Whoa–don’t call me. The headline wasn’t intended to imply that I’m borrowing or referring a deal today, but it was meant to inspire something resembling a sense of urgency. When you get a lead on a good loan prospect, what are you waiting for?
It’s always a good idea to call any and every new business prospect within the hour of getting the lead, or at least by the end of the day. Yes, I know you’ve plenty on your plate: client meetings, preparing for a loan closing, or getting another deal ready to go to loan committee. But hey–that’s what it takes to build and maintain a sizable book of business.
Calling so soon will let the loan prospect know you’re in the hunt with them and that you’re serious about taking care of your clients. It get’s them motivated to get moving when they know someone else is on their side, particularly when you give them some homework to do ahead of the meeting you’ll schedule on this first call.
And before any of you start challenging me on the headline, that the first call gets the deal, I know that sometimes that doesn’t happen. For the very best deals, many can be competitive and the best borrowers will try to cultivate different finance options to choose from. But by following the simple law of averages, I’m guessing that a sizable percentage of your prospects aren’t exceptional, and won’t have a half dozen lenders calling. For that majority, landing the first call and first appointment can make the difference of whether you get the deal.
And then there’s your referral source to think about. Making that call reassures them that you are serious about your business and taking care of your clients–and the source of your clients. Being very prompt to actually call the client and starting the process quickly often makes them look good in the eyes of the mutual client/contact, which can earn you more referrals in the future.
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So next time you’re sitting around staring at your phone, wishing it would ring with another lead to new business, be thinking about how fast you can answer it and respond. Remember this derivative of one of the oldest adages you ever heard: the early lender (usually) gets the loan.
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