Strategic alliances are referral partnerships that provide a win-win benefit for both parties. In most cases, your strategic partners will be other complementary businesses (not competitive) that have the same target market as you do. For example, you could partner with Realtors, financial planners, accountants, divorce attorneys, real estate attorneys, insurance agents, etc.
The biggest question I hear from mortgage professionals on this topic is, “how do I approach Realtors or financial planners in the right way so they will want to refer business to me?” Good question. One of the secrets of Superstar mortgage pros is that they use their imagination and creativity to add unique value to their strategic partners. They understand that everyone is tuned into the same station: WIIFM – What’s In It For Me! They don’t expect to receive referrals just because they exist. They know they need to earn referrals. That’s why they consciously choose to adopt a “go-giver” attitude, with a proactive focus on adding massive value such that they are seen as an irreplaceable, indispensable asset on their partner’s team. And it all starts with creativity.
Here are a few powerful questions to start activating your creativity…
What referral partner category has the highest capacity to send me the most amount of referrals most often?
(Hint: it’s probably the one with the most competition).
What are your referral partners’ primary marketing objectives?
For example, a Realtor’s primary objectives are to attract more quality listings, generate more buyer leads and sell their listings faster at top dollar.
What are your referral partner’s biggest challenges when it comes to their primary marketing objectives?
For example, Realtors often drop the ball when it comes to database marketing and struggle to attract quality active listings. If it’s a buyers’ market, they often have a hard time generating qualified buyer leads for their listings. All this results in slow-to-sell, stagnant listings, inconsistent cash flow and lying awake at night worrying about where the next deal is going to come from. Sound familiar?
How can you help your referral partners solve those problems and, at the same time, generate more qualified leads for your mortgage business?
For example, you could provide your Realtors with tools, templates and systems that allow them to effectively “mine the gold” from their database, attract more quality listings and generate more quality buyer leads for each listing, thereby increasing the chances of a fast sale! And here’s the cool part: each buyer lead this system generates, provides a sizzling hot new lead for you!
How can you create more “pain of disconnect” so your referral partner would go into instant hysteric convulsions at the mere thought of losing you as a partner?
To illustrate this, imagine you’re part of a surface-supplied scuba diving team and you get stuck in the boat to keep watch while everyone else goes down in the water to explore. Then, being the prankster you are, with a sly smirk on your face, you decide to turn off everyone’s air supply for 10 seconds -- just for the fun of it! Obviously, you’d never do that in real life but my point is this: That 10 seconds of no oxygen would cause HUGE pain of disconnect!
Now let’s apply this concept to your business. What if you could provide so much amazing, compelling, unique value to your Referral partners that they would literally shutter at the thought of losing you? That’s exactly the kind of pain of disconnect you want to create -- the kind that positions you as an irreplaceable, indispensable asset on their team. It may sound like a tall order but with the right mindset and the right marketing, it’s a lot easier than you might think.
Can you see how this win-win approach to your strategic partnerships would dramatically increase the amount of partners you attract and, more importantly, the number of referrals you generate?
You better believe it! What’s more, this value-added strategy positions you as a giver not a taker, a partner not a parasite. And the law of reciprocity works in your favor to bring you more business than you can handle!
Systems are mission-critical to your success. You see, that’s exactly what most of your active and prospective referral partners lack the most... systems! So, if you want to have a long line-up of high-powered referral partners banging down your door to do business with you, you’ve got to go beyond the Plain Jane Vanilla “great rates” and “great service” shtick. You need systems that provide so much outrageous value, that you become the only logical choice. Now that’s a goal worth pursuing!
This is a slightly amended version of an article written by Doren Aldana, Canada’s leading Mortgage Marketing Coach and winner of the “Best Industry Service Provider” award three years in a row at the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Canadian Mortgage Awards. It has been shortened to make it suitable for web publishing.