Jeffrey Gitomer has a prominent quote in one of his books. "It is not who you know, but who knows YOU." Warm referrals are a lot easier to convert than cold ones. That is a fact of life. And if the consumer has heard of you outside of their friend's referral, it will make that sale even easier. It doesn't happen overnight and it doesn't happen without effort. I have mentioned that becoming involved in trade groups is one way to get known. It is equally important to get involved in your community. You could be a volunteer at a Red Cross event, a Little League coach, a member of a civic board, and the list goes on and on. You don't do these things simply to get referrals, of course, you do them because you want to do them. Getting known and getting referrals is a byproduct.
A step further, is getting known as an "expert". With that, it takes some organization and effort. And it does not happen overnight. Some of the things you do might seem minor, but they can lead to becoming major. Case in point is the VA Newsletter I started sending out to area armories in the mid-90s. That led to sending in an entry to Mortgage Originator Magazine's Annual Marketing Contest. I won a grand prize. And I have been published in the magazine twice since then. By their choice, as they sought me out.
I write a column for the local paper that gets published 40-45 times a year. It touches on changes in the mortgage industry and how it affects consumers. More often I am hearing from clients and potential clients that they have been reading my column. Others in financial fields such as financial planning, investments and banking have also commented on the column. And of course local Realtors read the column as well. It helps that I have known the publisher for a number of years, but he liked the concept which is not an advertisement, but rather a true informational column. This is but a cog in the quest for getting known.