How to avoid cold calling past clients

Posted by Nov21, 2013 Comments Comments Off on How to avoid cold calling past clients
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I don’t think I have ever met anyone that likes cold calling. Sometimes calling past clients that you haven’t dealt with for some years seems like cold calling (to you and them!). So what can you do about that?

Cold calling might work in some industries but it’s a low conversion (high) contact sport. I don’t enjoy making cold calls and I don’t enjoy (or take) cold calls. You should never make a cold call… ever. With past clients that you haven’t dealt with for some time you almost need to start the sales/marketing process all over again. The sales process can be simply summarised into 3 steps being know, like and trust. The good thing with past clients is that they might already “know” you exist. If not, you might have to remind them (I.e. “My name is Joe. I brokered your loan 5 years ago…”). The next step is then for you to get them to like you. You can do this by respectfully adding value with every communication. Send them a articles that might interest them, write an article, share client success stories (stories are very powerful), invite them to a webinar, a seminar, tell them what’s happening in their local property market (comparable sales), offer to spend 30 minutes with them brainstorming what financial strategies they should consider… Anything that adds value and is tailored to their situation – I’m not talking about mass untargeted email blasts about an uninteresting topic. That’s not respectful of their time.

Once they like you, they will read what you send them. If you provide value in your communications, they will trust you and answer/return your annual review calls.

So, getting back to what to do with all those past clients that you haven’t been in contact with for a few years, you need to develop a communications campaign where you build on “know” and “like” for a few months (for example, 4 communications over the next 6 months – maybe a combination of email, mail and text). After the campaign is done, you should spend 30 minutes per day calling these clients to search for new opportunities for you (and them). Best of all, it’s now no longer a cold call because they know and like you (and your calling about the articles and ideas you’ve given them over the past 6 months).

Spending time and money marketing back to your database will yield the highest return on your marketing dollars by a factor of 10 in my experience and opinion. Optimise this before you do any other marketing. Go get ’em!

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Successful brokers focus 80% of their energy on one thing

Posted by Oct29, 2013 Comments Comments Off on Successful brokers focus 80% of their energy on one thing
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Today I want to talk about energy and where your energy is directed and where successful brokers direct their energy. It’s a simple concept but a very powerful one and something that all success business people do.

We all have a limited amount of energy. Let’s assume that we all have 100 units of energy per day (depending on your health and lifestyle maybe you have more and less on some days). We have to decide where we want to spend our 100 units. For example, the 3 key areas in life are business, personal and family – a balanced life means we need to share our 100 units amongst all 3 areas in life (I.e. if we spend 99 units at work then by the time we get home we have nothing left for our family and guess what? Our family life suffers. Do it long enough and your family life and relationship dies!). But back to broking…

Let’s assume that you want to spend 50 units of energy at work. Where does that energy go? There are probably 4 key areas you can spend that energy being prospecting for new clients, dealing with existing leads/prospects, managing existing applications (I.e. Dealing with lenders) and business administration (I.e. Bookkeeping, admin, blah, blah, blah!). Where is your energy going?

Successful brokers (and business people) spend 80% of their energy in the first area – I.e. Prospecting for new clients because they know that if they do this, it takes very little energy to convert the business when they get it (as the hard work of building trust and credibility has already been done). I’d argue that you spend zero energy on dealing with existing applications and business admin – it’s a complete waste of time and energy – simply delegate that work to someone else.

Prospecting for new clients might include writing a blog, updating your linked in connections and profile, calling existing clients and finding ways to add value, hosting a webinar with a local buyers agent or accountant, building your and your business’ profile in your niche (you have a niche by now don’t you??? Tell me your target customer isn’t just anyone that wants to borrow money. Every broker needs a niche), sending a text message to your database about what you expect the RBA to do to rates, writing a free report that people can download when they visit your website (in return for providing their email so you can start building a relationship with them), calling a client with an idea about how they can growth or protect their wealth and the list goes on.

Business is easy. It’s the hard work that you need to do at the front end (that subsequently makes business easy) that is the thing that most brokers aren’t willing to do. So if you want to achieve better results, start focusing your energy on the things that matter the most (in business and in life). Energy is scarce and limited so be careful where you direct it and who (or what) you let take it from you.

The person that brings the most energy, wins! Energy is typically reflective. If I put energy in, I’ll get energy back.

