Networking is a big part of what I do and many fantastic Small Business Owners across Australia. I want to discuss the difference between the two ideas above. One can grow your business and the other can ruin it and destroy your reputation.
Ralphs Rulez on Networking!
This is the area I operate in and this is how it works. If I can refer a client, colleague or friend to a service that can assist them I will. Nothing surprising about that, however I am often asked what do I want out of the sale if its successful? My standard reply “NOTHING JUST LOOKING AFTER MY CLIENT”.
By operating this way my clients are serviced well (I check) and they continually call me for services I don’t do. From Haystacks to Anchors and everything else in between. This results in satisfied clients that are happy and now working for me as unpaid sales/referral spotters for my business.
Still nothing surprising yet?
What I find amusing is the majority of people I refer clients to who question me aggressively as to why I do this or: WHAT DO I GET OUT OF IT? Many times the level of distrust from some people requires me to dispense with their business. What? I am doing them a favour and they are busy trying to work out if I am going to shaft them or not.
Some common questions I get are:
– How do you get paid?
– Do you charge your clients a fee?
– You’re an idiot! (Seriously, I have been told this).
– You’ll go broke.
– Why do you give leads away?
Sadly our marketplace is driven by greed, blind inexperience and lack of logic. Always looking for something for nothing. Even parents paying their kids to clean up their rooms etc.
The result? I have been self-employed for some 36 years and until 2012 I have never advertised in any way. I have always been able to choose who I worked for and been very successful. I had my own SMSF in the 70’s. Also never networked.
In 2011 I decided to completely change the style & direction of my business I need a new challenge and to pursue a different method of obtaining clients. Understanding the electronic age and to succeed in it. So far so good. I will keep you posted of course!
This is an interesting way to invite grief into your life and business.
WiiFM “WHATS IN IT FOR ME” ME ME ME ME ME . TO EXPLAIN THIS I NEED TO GIVE YOU SOME EXAMPLES AND A TRUE CASE OF GRIEF.
– Industry pushes their people to on sell services for all sorts of products & services.
– Finance Brokers are encouraged to sell Insurance, Property SMSF’s etc
– Insurance brokers are encouraged to sell Finance, Property, Leasing etc
– Estate agents, Accountants, Solicitors, Medical, I have experienced every one of these professions offering to send me clients on a WIIFM basis.
Nothing wrong with that as long as you know them extremely well and they are extremely ethical and professional (and you choose to do business on that basis).
WHAT DUE DILIGENCE DID YOU CARRY OUT ON THE OTHER PARTY?
• Personal scrutiny of their business.
• Company check.
• ASIC check on history of directors etc etc
• Do they want to be named on a contract as getting a commission?
• Why all this for a kickback? (nasty word but that’s what it is)
Because when things go bad the court has a paper trail to you!!
Example of a naive group of professionals:
This group is made up of respected businessmen. Sometimes its opportunity put simply that is accepted without question or due diligence. This group is thinking of going into a high priced item by one of their members to supply this item to the group. The kickback is great and the documentation is professional. The problem is the product is mainly in areas where the investor/client will make small to no return for many years. If you were the client what would do when your dream is crap? Go legal of course.
True case history:
– Finance broker writes a legal loan for an Investment Property which is approved and the contract goes unconditional (the client is locked in) no problem.
– 6 months later the settlement is due.
– The loan for some reason is rewritten (the solicitor questioned this) this caused a delay of 2 months for very confusing reasons.
– The final approval is completed & the clients attend the Bank to sign the final documents.
– This is where it hit the fan.
The loan is declared fraudulent and the contract is null & void.
-The new loan misses out on a child (conflicted with the centrelink statement.)
– The client had lost work due to a physical injury so the income didn’t stand up.
– The clients were renting so that made a further compliance problem with income.
1. Fudged the number of children to make the loan work.
2. Wrote a letter as the wife’s father (and signed his name) saying the clients were coming to live with him to save rent & therefore finance would not be an issue (Fraud?)
3. Did not comply with NCCP regulations.
Kept the 10% deposit as he had been messed around very badly plus solicitors fees & interest.
-Challenged the Broker who blamed the sales agent for writing the loan
– Sales agent had guaranteed the deposit as they were referred clients and an exceptional couple (That guarantee was for a legal loan).
1. The clients are taking legal action against the Sales agent to pay the deposit & costs.
2. The Banking Ombudsman says it now legal we cannot do anything.
3. The MFAA say legal action and the client has to complain we can’t do anything.
4. ASIC has no interest as it’s too busy.
So far $8,000 out of pocket & will probably end in court.
Client chasing the wrong person, the sales agent has a lever arch file proving the Brokers fault.
THE SALES AGENT IS ME:
Fortunately only one loan was found however this agent had been given some 9 loans from me. What happens if I am receiving a kickback/commission from the broker?
CYB (“Cover Your Back”) :
Your reputation and business is lost for some easy money. Not worth it. Check out the ASIC website and join their mailing list. Do the right thing and of course follow the rules!
No such thing as Grey, it’s only as “White as the driven snow!”