Selling mortgages is not rocket science - The basic laws of marketing for more income with less stressDave HershmanMarketing tips, Sales, Mortgage Bankers Association, MBAA
The functions of selling and marketing are distinctly different.
The goal of marketing is to make the phone ring (or obtain a
response via e-mail or snail mail). The goal of sales is to turn
the call into an appointment (or another call or closing). Many
courses claim to teach sales and marketing techniques, but the
topics should not be treated similarly. The two topics are
*The best marketing in the world is completely worthless without
the ability to effectively convert leads.
*The need for stronger sales skills is inversely related to the
results of your marketing efforts.
What I would like to do in this article is present the concepts
that will control whether or not your marketing efforts will be
successful as well as explaining this inverse relationship. For
your overall business plan to be successful, your marketing plan
must account for all of these concepts, and you must understand how
marketing should be successfully integrated into your sales
1. Marketing is not something you do, it is the way you
Many of us associate marketing with specific activities that are
expressly meant to achieve a marketing purpose. In this way, we
ignore the hundreds of activities we undertake every day,
activities that present marketing opportunities if only we thought
of them differently. Therefore, I teach those who attend my
seminars to open up their eyes and see the opportunities they are
missing. All too often, we are searching for that magic marketing
bullet when the answer is just under our nose.
2. You must deal with marketing reluctance
Related to call reluctance, marketing reluctance dictates that the
average businessperson tends to undertake marketing actions after
all other business activities are finished. Most salespeople spend
80-90 percent of their time managing their "pipeline" of
transactions. The marketing happens either after the transaction
pipeline is nearly empty (which is too late) or it never happens at
all. Of course, if we adhere to rule number one, this will never be
3. You must plan your marketing.
To conquer marketing reluctance, you must carefully schedule your
marketing activities. Most salespeople do not schedule calls to
previous customers or letter-writing campaigns in their calendars.
If you don't schedule something, you are much less likely to
accomplish the task. Shouldn't your marketing activities be treated
with the same importance as your next scheduled haircut?
4. You must deal with infinity.
This idea may seem to conflict with the concept of marketing
reluctance, but when we do find the time to market, we tend to try
a little bit of everything. The ways we can market are endless. If
our time is limited and we try too many of these methods, we cannot
be consistent in our marketing efforts. And marketing efforts must
be consistent to be successful. We tend to try lunches, seminars,
e-mails, phone calls, Web sites and more as part of our "marketing
plan." Generally, too many different marketing activities cause
each one to be less successful. The goal here is more focus and
5. You cannot change the world in one
Another aspect of the concept of consistency is our unrealistic
expectations with regards to the results of our marketing actions.
We are typically looking for the "big hit," rather than
acknowledging that most marketing actions will bring results one
step at a time. Every significant goal is achieved incrementally,
and you should expect no less from your marketing efforts. Yet, we
want to react to the ad that tells us a loan officer made $250,000
last year by sitting at their desk and sending out one letter. If
you get too many calls, you may actually be hurting your chances of
long-term success, believe it or not.
6. What you choose must be flexible.
Even though we expect that our marketing must be consistent, we
must also be able to make changes in our plans to accommodate
changing environments. The world changes quicker every year, and if
our marketing cannot change accordingly, we will always be a step
behind. Actually, due to the acceleration of change in the modern
world, we will be several steps behind.
7. You must believe.
If attitude is the most important element of sales, it is no less
important when it comes to one's marketing efforts. Too many times
we try a marketing action once and then move away when we do not
achieve the results necessary. We have already mentioned one reason
why results are not achieved: lack of consistency. But sometimes we
attempt marketing actions continuously, but they don't work because
we don't believe in them. A typical example is a small business or
salesperson's Web site. Many times we construct a Web site and
expect our prospects to flock to it. Yes, the Internet has millions
of users, but there are also millions of sites. The sites that are
successful are integrated into the total marketing plans of the
hosting company. It is unlikely that you will integrate the
objective into your everyday activities if you don't believe.
8. It's not the volume but the quality of the leads that
your marketing generates.
Some think that marketing is a numbers game: The more times your
phone rings, the better chance you have of being successful. This
idea cannot reside further from the truth. As a matter of fact, if
your marketing produces too many leads that are off target (low
quality), the time you spend dealing with these prospects can
prevent you from the most important activities in sales: following
up with your quality prospects and previous customers. There is
nothing more stressful than not having the time to devote yourself
to quality business because you are dealing with those who will
9. Don't market without the sales skills necessary to
make your marketing successful.
While it is true that better marketing techniques can make sales
skills less important within the overall success equation, even if
your closest relative calls for your service, you will still need
some sales skills to consummate the deal. For example, we all know
that people are most likely to decide to do business with people
they like. Yet, most customers are more likely to tell us that they
made their decision based upon price. Why? They are not likely to
say that they did not like you or that you handled the call or
appointment poorly. Oftentimes, we never hear the real objection,
and therefore, search in the complete opposite direction for the
answer to our prospect conversion issues. Too many times, we
abandon perfectly good marketing efforts because we don't have a
real clue as to why they are failing. We would be remiss in not
mentioning one sales activity that is imperative within any
marketing plan: Asking for the business. No matter what response we
receive, if we don't ask for the appointment, deal or whatever the
next step is within our sales process, our marketing will not be
successful. Note that those who are experts within their industries
are more likely to ask for the business.
10. You must adjust your marketing actions
Think about the marketing activities you have been undertaking for
the past six months. How have you changed these activities to
increase their effectiveness? While time goes on, the market around
you changes, from the demographics, to the economics, to the
competition. Here are a few ideas of what you could change within
your marketing activities:
*Target: Even if your target is not evolving, your target
segmentation can be adjusted in many ways to develop a more
effective rate of return.
*Medium: You may find another way of delivering your message to
your target group.
*Message: You may adjust the way you present yourself or your
services, or you may adjust other aspects of your message, such as
the components of the offer.
*Timing: Timing is everything in life, and marketing is no
exception. If you have the right message and deliver it to the
right group at the wrong time, it may be worse than no marketing at
Upon reviewing these basic laws, it is easy to see why your
marketing would be more effective if each and every component were
accounted for within your marketing plan. Anything less would be a
waste of your most precious resources: money and time.
This is not to say that every aspect of marketing is covered
within these laws. For example, we did not address the message and
how effective it can be made with the addition of social proof
(testimonials) from your previous customers. In our industry, I
believe the best marketing tool you can ever develop and use would
be your resume. After all, they are hiring you to help them with
the most important financial decision they will make in a lifetime.
What a way to differentiate yourself from your competition!
And that brings us to the final point: The true goal of
marketing is to differentiate yourself from your competition in a
positive way. If your message does not accomplish that, do not
expect splendid results. If you are copying ideals you like, you
are on the wrong track.
Dave Hershman is the leading author and a 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.