Archive for May, 2010

Good advice from my dad you’ll appreciate

Posted by Joel pate in Auto Loans, Banks, Business, Credit Cards, Credit Repair, Mortgage Loans. Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Did you do it?

When you had an issue to think through did you do what I suggested last week? Do a data dump in a Word document … print it out to review … reduce it to a small list … tape it to a wall. Did you try it?

We’re going through the process of naming a new company right now and that’s the same process we’re using as I speak. Why? Because it works!

The process is technically called Continuous Process Improvement. It begins with the concept that a plan – or a process – is needed in most areas of our business and our life. Process simply is defined as the way to accomplish a business plan and even a basic task, but we all know that the key is to find the “best way” to achieve our goals.

Stay with me for a moment and I’ll show you how to use this process to fix what I’m betting is probably the biggest problem you’re wrestling with in your business right now …

Father knows best…

But first, let me give you a very basic example of what I’m talking about. When my older brother began to drive and maintain a wallet for his driver’s license, I heard our father say, “Make a habit of ONLY placing your wallet and keys in one location and you will never lose them. If you don’t, you will constantly lose them and waste time trying to find them.”

Makes sense right? As a result of this good advice, I learned by example and followed my father’s advice. The best lessons are lessons that someone else learned at their expense that you can put into practice. Do you agree?

In the mortgage business, any business for that matter, there are a number of basic processes that must be developed for the business to become a business and not a complicated job. Same is true with how your car operates. Imagine for a moment the axle, the spoke, the tire, and for simplification the engine providing power for the movement of the vehicle, Now imagine yourself the person benefiting from the system that generated the advancement that began with the engine that transferred power to the axle, etc.

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This example asks you the question: Would you prefer to be the device that spins the most (the axle) or at the other end of the spectrum, the person benefiting from the system/process that allows you to accomplish a goal without spinning around like crazy?

If you’re like me, you really only want to wake up every day, open your bank account online to see money that was deposited directly into your bank account without you doing anything. But, since that doesn’t work without a process that has been put in place to accomplish that goal, you must develop a system that allows you to create the most money with the least effort.

So how do you do that? Last week we discussed the concept of listing all of the areas of your business that need a process. Try it if you haven’t already. Seeing these items taped to your wall will allow you to begin to prioritize and visualize the next steps. These details must be placed in writing in order to be placed into the process. Don’t skip this step.

Yes, but you say, I work alone. It’s just me. Well even more you need a process for everything too. That may be why you are working alone and can barely afford yourself (something to consider?).

How to fix your biggest challenge…

I want you to begin the development of process with the most basic element of your business.

  • How are you going to communicate with your consumers and your referral partners?
  • Will you force all calls to a voice mail?
  • Will you return calls when you get around to it?
  • Or will you develop a process that notifies these critically important callers of your plan, your process for communication? Or will you set expectations that you can deliver?
  • What can you agree to? Return calls between this hour and that? Return calls by the end of the next business day?

Regardless of the plan you put in place, you need a plan – any plan. Calls that are not returned, within the expectation of the consumer/referral partner is the number one complaint I believe that you have. Most likely, it’s the number one reason your business is not as successful as it should be.

Homework: Determine your policy for communicating with your consumers/referral partners. Then by Monday communicate the policy, set the expectation for the caller that he can expect. And then, do it.

I recommend establishing specific times, phone appointments, for 50% to 90% of your calls. In this way, you and the caller have an appointment to speak at a particular time. This process communicates to the consumer/referral partner that you are a person of significance and you take your time and their time seriously.

You will be surprised by the response. This simple basic process will improve your life and increase your business.

More next time,

Joel

 

If Billionaires do this, it’s worth trying

Posted by Joel pate in Credit Repair, Management. Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

Some words I just can’t stand, especially in business.

Words like synergy, re-engineering and benchmarking are ones that come to mind that are like nails on a chalkboard when I hear them. Perhaps you have your own. If you do send them to me I’d love to see them.

Buzzwords like these come and go like hair styles and socks, but there’s one that I think everyone should be paying attention to and if you do I guarantee you’ll see a difference not only in your business life but in your family life.

I bet you’ve probably even heard this term before: Continuous Process Improvement.

This little old phrase may not sound like much, but the principles pack quite a punch when followed. Let me explain …

Every part of your business and even your family life is a part of a process. If you are like me, a number of processes in your life can be improved.

The idea of purposely putting in place a process that continuously develops improvement in selected areas is one of the major differences between companies, families and even individuals that succeed and those that range from mediocre to failures. Billionaires do this. The rest of us don’t.

Thinking through issues by writing them down, or of course typing them into a word document, is the way I begin and continue the process.

Consider the following steps:

  1. Do a Data Dump
  2. Print out the document for review
  3. Reduce it to a list
  4. Tape it to the wall

There is something about this process that really helps you identify the areas of your life or business that you will focus on first, second and then third fourth, fifth, etc. Since you cannot successfully concentrate on too many areas at once, choose to concentrate on the item with the highest return.

As a side note, the highest return may or may not be monetary. For example, in one area, I need to actually hire a new employee to relieve another employee, my wife, so that we can take more time off together. The payoff will not be monetary but will be substantial.

This is the first step to improvement in any area of your life. I’ll reveal the next step, next week.

To your success,

Joel

This may be a strange question…

Posted by Joel pate in Credit Repair, Leads, Sales, Uncategorized. Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

But I’ll ask it anyway:

Are you working with a spoon or bulldozer?

What do I mean?

Think of yourself as head of a building company for a moment. In order to get down to business you have to go through the pain-staking process of first preparing the ground before you can even think about building.

