Coming from corporate sales with IBM, I realized some time ago two things. First, I realized that a corporate position was great in some aspects, but very limiting in others. Second, I realized that if I invested the same time and effort in my own business, that I invested in my corporate position, in the long term, I would be much better off and so would my client base.
Leaving the security of corporate to practice mortgage finance and real estate about twenty (20) years ago, I had a host of additional revelations I will not mention at this time. My polished professional corporate sales training instilled a concept that has become part of me; the meaning of success. To me, success has two components, first the measure of whom I am, compared to who I could be and second, the measure of what I have accomplished compared to what I could have accomplished. This represents my success ratio which I constantly evaluate.
I developed a respectable client base over the years, then entered corporate management. One of many professional mistakes was to continue to give to my trainees, a client here and a client there in an effort to help new trainees get started in the business. After a few years, the revolving employee door spun my clients out of my control resulting in a few dedicated and very profitable professionals who look back at our training and experience with gratitude. Additionally, this left me with a very small following of clients that I serviced to call my own.
I also realized that as a mortgage and real estate professional, I had customers not clients. Attorney's, CPA's, Financial Planners and other professionals have clients. How could I convert my customers to clients? A client is one who depends upon and hires a professional that has a high degree of education and/or skill in order to accomplish a specific purpose. Clients tend to depend upon a longer term relationship pursuant to the service or skill provided by the professional than customers who typically participate in a one time or short term activity or transaction.
As in mortgage finance and some real estate transactions, having access to the "client's" financials presented many other opportunities besides just the mortgage or real estate transaction. Many other opportunities besides doing a great job and receiving referral business. At first, I assembled a team of professionals, now I have the expertise to practice other financial offerings to my client as a mortgage and financial advisor. I discovered that client retention increases exponentially, based upon the degree or quality of services I am able to provide for one client. My friend who provides mortgage finance and insurance services has increased retention and residual income substantially. I discovered that once I become a financial resource, my client will contact me for just about any financial transaction or question.
I have discovered some interesting ways in approaching prospects that help to set me apart from my competition - do you think this would be important in this economy? IN A DOWN ECONOMY, GOOD SALES PERSONS DO EXTREMELY WELL AND THEIR COMPETITION BEGINS TO DECREASE.
If my client has a financial need, I can provide that need or refer my client to a professional who can. In this economy, many of my clients have mortgage debt, installment and credit card obligations along with the increasing sense of insecurity in meeting those obligations in the long term.
Prior to my fact finding meeting, I do what good financial professionals do. I meet with my prospect and learn all about their financial goals, where they are now, where they want to be, how they plan on getting there and what their priority concerns are. My first meeting is rarely to sell a product or provide a service for a fee.
I let them know that I have a strategy that can completely eliminate all their debt, including mortgages, installment and consumer debts in a very short period of time - all without having to refinance, increase income or change their lifestyle, all with their existing income.
When my clients reach that level of trust, I become their financial resource. My priority is the suitability and best interest of my clients - the money will come. If I become transactional, focusing on my potential earnings, my perspective changes and the client will sense this prospective breach of my fiduciary duty.
This recession is driving a greater number of clients who need my service. If you are an insurance, real estate, mortgage, financial professional or any other professional dealing with the financial needs of individuals and families, I suggest you join me and refuse to participate in this recession. As you begin to develop a set of additional skills and services to provide for your clients or customers add this one to your set. In your lack of participation in this recession, take your clients with you!!!
Carlos Martinez, J.D.
Mortgage & Financial Advisor