Referrals: Your Road to Results!™
Banc One Financial Services sold mortgages. Lots of ‘em. Yet they didn’t ask customers or prospects for referrals. They were leaving millions of dollars in lost revenue and profits on-the-table. And also denying potential homeowners, the opportunity to live their dream, to “buy a home.” This drove Jeff crazy, since he saw the potential for explosive referral results.
So he asked Banc One’s President, “How come your folks don’t ask for referrals?” Jeff was told, “It’s not part of our culture.”
Since Banc One had Jeff on long-term retainer, for several consecutive years, Jeff would frequently “revisit” this topic with Banc One’s President and leaders. However, he was always told, “Jeff, we really value our relationship and work with you, yet you’ve gotta realize, referrals are not part of our culture!”
Jeff knew Banc One had the ability to capture a huge untapped market. Since a referral is a “lead” with virtually no acquisition cost. It’s an abundance of opportunity. And all you have to do, is ask!
Jeff also knew…
When your customers, clients and prospects know you, like you and trust you, they’ll willingly refer you to others. For they value what you and your company bring to the table. And since you have a commitment to service, it’s a dis–service, not to see—if you can help one’s family, friends, co-workers, peers and business associates.
A study by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America even revealed, “That those searching for mortgages are influenced most, by advice from friends and family. More than one-third of buyers said they rely on friends for guidance on where to seek a loan.”
Referrals help you…make others…look like heroes.
GAME PLAN AND APPROACH:
Referrals: Your Road to Results!
Jeff knew “referrals” were in Banc One’s best interest, for the company and each loan officer’s future success. So he stayed politely persistent.
Early in 1998, he suggested to the senior leadership team of Banc One Financial Services, the development of a referrals program or system. It would strategically teach the bank’s sales professionals to ask for referrals and then convert these new leads into booked loans.
The leaders finally agreed, yet wondered, “Jeff, how do you know it’ll work?” Jeff simply said, “Its success is up to your people. When they execute, the results will be quick and dramatic.”
Quick. Dramatic. Explosive!
In late March, 1998, Jeff and Banc One introduced the Referrals: Your Road to Results program at three branch-centers. While the initial response was excellent, Jeff knew these positive expectations had to be translated into top and bottom-line results.
Within the first two months, referrals generated new booked loan volume of $896,331!
Here’s what the bank’s sales professionals said about the value of referrals:
Loan officer: “One customer has already given me 11 referrals.”
Loan officer: “Referrals help you meet and exceed your company and personal goals. You just have to ask for them.”
Loan officer: “I love getting referrals, there’s automatic rapport and it lets me know my hard work has paid off.”
Loan officer: “Referrals are really hot leads. They’re basically free deals that lead to higher volume. It’s great!”
Loan officer: “Customers are eager to offer referrals, when they realize you were sincere in your effort to help them.”
Based upon these early successes, the bank’s senior leadership team enthusiastically declared, “Jeff, let’s roll it out! Now!”
To support the “rollout,” we created a series of workshops and customized business-growth reinforcement tools, i.e., workbooks, audios, videos, on-going voice mail reminders, etc.
The bank’s loan officers learned how to:
- ask for referrals
- develop a referrals network
- positively leverage a prospect they were unable to help
- obtain valuable information about a referred lead
- contact and communicate with a referred lead…and more
A NEW $230 MILLION CULTURE CREATED:
Referrals became an integral part of Banc One’s daily culture. And volume!
Here’s an excerpt from Referrals: Your Road to Results!™, a customized video Jeff wrote and hosted for Banc One, to tell the story of how he helped them generate $230 million dollars in new business, in 23 months, all from referrals! And the size of a typical referral loan was almost 30% greater than a non-referral loan. (Banc One sold this portfolio in March, 2000 to Household International.)
In an interview, when Jeff was asked, “How do most people accept or embrace change?”—he shared Banc One’s initial reluctance and then phenomenal success.
One of the keys to the referral program’s success, was that Jeff taught Banc One’s loan officers how to “fly in friendly skies.” Let’s take a look at the four different referrals, you too might get:
- Economy class
- Coach class
- Business class and
- First class
- Economy: An economy referral, is where you get a name and telephone number, yet you’re restricted, because you can make no reference to your referral source. At best, this really is the equivalent of a cold call.
- Coach: With a coach referral, you get a name, a telephone number and the okay to make reference to your referral source. Although an upgrade, this may still be, only a lukewarm lead.
- Business: With this upgrade, you get a name, a telephone number, approval to make reference to your referral source and you also get crucial information about the referred lead. Now, you’re headed in the right direction. This is a warm lead.
- First: This is where you want to be seated! With this upgrade, you now have a name, telephone number, valuable information about the referred lead and most important, the knowledge this person has a goal or problem that needs your help. This is a hot lead!
To gain this knowledge and other insights about your referred lead, here are some potential questions to ask your referral source:
- How do you know each other?
- What does he do?
- How long has she been with this company? What’s her title and some of her responsibilities?
- What do you like, admire or most respect about this person?
- How would you describe his personality? Direct? Friendly? Reserved?
- What can you tell me about her family?
- Or, why do you think he or she is a good person for me to contact?
Armed with this information, you too, will be flying first class! And you can also reap the same benefits and rewards with referrals…on your road to results!
Whether you’re selling products or services, to learn more about how you too can create a referrals culture to drive explosive results, please contact Sheryl Kantor: firstname.lastname@example.org or 847.998.0688, or complete the quick and easy Results Request.