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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   October 2015

Go Personal for Powerful Marketing

Making individual connections opens the door to repeat business

In a world where you are bombarded with marketing from every angle imaginable, how do you stand out? It can be difficult to get noticed if you are not strategic and well trained in your marketing approach. r_2015-10_Cunningham_spot

One key is to remember this simple truth: People do business with people they know, like and trust. And making an emotional connection kicks off the process of getting people to know, like and trust you. It is the key to creating relationships and, in turn, those relationships are a key to sales.

So, how do you start? Begin with these four “knows.” You must know who you are marketing to, know everything about who you are marketing to, know your own value proposition and know you must be persistent.

Know your audience

To start, you must know your key targets — the referral sources who are the right players to help grow your business. This might seem like a no-brainer, but unfortunately many loan originators are not focused on the right referral sources. When they do go out and prospect, it is typically without a plan. They may get business, but it is not sustainable in the long run.

True success is measured when you get repeat business. This is why it is important to narrow down your referral targets to a top-25 list. To develop your list, look for sources who are already successful and able to consistently give you business. Look at their history of success, review their websites and social media accounts and learn as much as possible about them to validate that they are people with whom you would like to work.

Learn everything about them

Once you finalize your list, you must know as much as you can about each of these possible referral sources. Professionally, you want to know information such as how long they’ve been in business, their greatest strengths, their greatest weaknesses, their values and any awards they have received.

All of this information will help you confirm they are suitable targets and will help you understand how to get to know them better so you can market to them more effectively. You want to know as much as you can about their personal lives, such as how many kids or pets they have, their family members’ names and their interests. These personal aspects of their lives are what allow you to make an emotional connection.

Let’s say you have to cold call someone on your list. By knowing upfront what is important to them, you have a chance to stand out. Send something to them that touches on their interests, which will show that you took the time to learn about them.

For example, if you discover that someone loves cooking, take that opportunity to send a cookbook with a note introducing yourself and a promise to follow up with the person in a few days. When you do call a few days later, your future referral will likely be glad to answer and appreciative that you took the time to make that connection. This is an easy and inexpensive way to get your targets’ attention and, ultimately, their referrals.

If you cannot state ... why a referral source should do business with you, your targets won't be able to, either.

In addition, use social media to stay top of mind with those on your list. Every time you see it is someone’s birthday or they receive an award, drop a hand written note in the mail. It is an easy way to stay on their radar.

Own your value proposition

You now know who you are targeting, and you know personal and professional information about them. It is time for the big question: Do you know your own value proposition? Do you know why a referral source should work with you over other mortgage orginators?

If you cannot state, in simple terms, one to three reasons why a referral source should do business with you, your targets won’t be able to, either. Your elevator speech should be compelling and be stated with confidence.

Don’t give up

Lastly, and most importantly, you must be persistent. Even if, using the above example, you send a cookbook to one of your targets to develop a personal connection with the individual, you won’t earn that person’s business unless you keep making calls and remain persistent.

Research from Velocify found that 50 percent of leads are never called a second time. Not following up is a monumental failure because you are giving up any chance to make a contact. In the same study, it says making two calls instead of one actually increases the chances of making contact by 87 percent.

Not only is it critical to try to make contact twice, it is statistically proven that calling six times improves results to nearly the maximum possible contact rate. For some sales professionals, this can feel like too much. They do not want to annoy their targets. Every point of contact, however, is another opportunity to talk to a future referral source.

Take the story of a real estate agent who claims to have an 80 percent market share in his town. This agent says every time a listing expires, he calls and asks, “Are you ready for me to sell your house?” The answer is almost always “no,” so he calls again the next day and asks the same thing. Again, he receives a negative answer.

He calls every day until there is no longer any competition, because everyone else has given up and stopped calling. In the end, he always gets the business. As he puts it, “How can a referral source know that you will persist on getting their loans closed, if you do not persist in getting their business?”

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By using and perfecting these four “knows,” you can create long-lasting relationships with prospective business partners. Not only will they elevate your marketing results, but also your entire business. 


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