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What Marketing is Meant to Be—Effective

Casey Cunningham
Mar 26, 2012

As it relates to marketing, the question is simply this: How do the efforts you put forth with your sphere of influence make them feel? Does it stop them in their tracks? Does it create that “wow” factor you're looking to achieve? Does it set you apart from your competition—the same competition that is also employing a number of different marketing techniques and gimmicks? As I pondered the focus for this short write-up, I was reminded of one of my favorite quotations that I feel is so very, very important to keep in mind in both business and in life: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”—Maya Angelou If we are being completely honest with ourselves as salespeople, we all know that the majority of the marketing materials we receive in our own lives do not create the desired effect. Why then, when we are on the “sending end” of marketing materials, should we expect a different effect? There are a myriad of books, seminars, strategies and other newfangled approaches to the world of marketing. It is my opinion, however, that of all the available “noise” out there, two things need to be kept in mind when marketing yourself to your sphere of influence: Injection of Personality and Platinum Club. Why are YOU different? Why should these clients work with YOU? What makes YOU the right choice? It is critical that you personalize your marketing efforts. Inject your personality into the process. These days, clients can get their loan virtually anywhere, including places like Costco. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that you inject YOU into the process of marketing to these clients. I know of one loan officer who has a penchant for classical music. For the past 10 years, he has been putting together an annual CD of his favorite classical pieces. Using limited computer knowledge, he was able to design a jewel case and select tracks to be burned to CDs from his personal collection of classical music. He has built an entire marketing strategy around his love of the works of Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninoff and the rest. He readily admits the recipients of this annual CD will not always listen to it, but he is convinced that it sets him apart from the other loan officers who drop off a desk calendar emblazoned with some random corporate logo. On the subject of personalization, there is another approach, and while more time-consuming, that can be incredibly effective—inject the recipient’s personality into the marketing materials. Does your target have an English Bulldog? Is your target a huge Atlanta Hawks fan? Does your target coach Little League? Does your target ride horses? These are the questions that, when answered, can give you an incredibly unfair advantage as it relates to making an impact on your target audience. Most salespeople automatically discount the notion of personal marketing as being too expensive and unaffordable. This is simply is not true. Making an emotional connection does not cost money. I received a simple e-mail referencing my love for fly fishing (something on my LinkedIn profile) from a vendor trying to get an appointment. And yes, they got the appointment! In my 10 years in business with a sales training organization and being solicited daily by countless sales professionals, I have only been on the receiving end of personalized marketing a shocking one time. Because personal marketing is rarely used, you have a huge opportunity in building your relationships. As you begin to compile a couple of years under your loan originating belt, you will begin to compile a database of “too many people,” and by “too many,” I mean too many clients, referral sources, prospects and industry partners to market to on an individual or personal basis—at least not with any real effect. Either due to the size or due to the cost involved, you will need to find a way to make an impact on the folks that matter … and who are those folks? Think of the Pareto Principle, It’s the principle of time versus results and it holds true with your database. Twenty percent of the individuals currently in your database yield 80 percent of your referrals. They are the cream of the crop. They are your elite group. They are your Platinum Club (XINNIX terminology). The Platinum Club clients are the referral partners, family, friends, etc. that are the backbone of your operation. Most good originators I know have a database of anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 people in it. Even on the smaller scale, an effective marketing campaign to 2,000 people is virtually impossible. I highly recommend you market to them all generically, while the Platinum Club receives more personalized attention. Whittle the group down and trim the fat. Designate the members of your database that create closed loans time and time again. Find your 20 percent and establish your own Platinum Club! Casey Cunningham is president of XINNIX, a provider of mortgage sales and leadership development programs. She may be reached by phone at (678) 325-3501 or e-mail [email protected]
Published
Mar 26, 2012
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