Dennis Black is CEO of Dennis Black and Associates, a training
organization devoted exclusively to the development of sales
and management professionals within the lending industry.
Dennis Black and Associates has trained more than 115,000
mortgage professionals throughout the United States,
Canada and Australia. Black speaks at conferences sponsored
by the Mortgage Bankers Association and NAMB - The
Association of Mortgage Professionals about selling strategies and is a frequent speaker at state conferences. Visit
dennisblack.com. Reach Black at email@example.com.
Know What Sets You Apart From Peers
To succeed in a purchase market, you must differentiate yourself
By Dennis Black
In 2017, the ability to stand out from the crowd and not just be another mortgage originator could be the determining factor in your success as you struggle with rising interest rates.
But how do you truly differentiate yourself from all
of the other originators who also realize they need to
grow their third-party referral bases this year? If you
want the opportunity to “thrive and not just survive”
in the purchase-market environment of 2017, you
have some work to do.
The first thing to focus on this year is your current
approach to working with Realtors and builders. Are
you doing similar things to your competition? If so, why
are you doing them? Take a look at your marketing
approach and your referral-maintenance call efforts
(visits to clients). Are you doing anything that stands
out from the crowd in these areas? Or are you still
using the infamous “drip campaign” marketing style
and phone calls?
If you are doing what everyone else is doing, you will
be perceived by potential customers as a commodity.
In a commodity sale, the determining factor is price,
which is why the rising-rate environment becomes
scary to an average sales person.
So how do you not fall into this trap? First, do not use
the standard drip-campaign approach to marketing.
Nothing is more aggravating to a Realtor or builder than
getting repetitive e-mails from someone they don’t
currently work with. Even if you do work with them,
repetition dilutes your brand.
If you search online for “interruption versus transparent marketing,” you will find a variety of information on this issue. What you will learn is that repetitive
and constant e-mails cause customers to “turn off” your
message. Transparent marketing, on the other hand,
sends far more substantive messages less frequently
and is used primarily with existing customers to
deepen those relationships.
Once you have changed your marketing approach, it
is time to think about mixing up your field presence
a little bit. There is a lot of truth to the phrase, “out of
sight, out of mind.” A more consistent and methodical
approach to customer contact is needed to stand out
from the pack. A strong plan has two levels of con-
tact per week with existing customers to keep you in
their mind and show your desire to stay the course
with the relationship.
Your first level of contact with your customer base
should be phone calls on Monday or Tuesday (even if
you just leave a voice message). Ask your Realtor and
builder partners about how their weekends went busi-nesswise and if there is anything you can assist them
with in terms of pre-approvals for their new clients.
Then, you should mix in some second-level contacts
by making a field visit sometime between Tuesday
and Friday. Pop by your customer’s location for a visit.
Deliver some marketing handouts or review the status of a loan you have in process with that Realtor or
builder. If they are not there, leave a note saying you
stopped by and that they should call you to touch base.
This consistent style of selling will reduce resistance
to working with you. As this behavior becomes a
pattern, your partners will begin to count on it
when thinking about you as their business partner.
Lack of follow up is the single biggest reason that
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