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Using Social Media To Build Relationships

President of Centum Financial Group, redefining the way brokers help people access mortgages across Canada.

I’ve spent thousands of dollars on Facebook and not a penny on ads.

I know what you’re thinking, that didn’t make sense, right? Almost like I spent some time thinking of a cheeky opener that would get you hooked — you’re mine now! Jokes aside, this is 100% true. Allow me to explain.

You see, your clients’ social feed is a window into the things that matter most to them. Whether they want to create some envy, showcase their success, write about what makes them truly happy or merely just show that their team is going to win the championship, I’ve found it’s the most personal and intimate information you could learn about them online.

I think it’s the perfect environment to create a memorable client experience that will never be forgotten. You can also forge a long, lasting relationship and find leads for years to come. But before I get into that, I owe you some context, don’t I?

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Back when I was a mortgage broker, prior to heading up the brand, I had a personal challenge for myself and the agents at my brokerage.

Build such a rapport with your client that by the end of the meeting, you could send a Facebook friend request, and it wouldn’t come off as weird.

Get to know your clients! Be interested, not interesting. Separate yourself from someone who’s just trying to get the sale into someone who’s a dependable staple in their lives.

Doing that can open the door to their heart — yes, I said heart, a word not often associated with sales. If you want to build trust, make an emotional connection to your client, and the rest of the sales cycle gets easier. Do you know why?

Because it’s no longer a sales cycle.

You’re suddenly helping a friend, someone you’ve laughed with or made laugh. Maybe you’ve been the ear they’ve been lacking, and they’ve shared an intimate moment with you — you may have shared one in return. Those are bonds forming.

And you can start doing this by getting to know your client through their social media content across an array of platforms, but it’s not as simple as merely observing. One of the most ironic things about social media is that we often forget the first word in the term itself: social. On these platforms, we cheer for our favorite teams, highlight an amazing meal at our favorite spot or provide a highly filtered selfie, making life seem perfect as we present a highlight reel of all our hobbies and interests.

Those moments are your chance to get social.

Comment on the client’s team post, even if it’s to root for the opposing one; share a picture of your pet in the comments of their “we got a new puppy” post or even share your favorite restaurant and appetizer recommendation on someone’s food post. Do this consistently, and you’re accomplishing a few things.

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• You’re moving further away from “my salesperson” and closer to “my friend.”

• You could be the reason someone smiled that day; they won’t forget it.

• You’ve just created a segue to check in or follow up.

• You’re getting your face and your name out there. Your clients’ friends and family are interacting on their posts too.

So you may be asking, how have I spent thousands on social media from posting dining insights and kitten pictures exactly?

The posting and interacting is the ‘building phase.’

You post and interact to build the relationship. What I’m also doing at that point is learning about someone’s hobbies and interests so I can wow them with a thank you gift, whether it’s for a referral they’ve given me, a closing gift on their transaction or even for just being awesome.

I’ll use a real-life example from one of my clients years ago: I noticed he was a huge hockey fan, and after just spending a few minutes scrolling on his pages, it was obvious who his favorite player was. I had made a habit of doing my social recon work prior to sitting down with clients for the first interaction, because it instantly gave me some common ground topics I could leverage to start building. What it also gave me was some great ideas for closing gifts, so when this client got his keys to his first home, he was also presented an autographed jersey of his favorite player, courtesy of his now favorite mortgage broker.

Was it extreme and expensive? Maybe. Worth it? Absolutely. It’s been nearly a decade since that gift was given, and he was still my number one referral source up until I retired from brokering. Even today, I pass off his referrals to my old brokerage. More importantly, he’s become a good friend to this day.

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And all because I used social media to make an emotional impact. Moments like that live in the heart forever, as so many good moments do.

And now, so will you.

Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?


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