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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   April 2004

The Do Call List?

Are You Offering Something of Value?

We all know by now about the nationwide Do Not Call List. Does this make any sense? Shouldn’t there really be a “do call” list? How many people would say they’ve signed up – opted in – for the nationwide “do call list”? Not many! How many are signed up for your “do call” list?

What we have been saying to consumers is: “We are going to keep bothering you with calls until you tell us to stop.” They are telling us to stop in droves: Some 57% of American adults say they’ve signed up for the Do Not Call List.

What you really want is for consumers to say, “This is when I want you to call.” Seth Godin, author of Permission Marketing, says that your first goal is to get people to opt in to your “do call” list. Then you can deliver more.

I think the rapid expansion of the Do Not Call List – you had best take it seriously because the fines are $11,000 per incident – says something strong about consumer attitudes. This attitude is adopted in every phase of life, including business.

Think about how it applies in the typical marketing relationship between loan originator and realty agent or consumer. Have Realtors opted in to your marketing? When you are prospecting for business from Realtors, are you giving them something they want? Do you know what they want? Have they agreed to take it?

Are your rate sheets and nifty product marketing flyers little more than paper spam or the equivalent of a telemarketing call during dinner? The Realtor may not be able to hit delete or hang up, but what happens to your stuff when you leave the office? I know, the Realtor quickly pulls out their big three-ring binder of “important stuff” and files and indexes it for later access. Right! Most likely, it’s filed in the round file. Next time you’re out and about, look down and check for the stuff brought by the LO who was in before you.

Most originators instinctively know this, and their knowing underlies weak and ineffective prospecting for new business from lead sources like Realtors. They don’t have purpose and, therefore, don’t achieve productivity.

How do you get Realtors to raise their hands and say, “Yes, I really do want and need your information. It’s valuable to me.”

Of course, the first step is to discover what is valuable. This very likely will differ from one Realtor to the next. One definition of “value” in marketing is that it enhances their quality of life. Maybe that’s monetary with some. Value can be creating more leads, converting more prospects, or showing homebuyers how to comfortably afford a more expensive home. Value can also be about lifestyle. Do your systems ease stress and improve the quality of their customers’ experiences?

If you want to define purpose and bring productivity into your prospecting, it’s time to be brutally honest:

  • What unique value do you deliver?
  • How pertinent is it to the values of homebuyers and Realtors?
  • What are their values? Have you asked?

Most of the marketing done by originators revolves around features and very rarely around the value and the benefits delivered to either the homebuyer or Realtor. 


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