Slam dunk?Ralph LoVuolo Sr., CMCreferral, satisfied client, mortgage business
When faced with the choice of obtaining a new business referral
or receiving a thank you card from a satisfied client, it seems
like a slam dunk to choose the referral. Is this really the case?
Are you really convinced?
When I was a teenager, my father had just started his mortgage
business. I was amazed to learn how poorly he treated his clients.
He was gruff, direct and surly, and he seemed to be downright rude
at times. We often argued over his business approach. He said that
all the clients only wanted their money and that they didn't care
how he treated them. In fact, he argued that they appreciate him
more for acting aloof and being direct. He would tell me, "That's
the way people in the money business act."—and he really
believed it. There were times that we actually raised our voices to
each other to try and make our respective points heard.
The arguments went on for years. I eventually entered the field
of sales in the mortgage business. I flourished, but I could have
done better if I had understood the mistake that I was making. My
father was wrong, so was I. My mistake was that I sought the
clients' favor, rather than their trust. I sought to have the
clients say 'thank you,' rather than to have the clients say 'you
did your job, now here is the name of someone who could use your
What's the difference?
There is a big difference! Your clients should always be treated
with special care. They should be treated like family. After all,
jobs in the mortgage business are service professions, and it takes
practice to perform a service, just like any other career.
As you practice, remember that if you only seek the approval of
your client, you will not be completing the requirements of your
job description. In addition to helping people get the money they
need to buy or refinance their own homes, you must do it in a way
that would encourage them to refer their relatives and friends to
you. That's the way to stay in business. When a client finds you
trustworthy, they will refer other clients to you when you ask
them. Early in my career, I even asked clients to send me 'thank
The lesson that I had to learn was that I didn't ask enough people
to refer new clients to me. I found myself working hard for both my
referral sources and my clients, and was only asking my referral
sources for new clients. Why wasn't I asking my clients for
referrals instead of 'thank you' notes?
Good business or emotions?
Seeking a 'thank you' note seems like much more of an emotional act
than seeking a referral, which is a clear business practice. Since
we are not in the business of being psychologists, even though it
may seem like we are at times, we should be less emotional about
our clients and keep good business practices in mind. Good business
practices bring success.
"How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life," by Alan Lakein
Ralph LoVuolo Sr., CMC is president of Mortgage Motivator, a
mortgage industry training and coaching firm. He is a founder and
past president of the New York
Association of Mortgage Brokers, a teacher accredited by the
New York and New Jersey Real Estate Commission, a former associate
professor at Atlantic College and New York University and a
published author. He can be reached at (609) 652-6901, e-mail [email protected]
or visit his blog at www.mortgagemotivator.blogspot.com.