Hennessey has proven himself as a true top producer, ranking No. 1 in sales for two years in a row with GMH Mortgage Services. His production in 2015 was more than $37 million. In 2016, he raised the bar for himself, ending the year with an annual production of more than $55 million. He has spent the last 14 years in the mortgage industry, but he was involved in sales long before. After working as a real estate agent and in the snowboard business, he discovered his true calling as a loan officer.
Hennessey was actually following the influence of his mother, a very successful real estate agent.
He remembers, “I thought it was so cool. My mom had a mobile phone in her car. As a young kid, nobody had that in those days. I always thought she had a neat job.” After college, Hennessey started to realize he inherited his mother’s knack for selling. His track record shows that this realization was accurate.
So what is the secret to his success? Does he employ complicated sales strategies or elaborate marketing campaigns? Actually, the answer is much simpler.
For Todd Hennessey, business comes down to a tried-and-true philosophy: relationships come first.
Hennessey focuses on building strong relationships with his referral partners. According to him, he works with 10 real estate agents who give him all of their business, and another 15 give him the majority of their business. His strategy for finding these referral partners and bonding with them may surprise you: he looks for people he likes.
“Find people whose relationship style fits yours,” Hennessey explained. “You can form a long-term relationship with people that you will want to work with. A lot of folks aren’t going to refer you right away, or they won’t work the way you’re going to work. You are just going to spin your tires and waste time. Move on and find somebody who is more likely to work with you.”
Hennessey’s approach to marketing his business falls closely in line with his focus on forming close relationships with his referral sources. His aim is to bring great value to those he serves. One way he does this is by holding events that bring his partners together.
“I’ll get four or five of my real estate agents together in a group, ones I know are having similar issues in growth. We’ll just have dinner and drinks, sitting and talking about those common ideas. I pick people from different markets so none of them are directly in competition with each other.”
According to Hennessey, these gatherings are hugely successful. Holding relationship-based events reinforces the idea that his goal is to add legitimate value to his partners’ business. Additionally, by creating a fun and engaging environment, he deepens his connection with the people who bring him the most production.
Hennessey takes this same philosophy of developing relationships through face-to-face interaction and applies it to his process for selling to homebuyers. Unlike the industry at large, which primarily conducts business online, he instead personally meets with every client.
After one of his assistants takes the application over the phone, they schedule a meeting for the homebuyer to come in the office and have a conversation.
For Hennessey, this is a way to make sure he and the client are on the same page.
“If the client poses a challenge and asks why they need to meet with us, we simply say, ‘Why wouldn’t you want to meet somebody who is trying to help you structure a loan program that might affect you for the next 30 years?’ People almost always agree. Nine-and-a-half times out of 10, they have no problem meeting us.”
Obviously, customer service is the foundational aspect of Hennessey’s operation. He wants to get to know each of his clients and referral partners personally to be sure he is bringing the most value possible to their relationship. His philosophy is simply to provide amazing service for every homebuyer and real estate agent he works with. Hennessey knows that by creating an outstanding client experience, he is furthering his relationship with his referral partner.
“Our philosophy is that we have to deliver service every single time that compels the client to refer their real estate agent again to friends and family. We just want to take the client’s experience and make it smooth and helpful. We really hope to make it a celebration rather than a stress-filled, anxiety-ridden process. You actually have to deliver an exceptional experience in the end.”
Todd Hennessey is a top producer for a reason. His attention to customer relationships and outstanding service prove that he is a mortgage professional at the top of his game. However, he hasn’t reached this remarkable success on his natural ability alone. In fact, he says that one of the most important decisions he made in his career was hiring a sales coach.
“I think everybody who gets in this business who has a level of success has the gift of gab, or whatever you want to call it. But once you realize you’ve got a knack of sales in some way, shape, or form, it would greatly benefit you to hire a sales coach to develop you even further.”
For Hennessey, the sales coach serves as a reminder of what is at stake.
“I stay motivated because my sales coach and I always say this to each other: I’ve got no options. I’ve got no excuses mentally. I’ve got to get up every day and make this happen because no one else is going to do it for me.”