Selling mortgages is not rocket science: Selling without priceDave Hershmanfull service provider, marketing, year 2000 Is it time to start adding value for the year 2000? The Year 2000 is certainly going to bring a whole new wave of competition. From Affinity Relationships to One-Stop Shopping Conglomerates to the Internet, there is no doubt that all potential customers are going to have a greater choice in selecting services and products. Some of these will be efficient mechanisms for price comparisons. By the time you arrive at the Year 2000, you will have to make this decision-Are you going to be a low-cost or a full-service value provider? If you are going to sell your services at the lowest price-get on the Internet and advertise your fees to the world. If you are going to be a full service provider-you will have to learn how to sell without price. How do you do that? Here are a few suggestions: Let your sales effort set the tone Complaining about your customers being so price conscious? Examine your advertising. Is it designed to compete based upon price? Are you attracting customers who going to be interested solely in your price? Yes, there is a certain class of customers who are extremely price sensitive. Why would you spend your time and money attracting them if you would like to be a full-service value provider? Deal with people you know Do you spend tons of money and time advertising to the world and making the phone ring with people you don't know? Are you making cold calls over the phone? While you do this, are you ignoring previous customers because you don't have the time? Deal with the people within your sphere of influence. People you don't know will be focused upon price because there is no basis for a relationship. Focus upon your Sphere of Influence-don't waste the time you have spent building relationships in the past. Have the right attitude Do you have the feeling that you are price shopped harder than anyone else? Forget the woe is me attitude! Every industry has price shoppers-from the airlines to insurance. For which item did you price shop recently? Perhaps a car? The point is that you will turn off more customers because of your attitude about their price shopping than you will with your prices. People do business with people they like. A bad attitude is not likeable-period! If you get called-have the skills to find needs People will always ask about price, mainly because they do not know what else to ask. When they call, have the questions ready to uncover their real needs. Is it education? Is it speed? Is it convenience? The Discipline of Sales is the science of listening. You can't find someone's needs unless you get them to talk. You can't get them to talk unless you ask questions. Have the questions ready and deliver them in a way that is non-threatening and helpful. In other words, be empathetic to their situation so they will like you! And you don't have to reinvent the wheel-if you dont know the questions to ask, others do. Benchmark with others who are great over the phone. Sell value, value, value If you are not going to compete based upon price, you better start selling value. Faster, cheaper, and easier are what everyone sells. What can you add to the equation? Here is a test-did your last advertising piece offer a discount for your services or something extra for your services? What can you offer? Information, additional services or anything to better help meet your customers needs. The great part of additional value is the fact that you do not necessarily have to provide the value. It can be provided by what we call a synergy partner. When your synergy partner provides the value, you add value to your partner's business at the same time you meet the needs of your targets. When the value comes from a third party, it is also seen as less self-serving. The subscribers to our newsletter service receive a consumer friendly article every month-an article which can be personalized with the name of those who provide the article. It would not be unusual for our subscribers to provide these articles to their agents or other professional targets to mail to their prospects or previous clients. A long time ago, we decided our newsletter service would not be delivering recipes, but real value which can add income to our subscribers' customers. Feel free to call us and ask for a simple article targeted for direct consumer marketing. Value or price. By the Year 2000 you will have to decide. Dont get stuck in between. Dave Hershman is a leading author and top speaker for the mortgage industry with six books-including two best sellers for the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. His newsletters are used by Mortgage Brokers to provide value to previous customers, financial planners, Realtors, and more. For newsletter samples call (800) 581-5678 or visit on the Web at www.hershmangroup.com.