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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition   |   January 2012

Take 5 Swings at New Business

A results-oriented approach can help new brokers generate leads more effectively

Take 5 Swings at New Business

Brokers who are looking to optimize their lead-generation efforts should focus on identifying activities that have a direct impact on their business results. Rethinking daily actions with associated results in mind can help originators concentrate on the ones that actually pay off.

Think of the Pareto Principle — aka the 80-20 rule — in the way it relates to people’s productivity. For example, 20 percent of the people generate 80 percent of the results. This same principle applies to our daily activities, and it suggests that 80 percent of our production results come from 20 percent of the activities. This means that if you have five things on your to-do list on a given day, only one of them will produce the most results you want.

A natural progression

For any professional-services provider, there are three main facets on which they should focus: lead generation, lead conversion and service delivery. At the beginning of a broker’s career, the emphasis is usually on developing the capacity to deliver services. This is natural, because no business will be transacted otherwise. Next, brokers learn how to convert leads into clients. To accomplish this goal, they tend to rely upon their prior sales experience, the gift of gab, or being shown the ropes by more experienced brokers.

"Brokering is a people business, and prospecting and networking should certainly top the list of techniques to develop new business."

The last and most important aspect of the business to be learned is lead generation, which often remains underdeveloped or not developed at all. Some brokers rely on their company to generate the leads. Others join in a team approach. The first scenario creates bone-catchers; the second means dividing up of commissions that have already shrunk with declining prices. Neither leads to high-level production.

Because there is a “jump-in” aspect to getting started in the mortgage industry, newer brokers frequently engage in too much prospecting and networking too soon. Their lack of proper training — if they have never been taught how to be highly productive in either area — could mean poor results. As a result of this negative experience, they come to see these activities as an unproductive use of  their time.

Brokering is a people business, and prospecting and networking should certainly top the list of techniques to develop new business. Daily prospecting and active networking at least twice a week is a bare-minimum requirement. Remember, you should attend one or two networking sessions each and every week regardless of how busy you are. This will just keep you afloat, rather than take your business to the next level.

The next key steps are to identify a number of networking opportunities in your market area, attend some of them, and then decide which ones you will take an active role in. An active role means to attend regularly and participate in their committees. Pay close attention to membership committees where you’ll have an opportunity to meet incoming members and develop a relationship with them before they start talking to your competition.

The next-level solution

For brokers to take their business to the next level, they must add ways of developing new business. Consider this idea: If you took a very sharp axe, approached a tree and took five swings at that tree every day, no matter how large the tree, eventually it will fall.

Here are some things that you can do in order to take five swings at improving your business: 

  1. Referrals: Ask for referrals from prior clients by conducting regular check-ins.
  2. Online marketing: Create a YouTube video, a podcast, a blog, or post on Twitter or other social networking websites; complete or create a LinkedIn profile or group; or send marketing e-mails.
  3. General outreach: Send out a press release with your business news or a newsletter with 12 to 24 professionally written articles; write articles on industry trends; conduct or sponsor a seminar, tele-seminar or webinar; invite people on your e-mail list to connect with you online.
  4. Targeted actions: Compile a list of your top 100 to 200 prospects and call at least two every day; pass out 10 business cards daily, no matter what.
  5. Building your image: Encourage prior clients to write testimonials; interview or get interviewed in industry publications; create a 30-second elevator speech about your services.

These are just a few examples of activities that you can take daily to make a difference. Select a few from this list, or brainstorm your own customized activities with your fellow. Then incorporate them into your daily planner to ensure that you are taking the proper number of swings at developing new business as you begin each dayMake it your ritual to take five swings at new business development daily, and you are virtually guaranteed to take your business to the next level.


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