoke to ran a dog grooming business and over time the Broker had been able to refer several people to their business. The dog groomer is now an advocate for the Broker and has a vested interest in maintaining that relationship. Similarly, the people the Broker referred see the Broker as someone who has helped solved a problem for them and is worth knowing. Putting people together is a great way to build your value with those people.
You must position your business from one that is always asking for referrals to one that maximises the value of every contact by referring them on to others who can help them. You are helping the client, helping other businesses and helping yourself at the same time. If you can’t find a way to promote the services of others to those who need them, how can you expect others to promote your services.
Stop asking and start giving – then start asking with an expectation of a result.