You have to give a f**k
You have to really care. Not about your bottom line or about making more money, as a business development agent in this industry you have to care at depth about how you can help your bank and servicer clients.
I received this testimonial from a vendor manager at a large servicer: “In a space infested with pump and dump leg humpers, Mr. Winters stands out as an authentic and honorable human being who genuinely cares about the needs of both his clients as well as his client’s clients. He is persistent but never pushy; knowledgeable without being a know-it-all. Any law firm or default servicer desiring to strengthen existing relationships or seeking to find new partners would be foolish not to consider discussing their needs with Joel Winters.”
The testimonial is humorous, no doubt, but you probably have no idea how happy it makes me. It reinforces that I’m doing my job and I’m doing it well. Too many times sales folks haphazardly ask for deals just because they know someone in a position to make the decision. I, on the other hand, try to instead come from a place of real concern, curiosity, and solutions.
First, at Fremont Street Advisors, we only work with the best vendors. We have turned down contracts with firms that while financially appealing they just don’t live up to our standards. Why would I want to land a deal if it isn’t going to benefit my bank client? It’s short-sighted. It may land me a big bonus, but in the long run, I’ve lost the trust of my banking client, damaged my reputation, and killed any chance for new deals in the pipeline down the road.
Curiosity means that I’m on the phone with banks and servicers constantly. They have come to know that they can trust my knowledge and experience to help fill where they have gaps. I ask them how things at their shop are going, what they are seeing in the market, and what their pain points are. If I can’t help, I don’t waste their time. Building high-trust relationships with the decision-makers are key. They know I don’t just want a bro deal. They know I won’t sell them on anything that isn’t top-notch. They know they can lean on me to tell them who the A players are and whom to steer clear of. This doesn’t happen overnight, but it is my experience that if you build your foundation off of these principles, you will have a long and fruitful career.
It’s been a historical year for us at Fremont Street. Ten months ago we were a startup in the default world during a moratoria. Today, we have six clients and have deals in the works for all of them. Many more deals are still out there to be had…
In my next blog post, I will talk about how merging marketing with business development is a golden combination. One serves the other. You can quantify how much money you’ve accounted for on the biz dev side, but you can’t quantify just how powerful marketing and building a brand can be.