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Too Many LOs Kill the Sale at Hello ... How? Bad Chicken With Broccoli

Mark Green
Jul 10, 2012

Quality or quantity ... what’s better? Of course, that depends on what we’re measuring, right? Bottled water: On a hot summer day, you head into the convenience mart. Seventeen different brands of bottled water stare at you. They all look like water … filtered, clean and refreshing. Which one are you most likely to choose? For me, it’s the biggest one at the lowest price possible. Why? Because I’m darn thirsty and they all taste like water. ►Chinese food: True story, and the inspiration for this article … I checked out a new Chinese restaurant the other day. My $5 chicken with broccoli must have weighed five pounds when they brought it out to me. I am not exaggerating when I say the table buckled when I put it down. It looked like any other chicken with broccoli. But after I took my very first bite, I wasn’t too excited to try the second. I’ll be kind and say it was “unsavory.” What happens to the 4.99 pounds of leftover chicken with broccoli? The same thing that happens to half-baked quantity over quality e-mail content I see throughout our industry. It goes into the trash. What if the Chinese restaurant had showed up on my doorstep, uninvited, rang my doorbell and shoved a fork-full of their chicken with broccoli in my face as soon as I opened the door? Well isn’t that what we’re seeing in our industry today? The easy refinances are drying up and loan originators (LOs) are trying to drive purchase business. So they’re sending unwelcome and unsavory chicken with broccoli to whoever might have a taste. Okay, point made … let’s get to the solution. ►Define your USP USP stands for “Unique Selling Proposition.” Most LOs think they have one: Great service. Have you ever heard an LO get in front of a top-producing real estate agents and confess below-average service? So, service is not a USP. Neither are “low rates” because someone can always come in a nickel cheaper (unless you enjoy working for free). Before you do anything else, identify something that is truly different and unique about your approach to your business. ►Get permission Chivalry is indeed dead. Well, that’s fantastic news for you my fellow Permission Marketer! Use that to your advantage. Instead of firing off an unsolicited e-mail to a prospective real estate agent, call them first. Here’s a “script” I would use (and I generally dislike scripts): “Hi Mary, this is Mark Green with Acme Mortgage. I was about to e-mail an industry update with some critical new FHA requirements, but I figured you’d appreciate it if I got your permission first. Would you mind if I send this brief update your way? If you prefer not receiving my e-mails at any point, please simply reply, and I’ll remove you immediately—no questions asked.” Of course, this should be a bit more conversational (which is why I shy away from scripts), but you get the idea … put good old-fashioned common courtesy to work for you and let your competition serve up the chicken with broccoli. ►Content is always king Whoever tells you “content doesn’t matter—just get in front of them” is 100 percent wrong. Content means everything. That permission phone call accomplishes nothing if your real estate agents doesn’t see tremendous value in what they read once your e-mail hits their inbox. Not just the first time, or second time, but every time. ►Quality trumps quantity in the world of e-mail marketing E-mail is relatively cheap and e-mail is relatively easy. Therefore, marketers LOVE e-mail. Because marketers love e-mail, we receive lots of e-mail. This creates clutter and clutter creates noise. Your objective is to break through the noise and earn top of mind awareness. There are no shortcuts to achieve this status with a budding relationship. If you’re not convinced yet, this might do the trick Make sure you’re monitoring open-rates, bounce-backs, opt-outs and spam-markings. If you’ve never analyzed your e-mail performance before, you’ll be shocked to learn how you’re being received out there! The bottom line Here’s the main idea I’d love you to take away from this article: If a real estate agent won’t give you permission to e-mail them, what makes you think they’re going to refer their buyers your way? Do yourself a big favor today. Define your USP. Polish it up so it shines and even YOU are impressed with yourself. Then, and only then, take the other steps and follow the path of quality and permission. Judge your success in 90-day increments and don’t look for instant gratification. Let everyone else serve up the chicken with broccoli. Mark Green is president of Top of Mind Networks, a one-stop shop for mortgage professionals to handle all of their customer relationship management needs. He may be reached by phone at (404) 943-9910, ext. 115 or e-mail [email protected]
Jul 10, 2012
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