Selling Mortgages Is Not Rocket ScienceDave Hershmantestimonials, guarantees, advertising Making Maximum Use of Advertising Dollars: Part Two Advertising is certainly an important factor in the majority of today's business plans. Successful strategic advertising can help a business achieve its goals. Poor use of advertising dollars can impede the results of an organization by draining important capital resources and diverting the human capital necessary to support misguided advertising efforts. This month, we continue our lesson in helping businesses achieve the most from their advertising efforts, specifically through the use of advanced marketing synergy techniques. Use testimonials. How many salespeople or businesses purposely sell themselves as mediocre? Every advertising piece and sales pitch is designed to indicate how good the advertiser is, whether the campaign is featuring price, service or added value. In reality, our targets know from experience that not everyone they deal with has an excellent reputation. If you want to tell the world how great you are and remain credible at the same time, have a previous customer say it for you. A testimonial or third-party endorsement has more impact than a self-serving statement. The impact is even more profound if the entity offering the testimonial has a relationship with or is known by the target group. Use guarantees. If a guarantee is a significant aspect of your business or marketing plan, feature it in your advertising. Make sure that you can back your guarantee and that the message differentiates you from the competition. Achieve more than one objective through your advertising. A very important synergy rule is to achieve two or more objectives through one action. Advertising uses our two most precious resources--time and money. We need to achieve as many results as possible every time we expend scarce resources. For example, if our call to action is broad enough, we can build our long-term prospect database as a result of our advertising efforts. This can be accomplished in addition to achieving short-term sales objectives. Timing is important. The best advertising in the world will not work if the timing is not right. On the other hand, the right timing can significantly increase your advertising effectiveness. The correct timing to initiate advertising activities may depend on a variety of cycles, including seasons, economic cycles, monthly cycles and purchase cycles. To determine your best timing, you must know the purchase habits of your targets in the context of your product or service. Information concerning the timing of advertising of your competitors will be very important as well. You may have to vary the timing of your advertising to determine the best combination for success. Don't forget to sell. Advertising may make the phone ring, but asking for the business and following up will make sales and revenue happen. You are wasting your money if you advertise without allowing time to answer the phone effectively or call people back. Evaluation. The true definition of insanity is often described as repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. You must make adjustments in copy, offers, targets and timing. How many businesses constantly run the same advertisements because they don't have the time to make a change? It is better not to advertise at all than to continue a campaign that will not assist in achieving long-term goals. Ineffective actions rob us of our resources and create a false sense of accomplishment. The cost of advertising seems to grow every year. Now, more than ever, it pays to make sure our efforts are effective. Dave Hershman is a leading author and speaker for the mortgage industry, and is a partner of LendingProfessional.com. His newsletters are read by Mortgage Brokers to provide value to previous customers, financial planners and real estate agents. For newsletter samples, call (800) 581-5678 or visit www.hershmangroup.com.