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How long does it take you to spot a deal?

Posted by Sep30, 2013 Comments Comments Off on How long does it take you to spot a deal?
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Your ability to spot a deal is probably one of the single most important factors that will determine how much profit you’ll make in the next 12 months. Become awesome at spotting profitable and non-profitable deals and you’ll make heaps of money. But the reverse is also true.

So what do I mean “spotting a deal”? I don’t simply mean “getting the loan approved and settled” –most experienced brokers can do that. A deal is a transaction that makes you money with a client that will give you more business in the long run (either referrals or additional lending or both). I believe that most brokers only need about 200 to 300 good quality clients. The quicker you can acquire 200 to 300 good quality clients, the easier business will be (as 200+ quality clients will generate enough repeat and referred business to keep the average broker busy and very profitable).

Some questions you need to ask yourself to determine if the client is a “deal” or not may include:

–        Does the clients profile and needs closely match your experience (e.g. if you have dealt with hundreds of self-employed builders in the past and the client is a builder then the answer is yes)?

–        How likely is it you’ll get the current deal approved and how long will it take? Do you already have an idea of the lender(s) you’ll consider?

–        Is it reasonable to expect the client to have surplus borrowing capacity in the future?

–        Do you like the client? Do they seem reasonable and fair? Do they like you?

–        Is the client open to receiving credit advice or do they seem fixated on interest rates and fees?

So what do you do if the client doesn’t look like a “deal” to you. Simple. Immediately refer the client to another broker and take a comms split if they write the deal (simply tell the prospect that you are too busy to take on the extra work but you can introduce them to a broker that a specific in helping people like them).

Do you have a system for quickly identifying a “deal” versus an unprofitable prospect? If not, get one!

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Turn your mortgage broking business into Disneyland

Posted by Sep11, 2013 Comments Comments Off on Turn your mortgage broking business into Disneyland
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Disneyland (in Anaheim, USA) is an amazing business. Even if you are not interested in the entertainment value, it’s worth the visit to observe the way they do business. Perhaps the most significant thing is that they only care about the visitors that “get it” and they ignore the rest. Walt Disney was very clear in his vision when he established the first theme park in 1955. He wanted to “make people happy” and create the “happiest place on earth”. Some people buy into that vision and want to be taken away into a “magical land of fun” be it kids or the adult that wants to be a kid again! Disney designs and develops everything in its park(s) for that very exact person – their target market. Every ride, entertainment venue, restaurant, product, staff member is laser targeted to that same vision – the happiest place on earth. They don’t say to themselves “well some parents may visit that are very mature (read boring) and we should have a restaurant that is designed for them”. No. Everything in the park is on target.

I think lots of mortgage broking businesses can learn from this. There will be some clients that really “get what you do” and value it. There are other clients that are indifferent about the service/advice you provide. It’s erroneous for businesses to try and cater to every man and his dog and please everyone. Doing so tends to water down your core skills and culture. Instead, better to play to your strength (i.e. what you are good at and enjoy doing), design a service/advice business that only considered the needs of your target market. Deal with more target clients and less non-target clients. Give your target clients more of what they want and need.  Become more like Disneyland.

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Only a few refer regularly… find them!

Posted by Jul26, 2013 Comments Comments Off on Only a few refer regularly… find them!
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When was the last time you went through the referrals you received in the past 12 months to identify the clients or colleagues that referred you more than one prospect? Most businesses have a small group of advocates that go out of their way to promote the business because they love what they do (or make). Knowing who these “advocates” are is the first step in getting more referrals.

[Obviously, my opening paragraph implies that you track where each lead/prospect comes from. If you aren’t doing that, you must start today because you can’t manage what you don’t measure. This is the most basic of business management and if you are not prepared to do it, what’s the point of running your own business?]

Once you have identified your business’ advocates (i.e. people that have referred more than one prospect in the past 12 months), it’s time to say thank you. Most people want recognition for the work they do. They want to know that they matter and that they are making a difference. Bottles of wine and hampers are good but a simple “thank you” and “you are making a difference” is typically more effective (and meaningful) – particularly for advocates because they already love what you do.

So here’s a challenge for next week: find out who your advocates are and ring them up. Acknowledge what they have done (i.e. referred 6 people), say thank you and tell them that they are helping you grow your business. Do this every 3 to 4 months and watch your business grow.

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