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Expand Your Contact Database
Many loan officers and real estate agents always seem to struggle with finding the time and money to market effectively. Expanding a contact database beyond friends, family and close business acquaintances can be a challenge. Here are five helpful tips to expand your contact database and find more clients.
1. Embed networking naturally into your day-to-day life.
Start by brainstorming everyone you know, and I mean everyone. What organizations to you belong to? Who are your kid’s friend’s parents? Who do you know in your neighborhood? What about your barber? Your cleaning lady? . . . Literally, everyone.
During conversations you have, casually mention what you do using a well-crafted elevator pitch that is compelling and memorable. If people are clear about what you do, how you help and who you help, they are better able to make qualified referrals.
2. Network strategically.
Create a goal-oriented plan. Hang out where your customers and most qualified prospects are, both in person and online. This very personal strategy serves three purposes. You can stay up to date on industry trends. You may get access to people who may be interested in your products and services and, importantly, they can get to know you on a personal level. That personal connection can make the difference between you and your competitor.
3. Build strategic alliances.
Partner with other businesses that offer complimentary products or services and you could grow your contact reach instantly. The overall marketing investment can stay the same, but now the cost per partner will be reduced. Most small-businesses owners can’t do everything on their own and having a strategic business partner allows you to work together more efficiently with shared resources. The key is to make sure you are targeting similar markets.
4. Ask for referrals.
There are many opportunities to ask for referrals, but many people just plain forget. The times that make the most sense are right after the sale, after receiving positive feedback about your product or service, in your newsletter, or in any correspondence with your customers and prospects.
5. Have a follow-up strategy and use it.
Your leads may become stale if you don’t have a process to follow-up and stay in touch. A contact management system can help you to stay organized.
When you go to networking events, strike up conversations with people you don’t know. When you exchange business cards, write down details on the back so you have some information you can use for your follow-up.
When you call a referral or someone you met at a networking event, don’t use a prepared script that you read word for word. Do research on the people you are contacting before the phone call and have a list of your talking points, so you can refer to it during your conversation and remember to address key points.