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Would You Fire Your Top Referral Source This Month?


As I sat across the table from my top referral source, I knew I really needed her business more than she needed mine. We were having lunch (which I knew I was obligated to pay for). That’s just how it is in our industry.

1. We ask a referral source to lunch. 2. Build them up 3. Try to make them happy and pay for what we can.



I knew if I upset her, she had a line of other people she would send her business to. I didn’t like this feeling. Why do I feel inferior to her? I really don’t feel inferior but when I am with her, I act like it. I think it makes her feel better. She and I had worked together for a few years and the clients she always sent were very strong and she attracted a very nice type of clientele.

Recently I noticed some of her clients were asking me if they were obligated to remain with this agent. This put me in an awkward position. The conversation began at the local lunch spot she chose and she began comparing me to every other loan officer in town. She told me what she heard others do for their agents. She told me she would appreciate it if anytime I see the phone ring and it is her, could I drop everything and take her call. It would make her feel better.

I had a few moments to think before I responded. I knew I needed the business. I knew she was good and I knew I could smooth this over and walk out with her sending me more business.

I looked her in the eye and said “I want to thank you for the business you send to me, and I want to explain that I will not be able to drop everything and take your call whenever you phone I have respect for the people I am with and it may be another client, it may be family and although I appreciate the need for speed. I am going to respectfully decline that request and I want you to know if you feel you would be better served by another loan officer, then you should work with them. I have a lot of great agents I work with, who are loyal and really appreciate my work and I am sure you do too, but it hasn’t felt much like a partnership.”


What? Did I just tell my top referral source to send business elsewhere?





I fired my top referral source. It brought me so much freedom.


I realized she wasn’t the problem. I was the problem. I needed to understand my value, my worth, and begin to attract referral sources who appreciate what I do and want to be in a partnership. She was a little frustrated that the lunch didn’t end up with me apologizing for her losing clients, accepting all responsibility, and offering to do more. She stopped sending me business for a couple of months, and then came back when her deals weren’t going smoothly. It never felt the same. There were a lot of things that led to this and how she treated me. I felt bad for being so direct but it was something I had to do for myself. In times like this, we may begin to lose our way. Business is not what it was a couple of years ago and we begin to allow ourselves to settle. We begin to lose our confidence when we finally get the deal and they go down the road for a better price. I want to encourage you that now is the time to really focus on your value, what you offer, what makes you stand out from other lenders. Please do not say service and you are always available. Take the time and ask yourself these questions: What do you want your clients to say about you on a Zillow review? What would you want your referral sources to say to another potential referral source about you? Why should I work with you? What is something you constantly hear from your referral sources or clients when they pay you a compliment? Begin to put together a list and have your talking points ready when you meet with a new referral source when you meet with a client. As salespeople, we want to be accommodating and we try to become everything they want us to be. This time, flip it and begin telling them why they would want to work with you. You are unique, you have a different story, you do things differently. This is your business and you can begin to attract people with similar values and respect your boundaries rather than working with the ones who have no respect for those boundaries. Don't say you are available anytime they need you because you aren't. If you are losing deals to price, product or availability-it is because they do not understand the true value you bring! They only know the value of those three things. Teach them. See below for examples... Examples My values are trust, loyalty, growth, and love. If you work with me and my team we are going to bring you into our circle and love you. You will feel part of the inner circle at all times. You will know you can trust us with your most confidential information because we are known to help you break through barriers and the only way to do that is to go deep with a safe space to allow it. We are loyal and follow through with everything we say we will do. We continue to offer discounts and perks for our clients working with us. And… we are going to push you to grow. We believe you have a lot of unlocked potentials and we want to unleash it and help you to have lasting success by teaching you the tools of impact leadership.

I realized she wasn’t the problem. I was the problem. I needed to understand my value, my worth, and begin to attract referral sources who appreciate what I do and want to be in a partnership. She was a little frustrated that the lunch didn’t end up with me apologizing for her losing clients, accepting all responsibility, and offering to do more. She stopped sending me business for a couple of months, and then came back when her deals weren’t going smoothly. It never felt the same. There were a lot of things that led to this and how she treated me. I felt bad for being so direct but it was something I had to do for myself. In times like this, we may begin to lose our way. Business is not what it was a couple of years ago and we begin to allow ourselves to settle. We begin to lose our confidence when we finally get the deal and they go down the road for a better price. I want to encourage you that now is the time to really focus on your value, what you offer, what makes you stand out from other lenders. Please do not say service and you are always available. Take the time and ask yourself these questions: --What do you want your clients to say about you on a Zillow review? What would you want your referral sources to say to another potential referral source about you? -Why should I work with you? -What is something you constantly hear from your referral sources or clients when they pay you a compliment? Begin to put together a list and have your talking points ready when you meet with a new referral source when you meet with a client. As salespeople, we want to be accommodating and we try to become everything they want us to be. This time, flip it and begin telling them why they would want to work with you. You are unique, you have a different story, you do things differently. This is your business and you can begin to attract people with similar values and respect your boundaries rather than working with the ones who have no respect for those boundaries. Don't say you are available anytime they need you because you aren't. If you are losing deals to price, product or availability-it is because they do not understand the true value you bring! They only know the value of those three things. Teach them. See below for examples... Examples My values are trust, loyalty, growth, and love. If you work with me and my team we are going to bring you into our circle and love you. You will feel part of the inner circle at all times. You will know you can trust us with your most confidential information because we are known to help you break through barriers and the only way to do that is to go deep with a safe space to allow it. We are loyal and follow through with everything we say we will do. We continue to offer discounts and perks for our clients working with us. And… we are going to push you to grow. We believe you have a lot of unlocked potentials and we want to unleash it and help you to have lasting success by teaching you the tools of impact leadership.





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