As a mortgage aggregator who specialises in building in-house mortgage broker divisions for Accounting firms and also generates quality referral partnerships, I am often asked how we manage to attract so many and then get traction on those we link with our partners.
Over the last 10 years at NLG we have developed hundreds of relationships resulting in thousands of referrals to our broker network, also providing reciprocal business back to our accounting partners. This has not only strengthened our relationships with our accountants and brokers, developed valuable loan books for accounting firms and generated additional revenues but also provided an avenue for thousands of borrowers to secure a great loan written by an experienced mortgage broker. It’s been the ultimate B2B matchmaker service so to speak.
So when I am asked HOW do we manage to do this there are 3 main components that come to mind first. I’d love to share these:
- Constant and consistent messages to your target audience
Building referral relationships can’t be a “hit and run” exercise. This isn’t something you can spark up in 5 minutes and have instant results with. (Unless your network is substantial enough to do this for you – for which most of us it isn’t)
It takes time and energy to build the trust for someone to take the leap and discuss business opportunities with. They need to see your name constantly and with a consistent message as well.
The important part is to build your value proposition and stick to it like glue. This will ensure a consistent message no matter what topic you are writing, talking or podcasting about. Over time your audience will come to expect a similar message and theme and don’t be surprised when the phone eventually does ring.
The critical part of this is to remember that everyone works on their own cycle and will be ready to discuss matters at their own pace and at the time that suits them. Constant communication allows for this. Be patient.
- Messages that spark the interest, capture their imagination and give a sense of safety
Prospective referral partners want to know that you are reliable, trustworthy, loyal and experienced. They need to understand that you will not only look after their clients, but you will actually make them look good for referring their clients to you. And that is a totally different mindset.
Think: WIIFM, (What’s in it for me?) but from the referrers side. Everyone has an agenda.
Everyone wants something.
Make sure your marketing is bespoke to the specific type of referral partner you are seeking as well. There is no use trying to market to an accounting firm using the terminology suited to a real estate agent. And be personal about it as well while focussing on solving problems.
- Giving your referrers the right tools to successfully refer
I call this the “missing link” of referral partnerships – the implementation session. It is here we establish the kpi’s around referring and service delivery and educate our partners on when and how to refer. Making the process not only simple but a part of their daily lives will generally ensure you receive a flow of referrals. And be realistic too. All we really want is for the referrer to ask every client they speak to. That’s the number one priority. From there we can do additional marketing and other initiatives to their client base if they desire.
As always, we are here to assist if you are looking to scale up your accounting firm via referral channels.
I hope this helps and happy hunting!
- NLG Education Series Part 2 – SMSF Lending for Accountants - 11 July 2023
- NLG Education Series Part 1 – Commercial lending for accountants - 27 June 2023
- Nuts and bolts: How to refer your clients - 8 March 2023