Have you ever heard of the saying, “It’s not what you know, but it’s who you know”? Well, let me take that one step further. It’s not just what you know and who you know, but who knows you!
Your sphere of influence makes all the difference. Superstar mortgage professionals proactively and strategically target centres of influence (COI’s) who have access to, or a strong relationship with, their target market and have the ability to send loads of high quality referrals. They don’t leave this to chance, but rather intentionally orchestrate ways to get to know these people and make a positive impression.
I call this strategic networking.
The first step in strategic networking is to identify your COI’s -- the types of people who offer the greatest potential for a profitable, win-win alliance. Here’s a powerful question to help you with that: “Who does my ideal client work with, before, during and after they work with me?”
Here’s a partial list of potential COIs:
- Financial Planners
- Insurance Agents
- Divorce Attorneys
- Real Estate Lawyers
- Wedding Planners
You want to make a list of those key COIs and create a strategic networking plan that outlines how you will cultivate those relationships. Devise some type of method to get to know those people. Perhaps you can ask your existing clients or referral partners if they can recommend someone they know, like and trust.
Then send them a letter introducing yourself and how you can help add value to their business (beyond the minimum expectation of good rates and great service). Then follow-up by phone and let them know that Mary Sue had recommended them as a top-notch __________ (insert their profession) who might be open to exploring ways to growing their business through a win-win strategic alliance. Once they confirm this is true, invite them to meet with you for coffee or lunch.
At this point, your sole focus is to build trust and show them specific ways you can add value to their life and their clients’ lives. Once you have established a relationship with these influential people, you always want to continue nurturing that relationship by staying in touch on a regular basis. Follow-up is the key to cultivating the mutual trust necessary for long-term, highly profitable, win-win referral alliances.
This is a slightly amended version of an article from NZ Adviser's sister site Mortgage Professional America written by Doren Aldana, considered by many to be Canada’s leading Mortgage Marketing Coach. It has been shortened to make it suitable for web publishing