Mastering The Art of Follow Up

Today, I want to talk to you about the art of follow up. There’s a little bit of science behind it, but there’s definitely an art. And I’m going to say straight out that at the very start: I believe that most loan originators, most realtors, even most business people in general leave tens of thousands of dollars on the table every single month, because they don’t understand and have the discipline around the art of follow up.

If You Don’t Follow Up, They Won’t Follow Through

One of the lines that I believe can really lock into you as we begin this video is this idea that if you don’t follow up with them, they won’t follow through with you. I’d like you to own that as a sales professional. I’d like you to think about one question, and then if we were together in a room, raising your hand, indicating the answer.

So here’s the question. How many of you right now, before I say a word about follow up know you could be better at it? And if I were in a room with 100 people, I believe 100 hands would go up. 1,000 people, I believe 1,000 hands would go up. It doesn’t matter how many people, I believe everybody can be better at follow up. And I’ll just tell you from my perspective that it’s a discipline for me and it doesn’t come easy, and depending on where your psychology is, there can be a lot of fear associated with following up. That’s an issue in psychology, but I think there’s very pragmatic things we can do. And in this blog post and video, I’m going to share with you four things I do, and four things our elite group does, they’re all four the same, obviously, because I coach our elite group on following up.

Okay. The first thing I want to do is just have you understand that right now in the market we’re in this will help you get business now. In fact, we could easily call this video how to get loans now, how to sell real estate now, now, right now in today’s economic marketplace, which is in a little bit of disarray to say the least.

Client Share vs Market Share

Now, before I go any further, I want you to think about the difference between client share and market share. Market share is about getting a percentage of the market available. Client share is about getting all of what’s available. So not only vertically, how many loans or how many home purchases or sales or both will this person have in their lifetime, and who are they connected to? So that’s a very, very important point.

The Four Tips to Mastering Follow Up

Tip 1: Follow Up on All Special Events with Video

Here’s a discipline that I have under the category of follow up on all special events. So I have every day in my calendar a popup and it brings up whomever that day is celebrating a birthday.

So, right now I’m at about 5,100 birthdays a year and there are days where I’ve got 10 to 12 birthdays and I just simply do 60 second video. So video is the number one way to evoke emotion when you are following up with clients. So whatever the event is, it could be an anniversary. It can be home loan anniversary that would trigger a mortgage review. It could be kids’ birthdays. It could be an anniversary. It could be any of that stuff. And so what I want to do is I want to make sure that every single person that I do business with once I do business with forever. And so I will do birthdays every day, I’ll do a video every day and I do them all over the world. I get replies all the time, thank you, thank you, thank you. And people are blown away.

The person that I have sent most consistently for a length of time, birthday videos to I will be sending this August, the 32nd birthday video. That’s 32 years of doing something, videos more recent, in the old days it would be a text and before that it would be a voicemail to their phone. So whatever you can do around video and events is super, super crucial. So that’s point number one.

Tip 2: Follow Up Timing and Consistency

Point number two is to understand that in the art of follow up there has to be, particularly at the front end, from the time you meet a client to the time they say yes, there has to be consistent follow up there. So if I have a consultation with a seller, a buyer, or in lending a borrower, and that consultation has taken place, what is the next action? 85% of loan officers and realtors do not think here’s what happens next. So, by way of example, I’ll complete a conversation with a borrower, I will tell them there what happens next. And then I will send a video that afternoon.

Like this: “Hey, good to meet with you guys. Appreciate you David, and you Sharon, and the conversation we had. Just want to let you know, what’s going to be happening next is, tomorrow Nancy Curtis is going to give you a call and she’s going to follow up to make sure that all the details on the loan application are complete. And at that point, we’re going to schedule another call with you 24 hours later to make sure that we initiate the loan and onboard it the right way and make sure all the questions you have at this point are answered. And then after that, we’re going to reach out to you every seven days, just to give you a status update and find out what else might be important to you that we need to pay attention to. Okay, love doing business with you guys. Can’t wait to help you move into your home, exciting times for both of you guys.”

That’s all I would have to do, right?

