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Let's Go Fishing...Fishing For Mortgage Prospects That Is

Aug 17, 2007
OK...here's our question:

"Would you pay for "dinner for two" at your local eatery in exchange for a number of new contacts that can be added to your mortgage database?" I hope so, because this is an inexpensive way to get your name out there, and more importantly, build your contact list.

Simply contact the owner or manager of your popular local restaurant and offer to pay for a "dinner for two" each month. You then place a fish bowl in a prominent place to collect the business cards for the monthly drawing. Historically a fish bowl has been the traditional drawing container and people recognize it as such...so stick with the idea and buy a fish bowl(s).

Most restaurants love the idea since this means more business for them. They'll happily give you the couple of square feet you need to promote this idea. In fact, some will even give you a discount on the gift certificate for the drawing. Don't forget to ask about a discount when arranging the final details of the campaign.

The nice part about this is...you actually control the cost and implementation of the promotion by choosing the restaurant(s) that fit you advertising budget:

1. If you can afford gourmet...then go gourmet!
2. Add as many restaurants (fish bowls) as you can afford.
3. Think outside the box and use the idea at your local hardware store, dry cleaner, florist, gift shop, auto repair, oil change facility, or whatever.
4. If you can afford twice-monthly drawings or more...go for it.
5. If after a few drawings you notice a significant drop in the number of new contacts and only repeaters...drop that particular location and find another.

Important...Don't forget to empty the cards (keeping track of their source) so that they don't become a temptation for other businesses and your competition. This is your promotion and your money...the last thing we want to do is assist someone else in building their list. Depending on traffic, a daily stop-by and pick-up may be required.

Create a small sign announcing the name of the previous month's winner and place it near your fish bowl. Contact the winner and arrange delivery of the gift certificate. Remember to place your name and company on the winner's sign...this is your opportunity for some free advertising.

Add the contact information of all of your entries into your mortgage database and work them into your contact schedule. Since most of these are business cards of professionals, you are now the proud owner of some great information such as their name, company, a business phone number, fax number, and an email address.

The steps that you take next will ensure the success of your efforts:

1. Mail a letter or postcard to each of them thanking them for participating in the drawing. This is worth the effort and an important first step.

2. Follow up with a phone call. Ask them if you can add them to your email list and periodically send them mortgage and financial information. Be specific about asking permission to add them to your email list...as you will find, it's easier and cheaper to do an email campaign versus a direct mail program. Always ask if you can provide information and news about financing, refinancing or purchasing a home or investment property.

3. Maintain a contact schedule that keeps your name and business in their mind. Remember, you are building a relationship that is based on your knowledge, expertise, and the trust they place in you as a result of this information.

This idea works...it's a great way to build your list! Try it...you can go fishing anytime and more importantly...the fishing is always good.
About the Author
Tom Domin is the author of "101 Ways to Originate Mortgages" and publisher of "Tom's Mortgage Tips" a twice monthly Mortgage Newsletter geared for Mortgage Professionals. Increase your pipeline and put your mortgage career on the fast track and sign-up for FREE at http://www.MortgageMarketingToolKit.com.
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