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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition   |   April 2011

Develop Your Business … Quietly

Quality service outshines flashy marketing when it comes to client satisfaction

Develop Your Business … Quietly

If not properly planned and carefully thought through, business development can be an expensive and inefficient endeavor for companies and render little or no value. The mention of business development often brings to mind fancy advertisements, expensive functions and other high-cost events, but these costs may be all for naught if you fail to provide a quality product. Commercial mortgage brokers looking to strengthen their business should carefully consider what they want to achieve and plan the steps necessary to get there.

"Stand out by being a strong advocate for your clients."

There are two critical paths that a company may follow to develop business. The first method involves pushing the company’s name out into the market and gaining market recognition through advertising, functions and one-on-one or one-on-group meetings. The noise of such events can overshadow the company’s ability to deliver a product that merits a growth in customer base. Although this path is often followed, it usually is futile, neither growing a company nor increasing its client base.

The other path may be thought of as the road less traveled and involves developing your business by delivering a high-quality product in a timely manner. Differentiation, however, can’t be achieved with a cheaper product or by cutting corners and avoiding legalities.

Instead, you stand out by being a strong advocate for your clients.

Brokers who develop their business this way give personal treatment to their clients. Their clients know they have their broker’s undivided attention when they communicate. Moreover, they realize the broker has their well-being in mind at all times.

There’s no better method of developing a business than through satisfied customers. Word-of-mouth advertising and personal references clear an immediate trust hurdle for consumers and place the company being recommended at a clear advantage.

Moreover, because of cost constraints, it’s often not worth paying top dollar for advertising. This isn’t always the case, particularly for companies with significant size, financial wherewithal and media savvy. It remains true, however, that effective advertising campaigns can be expensive and sometimes fail to produce the desired results. In some cases, when dealing with specific market areas, broad marketing schemes may prove worthless.

An alternative to expensive marketing comes in the form of what I call the Q.U.I.E.T. method. This method allows a company to increase its client base the old-fashioned way — by earning it.

Here’s what Q.U.I.E.T. stands for:

  • Quality of work
  • Unconditional commitment to clients
  • Integrity in business dealing
  • Ethical behavior
  • Timely response from application to closing

Generally speaking, satisfied clients can easily convince acquaintances or family members in need of the services you offer to give you a try

The quality of work and the positive effect it can have on clients cannot be underestimated. Most of us like to feel like we have received a quality product for the price we pay. This quality of work is achieved through care and diligence.

Once engaged by a client, your commitment and desire to complete the task exceptionally should drive you. You should strive for nothing but the best and work as if everything you did were  for your exclusive benefit.

The client should never perceive any ambivalence on your part. Your compensation should be secondary to the client’s desires. Avoid compromises and cutting corners. These things almost always come back to bite you.

Ethical behavior provides great long-term value. Besides, the ability to sleep at night with a clear mind is priceless. Ultimately, the client should want to do business with you because of your knowledge and the quality of your product — not because of a willingness to circumvent regulations.

A mortgage broker can only handle so many cases efficiently. Examine potential clients before you accept their business. Determine the feasibilty of what they seek. If you don’t believe in a project, pass.

Accepting clients to pad your workload offers no real value. You are most likely paid based on the deals you close, not on the number of deals you work on. If a transaction doesn’t make sense or documentation lacks, consider rejecting the prospect’s business. Your decision at this stage could save you time and allow you to commit more fully to the clients you want to serve.

For brokers who find themselves overly busy with clients they believe in, another problem arises: giving the appropriate amount of time to necessary daily operations. If you include yourself in this group, don’t let yourself fall into a habit of not returning telephone calls or e-mails.

No matter the size of your company, handling your personal customer-service responsibilities effectively is critical to maintaining your book of business. When you fail to respond to inquiries or clients quickly and personally, you tell people they’re not important.

In today’s competitive environment, commercial mortgage brokers must develop their business wisely.  It may be better to work quietly, and let your overall behavior draw more clients to your company. In the end, it’s what you offer and how you act that create client satisfaction — not the size of your marketing budget.

Never underestimate the value of satisfied clients. Your business depends on them.  


 


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