You know the drill: you’re at your desk, coffee in hand, staring at your CRM. The leads are there, but you can’t shake the feeling that you could be doing so much more. You’ve heard about the power of referral networks at industry events, in webinars, and maybe even from your colleagues. But how crucial is it really?
Let me tell you, in this industry, your referral network isn’t just a ‘nice to have’ — it’s your bread and butter. So, let’s dive deep into how you can build, leverage, and maintain these invaluable relationships!
Create Your Capability Deck
A capability deck is your business’s portfolio. It’s a presentation that outlines your services, skills, and qualifications to showcase what you bring to the table for your potential clients or partners. Here are some items you would typically include in a capability deck:
What to Include:
- Introduction: Briefly introduce your company.
- Services: List the services you offer.
- Case Studies: Showcase your past work and highlight their results.
- Team: Introduce your key team members, if any.
- Testimonials: Include quotes from satisfied clients to build trust.
- Contact Information
Sample Prompts for Creating a Powerful Capability Deck
AI tools like ChatGPT can help you craft a strong, compelling deck. But of course, you have to know how to send the perfect instructions to make the most out of it. Here are some sample prompts you may try:
- Context Setting: “I offer a range of mortgage solutions for different needs. I want to create a capability deck to showcase my services.”
- Prompt Crafting: “Create a slide that outlines the unique selling points of my adjustable-rate mortgage options, aimed at potential clients who are open to different mortgage plans, in bullet-point format.”
- Feedback Loop: “The slide is too text-heavy; can we break it down into bullet points?”
Once you’ve generated a good draft from ChatGPT, polish it out as necessary. While AI tools can make your work easier, you still need to tailor it to suit your brand’s voice and make your deck stand out.
Building Your Referral Network
A referral network is more than just a list of contacts. It’s a circle of trust. You’re guiding people through one of the most significant financial decisions they’ll ever make. So, how do you go about finding the right partners?
- Identify Potential Partners: Start by making a list of businesses that share your target audience but aren’t direct competitors. Think real estate agents, financial planners, or even home renovation companies.
- Initiate Conversations: Now, don’t just send a generic email and hope for the best. Take the time to research these potential partners. Maybe they’ve recently won an industry award or published an insightful article. Use this as a conversation starter to make your outreach more personal.
- Build Trust: Once the conversation is flowing, share some of your own success stories or client testimonials. Make it clear that you’re not just looking for a quick win but are genuinely interested in building a mutually beneficial relationship.
Working with Referral Partners
You’ve built a solid network—great! But a network is only as good as the leads it brings in. Here’s how to make the most of it:
- Leveraging for Leads: First off, don’t just sit on those connections. Introduce your partners to some of your clients when it makes sense. It’s a two-way street, and your partners are more likely to send leads your way if you’ve done the same for them.
- Trust and Understanding: You’ve got to have trust on both sides. Make sure you understand what your partners are looking for in a lead and vice versa. It’s all about that mutual understanding.
- Communicate Your Value: You have to make sure your partners know what sets you apart from the rest. Is it your quick turnaround times? Your expertise in a particular type of loan? Whatever it is, make it clear!
- Smooth Handovers: When a partner sends a lead your way, don’t drop the ball. Acknowledge it quickly and keep your partner in the loop. A simple “Got it, thanks!” can go a long way in maintaining a professional image.
- Managing Expectations: Are you both clear on the commission splits, or who takes the lead on client communications? Regular catch-ups can help you iron out these specifics and ensure you’re both getting what you want from the partnership.
Maintaining Healthy Follow-Ups
The work doesn’t stop once you’ve built your network. Here’s how to maintain healthy follow-ups without bugging off your leads:
- Regular Check-ins: Whether it’s a monthly coffee catch-up or a quarterly Zoom call, regular face-to-face time helps keep the relationship strong.
- Personalised Follow-Ups: Send a thank-you note or even a small gift when a referral goes well. It shows you don’t take their help for granted!
- Follow-Up Templates: Now, you might be wondering what to say in those follow-up messages. Don’t worry, here are some easy templates you can use:
- Email: “Hi [Partner’s Name], I wanted to extend my heartfelt thanks for the recent referral. Your client was a pleasure to work with, and I’m confident we’ll secure them a fantastic mortgage deal. How about we catch up soon to discuss any other potential collaborations?”
- Phone Call: “Hey [Partner’s Name], it’s [Your Name]. I just wanted to ring you up and personally thank you for the referral. Your trust means a lot to me, and I’d love to catch up next week to see how we can continue to support each other.”
Remember, timing is everything. Send over a thank-you within a day of closing a deal from a referral. Then, set up a catch-up within the week to keep that momentum going.
- Virtual Assistant (VA) Support: Ever thought about getting a bit of help with all those follow-ups? A Virtual Assistant can be a game-changer. A VA can manage client communications, and even make sure you’re not double-booked for those all-important referral catch-ups. That way, you can put your energy where it really counts—building solid relationships.
Building, leveraging, and maintaining a strong referral network has always been a proven strategy for growing your business in this competitive mortgage broking industry. And remember, you’re not in this alone. We all face challenges, but with the right strategies and consistency, there’s no limit to what you can achieve!