So this right here can sit right here in your hand and you can do this kind of follow up all the time. If I’m putting borrowers into top of funnel, the follow up that I had a discipline at as a loan officer and a realtor, and the follow up that I teach people is categorize your clients into three month buying sessions, three month buying kind of micro timeframe. So if you were going to buy, list or sell in 90 days, we would follow up with you in that period of time about every seven days or so, until we had a contract, until the listing went live, all that kind of stuff. So every seven days. That’s called the platinum category.

Then we’d move to the gold category, and that meant you’re probably 91 days out and within 180 days. If you were in that category then we would mark it to you in a different way and follow up with you in a different way, and it would usually be twice a month. If you were in the silver category we would follow up with you once a month, and that would be 181 days to 270. And if you’re in the green category, that meant you were 271 days out all the way out to 36 months. And so the follow up was regimented about that. There’s so many marketing companies today and you probably have some in your own company that help create the marketing pieces that you can distribute and add value to. But aside from that understand that you got to personalize everything. Because if I want conversion to be high, it’s got to be personal.

So I would look at that kind of aggregation model because the buyers you meet today, if they’re on the sidelines either because of affordability or they’re on the sidelines because of interest rates going up, whatever the case may be, they’re going to be in your back pocket if you stay in touch with them. Remember, if I don’t follow up with them, they won’t follow through with you. If I want my clients for life, I have to talk to them during their life. So let’s make sure we understand that.

Tip 3: Use Follow Up to Get More Referrals

And then the third part of follow up is to recognize that the more you follow up professionally, the more likely you are to get referrals from that person’s universe. I’ve mentioned in previous videos, I’ll mention it again now, if we take a look at every loan that you might do as a lender or every home purchase you might facilitate as a buyer’s agent or a sale listing side as a listing agent. Every single one of those people are the primary client in that move, but they’re connected to all these other hemispheres, I call them actually microspheres, financial planning is a hemisphere. A microsphere is there’s a financial planner that helps this seller create their financial plan. Why would I not cross-sell that financial planner and see if I can bring my real estate service to her or 500 clients or my loan service to her 300 clients, right? So we’ve got to understand the surrounding universe. People ask me all the time, how do I get more loans? You get more loans by working intelligently and creating more value for the clients you have because then it unleashes a referral storm.

The other thing, if I’m in real estate is to understand that this is a big deal. Some people own their first home for 10 or 15 years, some own it for three or four. We don’t know how many times they’re going to repurchase or list or both. But what we do know is if I don’t call them once a year and do an annual real estate review or if I don’t call them once a year and do an annual mortgage review, I’m not going to know the changes in their family dynamic and I’m not going to know when their next real estate move is. Now, what would you rather have? A seller that’s just super happy with you, refer three sellers to you or would you rather go buy a lead list and try to come up with three listings? If I’m in the loan business, would you like to like prospect and make cold calls or would you like to receive and make warmer hot calls? So the people know the people you need to know.

I’ll paint two things for you right now. So my youngest son, Matt, who’s 24, he’s an artist, he does metal work. I wrote this down, he’s over 180 art pieces and he was frustrated recently because his business wasn’t growing. So I asked him, who are the top 20 people that have bought the 20 most expensive pieces from you that you could follow up with? And so we went through that list and I said, have you ever, besides your thank you after the art piece was delivered, followed up with them? And he said, no. And I said, so here’s your assignment. This was about one o’clock in the afternoon last Tuesday. I said, by tonight I want you to send out at least two videos to two people that are at the top of that list. And he said, dad, I’m not good on video. And I said, everybody thinks that before they start. And then once they start, they get better at it.

So, he told me the first video took 11 takes and then the final video, he was good with he sent it to me and it was absolutely brilliant. The second video didn’t take as much time because he had already learned some things from the first 11 videos and he sent the second video out. I will tell you the next day he got an order for $3,500. So what I need you to understand, particularly in tough times but in any market, do you want to make money easily or do you want to make money laboriously? And the decision is if you want to make it easily, you have to follow up.

