How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Making Your Net Work Part 3
Guest articles > Making Your Net Work Part 3
by: Daniel Milstein
Most salespeople are inclined to ask for referrals (some more aggressively than others) without first having something to offer in return. However, that generally doesn't generate the same level of long-term results. It is important to give first before you start to receive.
Early on, I discovered that the key was to become indispensable to other business professionals by helping them in some way, before asking for their assistance with my goals. This was largely based on my sincere commitment to help them succeed, and on knowing that it was a good way to develop my own mortgage business. I realized that most of my competitors were following the traditional route--sending interest rate sheets to Realtors and asking them for referrals. I also saw that real estate agents often treated such originators as doormats, which I had no desire to be.
I devised a simple way to establish a positive rapport with real estate agents and get past the gatekeeper, the receptionist who often guarded the access of their offices. I pre-qualified several borrowers who were serious about purchasing a home. I then visited a major Realtor's office and explained to the receptionist, 'I am interested in buying a house and wanted to see if there is an agent able to help me.' Of course, there was an agent anxious to assist a prospective homebuyer. When the agent met me in the waiting area, I smiled and quickly said, 'My name is Dan, I am a loan officer and actually I represent a pre-qualified borrower who is eager to find a home in the area and should be a good client for you. Are you taking any new clients?'
I figured the offer of a good client would likely outweigh my slight deception. I remember the agent looking at me with uncertainty; she obviously had not encountered many originators who brought her a prospect so soon in the relationship. From my perspective, it was the ideal way to immediately overcome the typical objection that 'I'm sorry, I already have longstanding relationships with several other loan originators and don't need another one now.' How could she object if I was handing her a client?
Of course, the agent was accepting new clients. 'Yes, I am sure I can help,' she replied. Then I called the borrower, handed my phone to the agent and encouraged her to make the necessary house hunting arrangements with the new client. Afterwards, we talked for a few minutes and I said that I would call her again soon. Much to the agent's surprise, I didn't say a word about referrals. During the next week, I met with agents at nine other major Realtor offices, presenting each one with an interested buyer, but asking no one for referrals. About two weeks later, I called the agents to ask how the discussions with the new clients were progressing and to make arrangements to stop by and provide another pre-qualified borrower. At this point, I had given each agent two solid referrals in a month without asking for anything in return, and then made another offer they found difficult to refuse. 'Hopefully these referrals have been productive for you,' I said on my return visit. 'I would also like to call the new people on your open house sign-up sheets and emphasize what a great Realtor you are.' Of course, a few of them thought that I had ulterior motives, but eventually they all thought this was a wonderful idea and that I was sincerely interested in helping them grow their business, which I was.
It is very important to not be greedy when it comes to networking. You must sincerely want to help others before you begin to think about how they can help you.
Daniel Milstein is the bestselling author of ABC of Sales. For more information, visit: http://amzn.to/ABCARTICLES.
Contributor: Daniel Milstein
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