Clients: An old but new referral source

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Let’s face it, today’s consumers are skeptical. With all the marketing hype and sales pitches people receive on a daily basis, it’s no wonder why we’re all becoming a bit jaded. Marketing guru Dan Kennedy reasons that, “This is not a consumer trend, but a societal one, largely supported by the repetitive failures of people we once looked up to political leaders, ministers and pro athletes.” Take that default level of skepticism and add to it the plethora of marketing messages from every Tom, Dick and Harry in the mortgage industry claiming to having the “best rates” and “best service” and now we have skepticism on steroids! People don’t know who to believe any more. It’s like marketing incest – everyone is saying the same thing with ever-decreasing results!

Let’s face it, people don’t like to be guinea pigs. They know pioneers get arrows in their backs! That’s why it’s mission critical that we find ways to increase our credibility and thereby build trust with our prospects, so that we have a better chance of closing the deal. The question is how.

Well, one of the most powerful marketing strategies for building trust is the use of client testimonials. You see, it’s one thing to toot your own horn and tell everyone how great you are. It’s a whole other thing when other people just like them, who have nothing to gain from endorsing you, are singing your praises -- your believability and credibility shoots through the roof! Testimonials provide that much-needed proof and assurance that your claims have credence, that you’re the “real deal” and can be trusted. The more relevant your testimonials are, and the more they get your prospects saying to themselves, “Hey, that person is just like me!”, the more compelling and believable your testimonials will be. That’s why Superstar mortgage pros purposefully sprinkle relevant testimonials throughout their marketing materials, especially after making bold claims about the benefits they offer. They know that their prospect’s natural reaction is to doubt their claims, even if they secretly want the claims to be true. So to build credibility, Superstar mortgage professionals will present their prospect with real-life client testimonials and case studies. 

Where can you use your testimonials? Anywhere and everywhere. Here a few examples:
  • Print ads
  • Radio ads
  • TV ads
  • Website
  • Brochures
  • Free reports
  • CDs and DVDs
  • Business cards
  • Everywhere!
Now, at this point you may be thinking, “OK, Doren, I get the importance of using testimonials. However, how can I systematically capture and collect them without wasting my time?” Good question.
Here are 5 simple steps for collecting rave reviews:

Step 1 - Set up your online survey system. There are lots of ways to do this. For example, you could create a short client satisfaction survey at These are a few questions you may consider including:
  • If there was one thing we could do to improve our service what would it be?
  • If you were talking to someone who needed a mortgage, what might you tell them about your experience in working with us?
  • If you used a buyer’s agent to help you with the transaction, we would appreciate your frank feedback on their service. How was your agent?
  • Would you recommend them to others?
Bonus tip:
If you want to add more social proof to your Google Places profile, you can direct all your survey respondents to a “Thank You” page that thanks them for submitting their feedback and asks them to post their rave review on your Google Places page.
Step 2 - Set up an autoresponder email campaign that automatically sends your clients emails with a predetermined delivery schedule.

Step 3 - Add a message to your email campaign that asks your clients for feedback on their experience working with you. The email might say something like this:

Thank you for choosing ABC Mortgage. Since our very beginning, our goal has been to make each client’s mortgage experience as pleasant and successful as possible. We’ve pledged continuance of this service and hope our commitment is working, but it’s not always easy to tell.

WE WANT TO GET EVEN BETTER! Any feedback about specific things that we could do to change or improve our service would be greatly appreciated. With that in mind, please take a moment to share your feedback here...
Step 4 - Send unresponsive clients your client satisfaction survey via direct mail. To increase response, consider including a postage-paid envelope and a $5 Starbucks or Tim Hortons card with a sticky note that says:

Dear John,

Thanks in advance for completing this short survey. I really appreciate your feedback. Here’s a small gift to show my appreciation.

Yours truly,
Bob Broker

Step 5 - Follow up by phone with all unresponsive clients and ask them if they might have five minutes to give you some feedback right over the phone. Not only can you get some helpful feedback and capture testimonials, this is a perfect opportunity to ask for referrals.

So there you have it. I’ve just given you five proven steps to collect a treasure trove of raving fan testimonials!

This is a slightly amended version of an article written by Doren Aldana, Canada’s leading Mortgage Marketing Coach. It has been shortened to make it suitable for web publishing.

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