I also have an email here. I’m just going to hold this up, I’m not going to show anything, but the red and yellow are my responses to an inbound email from an individual who’s kind of on the ropes financially. I’m not going to get into who it is, and I’m not going to tell you a lot about what I replied to, but I’m going to share with you two snippets. So this is a paragraph about halfway down, the individual emailing me says… Bottom line is he’s in trouble financially, and so he is trying to make smart choices about what he can do, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So he said, I know a lot of people and I’m very well connected in my town. I love hearing that. I love the idea that this guy is very well connected in his town. So this is how I coached him, it’s right here, I said, and I’ll just read from it, does everyone you are connected with know you are in the mortgage? And are you working the circle of cash flow, which is this universe, this micro universe of people, to generate faster referrals than you would with either agent or advisor relationships.

This is the email back from him and I’m just going to read, no, all a read, know all my connections do not know that I’m in the mortgage business and I have not been working the Circle of Cash Flow. I’m not sure what to say or what could even be said to convince someone to give referrals. Well, I’ll tell you, what’s going to convince them to give to referrals, is you adding value in following up. You adding value in following up. There’s a guy by the name of Joe Girard and I think he holds the record for like the most cars sold in a month. I think he sold like 200 cars in a month and he calls it the Joe Girard 250. And what his goal is to sell 250 cars and have every person that buys a car be so blown away by the car purchasing experience that they will refer one person that they know to buy a car.

Now I want you to think about this. If you have like 40 sales a year as a real estate agent, you could have 80 the next year. If you do 100 loans as a mortgage professional, the next year you could have 200. Because as we’ve talked about it is the plus one effect. So I’m writing this down and I’m looking at, so video, acknowledge events, nudges, nudges, nudges, nudges. I’ll give you a nudge, it just happened this morning.

Tip 4: Keep Following Up Until the Timing is Perfect

So this is a mortgage company that I have been trying to do business with for the last five years and I have been nudging them. So one of the things I want to tell you is follow up, follow up, follow up, you never know when it’s going to follow into place. Very, very interesting, so we got video, we got events, we got nudges we’ve got circle of cash flow. And so I’ve been nudging these guys. I’ll just tell you the reply I got this morning at 6:42 AM. “Hey Todd, thanks for reaching out. Timing is perfect.” Think about that for a second, timing is perfect. Joe is heading on vacation and we’ll be back on the fifth. We have our family vacation scheduled as well beginning tomorrow, we need just a little time on this but we’re ready to move forward. Here’s the contact, and they gave me the executive assistance contact. And we are now reaching out and this is five years in the making. If you don’t follow up with them, they won’t follow through with you. I’ll just tell you, they’re one of the top 10 mortgage lenders in America.

So I need you guys to understand the solution is right there. The solution is here. The solution is the discipline, the rhythm, the daily routine of following up. And I want you to think about the dollarization. I want you to think about how much more a month could you actually make no matter what the economy’s doing if every person who has said yes to you follow up with them in a way that then they will be happy to refer people to you because of the service you’ve given them. You got to build a referral by design culture and the only way to do that is through following up. So, I need you to understand that follow up is the name of the game. If I’m a loan officer and I’m working with realtors, I’m going to follow up on what they tell me they need. If I’m a realtor and I’m working with a seller, I’m going to follow up and tell them either status updates or offer updates or whatever I want to do. I’ve got to keep everybody apprised.

How I do one thing basically is how I do everything. So, if you want to make money and not spend a lot of time on marketing and advertising, the best thing to do is follow up. Period. Good old fashion follow up automated with any technology today that you can use. Own this. Absolutely own it. I bet you for most of you there’s, I don’t know, 10 to 20,000 dollars a month at stake if you could just, just improve the discipline you have with follow up.

Bonus Tip: Use Coaching to Keep Yourself Accountable

If you have trouble keeping yourself accountable and want to be more disciplined, our coaching could be right for you. If you’d like to have a discussion around coaching, we have the ability to get you a free coaching consultation. Certainly one of the things our coaches do is they help people develop and master the art of follow up. We look forward to serving you. Thanks for watching.


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