Be Referable

I just received my latest weekly edition of Sales Caffeine from Jeffrey Gitomer.

A quick side note: if you have not subscribed to this free ezine (Go subscribe now!) or read one or more of Jeffrey Gitomer’s books (Go buy one now–I recommend starting with the Little Red Book of Selling) you are probably not at full sales capability. He is a great resource and recurring motivation.

In this edition, he leads with an article on becoming referable. His key point is that “a referral is earned, not asked for.” That’s great, but how do I earn it? Gitomer offers these steps:

1. Be likeable. This is the first prerequisite. Without a friendly relationship, there is no need to go further.

2. Be reliable. The company, the product, the service, AND you, must be “best,” and “there when needed.”

3. The customer considers you an expert in your field. To be referable, you must have an expertise that breeds customer confidence.

4. They trust you. The customer is CERTAIN that you will do everything in the referred party’s best interest, like you have with theirs.

5. You have a track record of performance. You have already done the same thing with the customer and they’re comfortable that you can repeat the performance.

5.5 They consider you valuable – a resource, not a salesman. Not just, “do what you say.” There’s no real value there. I mean, provide value to the customer beyond your product and service. Helping the customer to profit more, produce more, or some other form of value, either attached to your product or not. Not value in terms of you, value in terms of the customer.

That makes it pretty straight forward, but let’s talk about putting this into action:

  1. Being likable. As you are drilling through 60-80 calls per day and getting no contact or rejection on the majority your likability can spiral down with your attitude. What are some solutions to a declining attitude? Stand up on calls, smile while you talk, remember the prospect did not give you a bad day, but their YES can surely turn it good, listen more than you talk, ask them what they need and how you can make this a great experience–they will tell you and then you have a 100% customer satisfaction action plan
  2. Being reliable. Call them back! Even when nothing is going on. The mortgage process is a start and stop, hurry up and wait process, and silence is deadly to pull through and customer satisfaction. Touch base every few days throughout the process, even if nothing is needed from the customer, just to tell them everything is okay and progressing
  3. Being an expert. Build this confidence by educating your customer. This is your thread of credibility behind your pitch. Don’t exude your expertise throughout the sales process. Keep you calls short and respectful of their time, but send them brief articles you have prepared or pointers to items on the Web as you think the information is appropriate
  4. Being trustworthy. Doing something or leading you customer into a decision with your commission as the focus is deadly. Keep their needs at the center and your commissions will roll in, in multiples of this sale
  5. Creating a track record. Every referral is a golden opportunity to reinforce and produce more. Treat them as such
  6. Being a resource, not a salesman. Add value outside your transaction. If they are trying to do a cash-out refi because they have hit hard times? Can you call a recruiter and get them a referral. Nothing is more powerful than making a call for your customer!

Although last year’s JD Power & Associates Mortgage Originations Customer Satisfaction Survey indicated that “more than 40 percent of borrowers indicate they utilize the Internet as a resource for gathering information during their lender shopping process” it also noted that “61 percent of recent borrowers asked their friends family members, their realtor or other personal acquaintances for recommendations on choosing a mortgage company.”



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