Many originators and managers will readily admit that the current market is competitive but when asked specifics, the majority —especially at the originator level — cannot explain the marketing position of the competition and its local originators. When managers fail to instill a discipline of knowing your competition inside and out, the inevitable result is mediocre originators who never get past their comfort zone.
Selling is a combat sport that requires a commitment to stay current on market conditions by every originator. Knowing the competition should be a daily effort that helps originators succeed by determining their marketing opportunity. It also provides invaluable market information to executives so they can fine-tune their company’s unique selling proposition. Executives need this feedback from their sales staff — it is more important than just buying marketing MSA data from services.
Here are three reasons why knowing the competition at the originator level is critical:
1. The originator can learn from the mistakes of a competitor and their sales rep for a territory.
2. If the local rep is great, the originator can model them.
3. And most importantly, it reveals opportunities in the marketplace.
Knowing your competitors and the local reps is a process that involves identifying, understanding and determining their weaknesses. Similar to a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis, a competitive analysis helps refine the originator’s unique selling proposition. Each company and sales person has one. If you don’t think so, just ask your customers. They quickly will tell you their view of the originator and how the sales person is positioned in relationship to the competition. The reality is that every account executive and loan officer is ranked by customers for knowledge and skill set. A competitive analysis is an essential component to creating long-term success in mortgage origination.
Company surveys are fine but often they don’t really improve the originator’s selling techniques because they are not specific enough and do not get translated to the sales person. It is great that JD Power performs customer satisfaction reviews but even at the top companies, there are originators who are not performing at an effective level. How can you improve underperformers when you only know a composite number?
In a recent originator training class, my students were surprised at the benefits of asking customers why they did business with them. Asking this questions on a regular basis can be a game changer for a sales person in terms of sales performance. How well do your originators know their competition?