In the business of loan brokerage it is often easy to forget that this is a business of people. Loan applications are completed online, correspondence is sent via email and paperwork has nearly become obsolete in this digital age. So often, in the past, repeat deals were generated by keeping in touch with clients. Whether through a postcard in the mail or a face-to-face visit, business loan brokers were able to take the time to add those personal touches and keep loyal clients coming back. More recently, automated systems have virtually eliminated the need for face-to-face meetings or even telephone calls. This automation has also made it easy to generate more business thereby making your day as a business loan broker even more busy and detached from individual clients.
Business loan brokers generally know to utilize the World Wide Web to generate new clients, but how do you generate repeat deals?
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF RESPECT
Science tells us that people like to be treated fairly and with respect. When a person feels respected and valued, they are more likely to form trusting relationships. It is important that you treat every client, no matter the size or scope of the loan, with the same respect. Business owners that are coming to you for funding have likely already been turned down by a traditional bank and they may already be feeling defeated. This is where your expertise as a business loan broker comes in. You have the ability to help your clients shake the feeling of defeat and give them hope for a successful future.
BECOME A TRUSTED ADVISOR
When your clients are respected, they will, in turn, respect you. Give them good reason have the highest respect for you as a business loan broker. Use your years of knowledge to help them guide their business growth effectively. As a business loan broker, you work with hundreds of businesses and get to see the good, bad, and ugly reasons companies need financing. Show your clients the extent of your experience by providing them with invaluable advice. Help them to develop a plan to prepare for future growth and financing and in a few years you will be the one to refinance their loan and get them lower rates. You may also help them to secure an additional line of credit to facilitate expansion. In sum, play the role of advisor to earn their respect and trust. Continue to help them (for free) as they grow, and the next time they need financing you will be the one they turn to.
HELP THEM GROW
If a client’s business is healthy and growing, they will be approved for financing. How do you, as a business loan broker, support them in this growth and get them the financing that will likely need?
As you work to expand your network, you will come across other people and businesses who need products and services and you will be able to give them a referral. A great referral network will bring new clients and repeat clients so, if you don’t already have one, get a referral program in place for your brokerage.
- Create a referral plan
- Determine how many referrals you will generate each month and how you will go about generating them.
- Track results.
- Tracking your results will keep you working toward building your referral network daily. Stay on task and meet your goals by paying close attention to the results of your efforts.
This approach will ensure that you are always giving value and helping your clients, and that they will want to help you and do business with you next time they have a funding need.
TOP OF MIND AWARENESS
People are busy these days. Between business worries, family vacations, and getting sleep, it is only natural that people will forget about you if they are not reminded regularly of the value that you provide them.
Your clients don’t need financing now, but they will in the future. When that time comes, who will they think of? If it was tomorrow or next week they would definitely think of you. You may even be the business loan broker they think of next year. What about 5 years or even a decade from now? How do you build relationships that will last for the long haul? By maintaining top of mind awareness, you will be the first broker they think of whenever they might have a need for a business loan.
- Regular email outreach / newsletters is a great way for you to stay in the front of your clients’ minds. Send branded newsletters filled with useful information and interesting articles at least once per month. Include images and graphics that catch the reader’s eye and provide visual information.
- Use social media to your benefit by posting interesting blogs, images and infographics. Start dialogues between your clients and followers to get people talking about your brokerage. Ask your clients to share your page and refer their friends and colleagues. Create a referral program that catches your clients’ attention and offers them something valuable with every successful referral.
- Start a local meetup group to provide information to prospective clients and to allow face-to-face time with current clients. Use this opportunity to help potential clients determine the right funding options for their business needs and to keep your current clients aware of any changes or new programs that they may find useful. Conferences and casual meetups allow loyal clients and new applicants to network and share stories about your brokerage. By giving them the opportunity to mingle and talk with you or other attendees, you are building the trust needed to generate repeat deals and you are keeping yourself in the front of their minds.
To sum things up, generating future business from current clients requires helping them grow and remaining present in their lives. Treat them with respect, send them referrals, and stay at the top of your clients’ minds with social media, email and events. By adding these simple practices to your business loan brokerage, you can ensure that the next time a business needs funding, they will turn to you.