Marketing vs. selling: Your future depends on mastering bothRon VaimbergAdvice,marketing,selling,mortgage
More than 93 percent of all mortgage professionals do not
distinguish between two critical areas of success--marketing and
selling. Understanding and managing both areas is a key element to
success in your business.
Many of today's loan officers were born into the refinance boom,
when even those with marginal industry knowledge or marketing and
selling skills were able to earn a significant income. The need for
the competitive edge was minimal due to the vast amount of
Today, the market has changed and more changes are on the way.
Not only are we dealing with the end of the refi boom, we are also
faced with RESPA reform, likely interest rate increases, company
layoffs and more. Business owners and loan officers who master the
art of sales and marketing will survive and prosper.
In training programs I present throughout the United States, I
consistently ask attendees to define the difference between sales
and marketing. Surprisingly, most cannot articulate the distinction
or haven't thought much about these two critical concepts. One key
the difference is that marketing includes activities to generate
quality leads, while selling relates to your ability to convert
those leads into loan applications.
During the refi boom, few companies actively measured their lead
volume and conversion. Without these two critical measurements,
your ability to prosper in the future will be severely compromised.
We cannot turn back the clock, and as we move forward, it is
important for you to begin measuring your effectiveness in both of
First, look at marketing strategies that are within your budget
and have been proven to work in your marketplace. Once you have
settled on three different lead generation tactics, your goal is to
maximize them. Ask yourself the following questions:
Are you generating enough leads from your marketing
Are the methods profitable?
How can you increase the effectiveness of your marketing tactics
without increasing the cost?
How can you expand your methods into other areas?
Once you have maximized your efforts on one lead generation
method, implement another. The key to effective lead generation is
effort and consistency. For example, if your strategy is to develop
relationships with real estate agents, then determine how many
you'll need to establish in order to capture the number of leads
you desire; figure out how to approach each real estate agent with
a mutual "win-win" business proposition; estimate the time
necessary to effectively manage the relationships (and schedule it
into your daily routine); and develop ways to measure your
effectiveness, the return on your effort and how to improve it.
As loan officers, we must master the art of compelling people to
want to do business with us. We can meet with real estate agents
and prospective clients, but our success is determined by our
ability to motivate these individuals to do business with us and
provide us with referrals.
The most important aspect of selling is creating a unique sales
presentation. Everyone offers the same mortgage programs, and most
people have access to the same marketing concepts. The difference
is your ability to appear unique in your customer's eyes.
More than 90 percent of all loan officers do not have any formal
sales training. Even less have mortgage-specific sales training.
What this means to you is that once you have established your
marketing campaigns, with a little bit of training, you can propel
yourself far beyond the competition and position yourself as unique
in the marketplace.
Unfortunately, very few mortgage companies focus on sales
training. Instead, they simply hold sales meetings, most of which
discuss product, pricing or procedural training, but not sales
specifically. Take a look at the content of your last five meetings
with your sales team. What were the topics of conversation?
Successful sales training programs should include the
Effective teaching of proven sales strategies relating to the
Strategies that are easily implemented;
Accountability: Making sure that loan officers provide detailed
results as they implement their strategies;
Repetition: Very few individuals will implement something new the
first time they hear it. Most people resist behavioral change, and
since sales training is exactly that, the only way to increase the
likelihood of implementation is to consistently reinforce the
desired habits you seek.
Building a mortgage business requires specific planning and
actions. Effectively implementing new marketing strategies and
sales tactics requires thinking through both critical elements of
success. One without the other will only build your business for
the short-term, subjecting you to the turmoil that occurs whenever
market conditions change.
Ron Vaimberg, president of Ron Vaimberg International Ltd.,
is a national sales and personal development trainer for the
mortgage industry. He may be reached at (866) 824-6237 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.