Networking is a business activity we all engage in to attract new customers and build our firms.
Many of you will be engaged in such meet and greet activities regularly, which can be tedious and time consuming; Gently probing your new acquaintance over a vol-au-vent and a warm glass of wine in an effort to ascertain if they can be useful in your business life.
Naturally, you will get a lot more leverage from your business networking efforts if you work on building relationships with the right people who could become clients or business partners in some way.
However, not all of us are effective networkers. Small talk is a skill in itself – and that’s before you weigh-up how useful one person or other can be to your firm and broach the subject of doing business together.
Luckily, for those of us that struggle to appreciate the gastronomic delights of stale chicken sandwiches, or hate wondering where to dispose of the shell-end tail of a prawn, technology now enables us to interact with people that can be of benefit to us in a very effective ways.
A great example of how technology can play the part of the facilitator in bringing together mutually rewarding partnerships is evidenced in how mortgage lead generators and advisers are brought together by the internet.
With close to two-thirds of adults now having access to a computer at home, potential mortgage applicants are more likely than ever to use the internet to research the options available to them.
Purchasing online leads became an effective way of capitalising on the relatively new market created by an increasingly technology-savvy public. But like any partnership it only works well if both parties are committed to it.
For advisers to be confident about the lead generation companies they employ, they should check thoroughly every aspect of the deal including references, guarantees, penalties, break clauses, charges, payment terms and more – as they would if they were doing business with someone they had met over a sausage roll.
But a key difference is that good mortgage lead providers can deliver a guaranteed number of quality leads in a lot less time than it takes to attend a networking event.
But brokers must be prepared to chase up a lead as soon as they are presented with it by their lead generator.
External lead generation companies are playing an increasingly important role in the mortgage industry and if you have not used them yet, you could do worse than explore the possibilities - it might just be the most lucrative initiative you undertake this year and a welcome addition to your new business drive.
It will spare your waist line another tedious buffet too.
Warren Pinner is director of Mortgage Angels
The views expressed in this article are those of its author and do not necessarily represent those of IFAonline or any other Incisive Media affiliated publication.IFAonline
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