What would you rather use to do the job? A spoon or a bulldozer?

We both know the answer, but too many credit repair companies are using spoons instead of bull dozers as they try to build their business.

Trying to do too much? Or is it something else?

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Why? Is it a lack of commitment? For many business owners it’s like trying to do a lot while only investing a little in your business.

To really be successful, you’ve got to make a commitment. Recently a business associate said: “It’s slow, so I’m going to take off more.” That’s OK if you don’t want more. But, if you want more, and I hope you do, then this is the perfect time to invest in achieving more.

Are you ready for more?

Just the other day, I spoke to a credit repair business owner, who doesn’t seem to understand that in order to be successful, especially in this market, it takes a lot more effort that it did last year or much less the year before.

The complaint: “I don’t want to chase after consumers who aren’t motivated to improve their credit. If I try to stay in touch with every prospect that will be a full time job, and I don’t want to expend the energy. I just want to deal with customers that are committed to our program and want to make a change – and who will pay on time.”

Fine, I said. Who doesn’t want that?

But, as you probably already guessed she wanted more. She wasn’t satisfied with her business and her income and that is why we were talking.

I confronted her with the following analogy. I told her, “I have committed to getting in shape. I have hired a trainer. I go to the gym three days per week. But, as long as I continue to eat French fries, I will not get in shape. It is not possible.”

It’s the same with this business. If you don’t decide to go all in, to completely invest, to completely commit, to invest in a bulldozer instead of a spoon, you will not succeed. I don’t see another option.

So what’s the bulldozer I’m talking about? I’m talking about investing in building a referral strategy that will give you qualified leads that fit your business model. Without a referral strategy working with real estate agents, loan originators and mortgage you’re simply working with a spoon.

Here are 3 tips to help you build a referral strategy:

  1. Identify the top real estate agents in your market and ask them to give you the names and phone numbers of the loan originators they do business with.
  2. Call the loan originators and tell them that you would like to help their clients so they can close more loans.
  3. Prove how effective your service really is by offering to work with 2 or 3 customers at no charge.

Then, deliver on your promise. Do this several times and I can guarantee you’ll have highly qualified, motivated clients for years to come. For more about how to build your referral network and get more leads than you may be able to handle (seriously!), check out my new e-book.

Try it. Let me know how it goes.

To your success,

Joel

How would you like 70 paying clients in just 60 minutes? Here’s how…

Posted by Joel pate in Credit Repair, Leads, Sales. Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

I just have to share this story with you.

I was recently on a conference call with a business owner who generated 70 new paid clients for my company in just one hour. I was completely blown away.

Years of selling to many of these same clients never even yielded a return phone call or email – not even one to tell me to quit harassing them. They just didn’t seem to care about what I had to say.

But one referral partner that is happy with our service changed everything.

I asked him to introduce me to others in the business that he knows and in one hour I met 70 new referral sources that signed up to do business with me.

I’ll show you how you can do it too. Look, I know how tough it is to get new clients.

So what’s the secret?

You need the assistance of your current referral sources or your past clients.

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If you’re not already doing this, shame on you. If you are, then you have testimonials that you can share with potential referral sources and new customers. If you don’t have any referral sources, you must use your past clients testimonials.

Without a doubt, the leading concern any referral partner has is whether or not you will provide good service to them and to their customer. Will you do a great job or will you embarrass them?

How to overcome your toughest challenge…

It is as simple as that. Until they know you, they do not trust you. You can tell a potential referral partner that you are good, that you will stand on your head for them, and even pay them under the table (don’t do that) but until they absolutely are convinced that you will do what you say you will do, when you say you will do it, and are as good or better than anyone else, they will not use you.

So, how do you overcome this problem? If you have current business from any referral partner, sit down with the referral partner and ask them a few questions:

  • Are you happy with my service?
  • In what areas can I improve my service?
  • Will you introduce me to another Realtor, mortgage broker or loan originator that you know?

I am sure they will agree. If not, ask them why. The perfect environment for this introduction is a breakfast or lunch. Ask your current referral partner to arrange a meeting. You must pay. Ask them to invite one of their friends.

Since your referral partner is referring you to their friend, you will find that they will spend the entire time singing your praises and reminiscing about different clients and how you pulled that one out and overcame various challenges. It works and it works like magic.

But don’t stop there!

Send both the introducer and the introducee a hand written thank you card. Do it that day. Not the next day but that same day. Also, add the new prospect to your automatic mailing program where you drip on them at least two or three days per week.

Just a side note: My son-in-law started an insurance agency in our hometown. He sends every agent in his area an e-mail every day. He is now the number one agent in the state. One of the reasons, and I want you to understand that it is only one of the reasons, is that he is recognized by his picture and his name as the guy that sends me that great e-mail every day. I say that it is not the only reason because no one has ever just sent out an e-mail, even one every day and got an avalanche of business. So, if you think that will work for you, it will not.

But, having a consistent marketing campaign will, along with the other activities every successful business owner employs, helps you break the ice in your market.

So what are you going to do today to help you build your business?

  1. Call your referral sources.
  2. Update them on all of the files you have in process.
  3. Update them on the interest rates they need to be thinking about over the weekend for any deals they write up.

To your success,

Joel

Joel S. Pate, Founder & Chairman

OxPublishing.com

P.S. For more about how to build a referral network be sure to grab your FREE copy of my brand new e-book, Secrets to Create Your Own Lead Machine, in which I reveal the same strategies I used to build a 5,000 person referral network generating $27 million. To get your copy, GO HERE.