Selling mortgages is not rocket science--Know thy competitionDave Hershman competitive selling tactics, referral source, marketing
For most of us, the competition represents mythical figures
possessing significant tactical and intellectual advantages over
mere mortals such as ourselves. Every time we see evidence of our
competition in action, we fantasize that their actions are more
effective than they really are. Glorifying the competition is
nothing new--sports coaches across the nation pump up their teams
as they place their next opponents upon proverbial pedestals. In
reality, the competition represents mere mortals, just like us,
with a similar set of skills as everyone else. They also face the
same problems we face every day. The grass is no greener on the
other side. On the other hand, the grass is no less green at our
competition's desks. Just putting our competition in perspective
will help us proceed with one step that is essential within the
sales process--knowing thy competition. Why should we know our
competition? We can be much more effective as salespeople if we
know the scope of our competitions' efforts. There is a massive
amount of available information regarding our competition that can
be utilized to help us move up the ladder of success.
•Competitors' pricing levels
We always think that our competitors are undercutting us. Would you
be surprised to think that they always believe that we are
undercutting them? The truth is that sometimes we beat our
competition, and sometimes we get beat by them. It can be quite
beneficial to know where our competitors possess pricing
flexibility, on which programs, and when they are willing to use
Every salesperson provides a certain level of services to their
clients, including those that are basic and those they consider
value-added. In addition to knowing their pricing structurewhat
services come with the basic package and what services are added to
attract and keep additional customerswe also need to know how
effective these added services are with regard to attracting
additional business and building long-term loyalty.
•The competitor through the customer's
Who are the major customers of your competitor and how do they view
your competition? When customers utilize the competition, what
strengths and weaknesses appear on a regular basis? Seeing your
competition through your customers' eyes is much more important
than seeing them through your own.
•How does your competitor market?
How does your competitor try to attract business and how effective
are the results? You may mistakenly conclude that the most visible
efforts of your competitor (the efforts you are most likely to see)
are the most effective. You may then emulate the wrong actions--a
very expensive proposition.
How do you extract information regarding your competition?
Interviews with your best customers are an obvious method. Do not
discount information gathered directly from your competition.
Indirectly gather as much information as possible through
advertisements, testimonials, etc. Then, ask your competition to
lunch. They may be as curious about you as they are about them.
Benchmarking--the exchange of existing information--is a process
that is used constantly by corporations, but not nearly enough by
individual salespeople. Just one hintbe prepared to give as much as
you get through a direct meeting with your competitor. You cannot
expect them to be forthright unless you make the same effort. The
result could be just what you need to be more effective in the long
run. Imagine approaching a long-term sales target knowing whom they
use, why they use them and in what ways you can better their
situation. You cannot develop strategies to improve their
situations unless you truly know what they are now receiving e.
In the end, you may find that your competition is one of your
best referral sources. When you learn their strengths and
weaknesses, reciprocal relationships come into focus. But there is
no way that you can position yourself in this regard unless you
follow the aforementioned steps.
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 mortgage school is
the only comprehensive advanced curriculum in the industry. For a
schedule of classes, free marketing samples, speaking information
and articles by Dave, visit www.originationpro.com or
call (800) 581-5678.