Retention or Detention?

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Ok, as I promised… I would elaborate on some unique retention programs… BUT you must first understand the basics…

Make your clients and referral partners feel special! If they feel like the same commoditized “unit” at your service as they would at the next, then there’s no reason to come to you…

Think of different ways (not expensive ways) to make your client realize that you are thinking of them…

For example… I always tell my consulting clients to send New Years cards instead of Christmas Cards… and it’s not because I’m politically correct… I said Christmas… because for the past 50+++ years everyone called the “Holiday season” the “Christmas Season”, regardless of what holiday you celebrate… and that’s ok…. I’ve spoken to hundreds, if not thousands of people who celebrate alternate holidays- I celebrate many holidays!!!… and still call it the “Christmas Season”… Ok… Enough of my P.C. rant… The bottom line is- I don’t say send new years cards for the wrong reasons..

The reason that I suggest New Years Cards is because of competition… There’s less competition on New Years… No one else is sending cards (Or at least not too many…)

If less people are sending New Years cards, then your news years cards WILL STAND OUT!!!!!…

A Legendary Marketer once said… Send a Thanksgiving Card… No one else will… So for the next several years I sent, Birthday, ½ Birthday, Anniversary, New Years, Valentines, and whatever cards I could find… I still send out about 4 – 500 cards a month, depending on the month…

Handwritten thank you notes… In a previous message I discussed the importance of delegating … These are tasks to delegate and automate… I certainly don’t lick or handwrite the envelopes….. I found an automated system to do it for me… My automated system actually seems as if I personally wrote it…You can easily use an automated system to do it… I just suggest that GET IT DONE… BUT YOU DON’T DO IT!!!

After you meet with a  new referral partner, send them a handwritten thank you card… Ask yourself how many other companies that provide the service that you do, approach that referral partner on a daily or weekly basis? Then ask yourself how many of them send a handwritten thank you note after a call or a visit? I think you know where I’m going with this…

Client retention and referrals should start at the initial call… When my focus was on training loan officers I always gave the example of me, when I was a loan officer (Many Moons ago) I would ask for a referral at the time of application…. Yeah – before I even qualified that person for a loan…

It was always easy for me… I would simply explain that my business was based on referrals and ask who do they know that could benefit from the valuable advice that I gave?

I always said “Valuable Advice” because I wanted to be an advisor, not a broker or salesman… People trust advisors and distrust salesman…

Put yourself in that “Advisory” role when talking to your clients or potential clients… It is usually a good idea to start a conversation with probing questions… don’t go straight for the sale…. Make sure your clients know that you are interested in hearing them … so LET THEM TALK… When they TALK you should LISTEN!!! They will tell you a lot more than you’ll ever need to know but… let them go… A good salesman knows he has 2 ears and 1 mouth… which means he should be using his ears twice as much!!

When you’re an advisor, you truly understand the situation, and the client must be confident that you will advise regardless of financial gain for yourself… THAT is NOT A PITCH!!! You must truly believe that … Don’t take every client unless you can help them! This business has enough unscrupulous individuals doing that… There is a lot more money to be made by providing a great service at a reasonable rate…

There are alternative ways to make money from clients that you can’t help…. If you know them, great, make the best of them… If you don’t, let me know and I’d be happy to make some suggestions…..

I went off track a bit…… I was up to the part about asking for referrals day one…

Don’t just stop there… KeeEEEEp asking for them, every conversation… EVERYONE knows someone with BAD CREDIT!!! Offer valuable informative info, white papers, free reports, articles for local newspapers etc…

Those items will assist in long term relationship building…

Create good looking Gift Certificates (Ones that look valuable, not the nonsense that you’d print on your regular penny copy paper)…. Make the gift certificates look valuable then give them to potential referral partners… Give away a $50 cert for a “Credit Analysis” or “Credit Exam”…. Rather than a FREE Consultation that has no value, (because it’s free)…. Make the certificate look valuable and it will be perceived as valuable… Then your referral partner will see additional value in you and your services….

If you only remember one thing from this e-mail… Here’s what it should be:

PERCEPTION IS REALITY!!!!

Your friend in the credit biz

 

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