Working your sphere of influence


For most of us in the mortgage business when you first started you likely had someone tell you to “Work your sphere of influence”.  The bigger question is what exactly does that mean and how do you effectively do that without coming off like an obnoxious salesperson.  I have recently had conversations with both new brokers and also a long time, experienced and successful broker about this and thought I would share some of the concepts we discusses.

There are hundreds of articles online about how to work your sphere of influence but I did not find any that I really liked that didn’t simply state the obvious.  I don’t want to regurgitate the obvious so if you want to read some of the other articles on the subject you can click here.

These strategies are NOT just for those new but are for anyone who wants to grow their business.

Let’s talk briefly about some specifics to consider when reaching out to your sphere of influence.

  1. What is your circle of influence?
    In a nutshell your Sphere of Influence is all of your personal and professional contacts.  In short, all the people you know.
  2. Define yours
    Make a list and monitor it regularly.
  3. People generally want to help people they like
    This is a key point and one that is often overlooked.  You need to be likeable if you want to work your sphere of influence.  I don’t care how many contacts you make, if people don’t like you they will not only not refer you but they will run the other direction anytime you come around.  You will find that people typically want to help those they like and will often go out of there way to do exactly that.  Cultivate your relationships with the people on your list.  Find sincere ways of doing things to help them get what they want (Sincere being the key word here).
  4. Be specific
    If we accept point #3 then you need to keep in mind that sometimes, while people want to help, they don’t always know how.  Tell them.  Share your goals when you are having conversations.  Be specific.  “My goal this month is to do 10 transactions.” better yet, “My goal this month is to help 10 people achieve their goals with respect to their mortgage financing”.  If you are talking to your professional contacts this is critical.  You may even want to outline some of your financial goals.  Successful professionals tend to want to help ambitious people with lofty goals.  They had them at one time too and perhaps still do.  This is what makes them successful.  Don’t be afraid to share your goals with these people.  Most will respect the ambition and, if they like you, will do what they can to help you achieve them.
  5. Teach them how to refer you
    So now that we have identified those in our lives that can help us achieve what we want, we are confident that most ‘like’ us and we have shared our goals with them, now we need to make sure they know how to send business our way.

    1. Make sure they know what your customer looks like.  Don’t assume.  Don’t talk just about products, ie. Purchase, refi, ETO, etc but talk about scenarios where you can assist.  Tell a story “I had this customer who was about to renew with their bank…. I saved them….”.  “One of my clients was drowning in high interest debt.  I helped them….”.  Be tactful but work it in where appropriate.  Talk about your favourite client solution story.  People love to see your enthusiasm for what you do.
    2. Ask them for the referral.  “My goal is 10… do you know one?”
    3. Ask them to give you the name directly rather than accepting a “i’ll have them call you”.

Now I recognize that there is a lot more that goes into the implementation of this but my hope is you will identify a thing or two you might be able to implement in your business immediately.  Share with me your thoughts on working with your center of influence.

Together we can do more.

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