The famous line from the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it, he will come,” is often quoted in the business world to imply that attracting customers is simply a matter of creating a great product or service and bringing it into the marketplace. However, smart sales professionals understand that having a worthy product will not automatically generate customers.
In our industry, having the best mortgage app, CRM or lowest pricing is not enough to guarantee sales success. So, if technological solutions aren’t enough to make a difference, what will? Connections. This is the main reason all industries have a sales function.
While some mortgage managers believe that originators can be replaced by chat boxes and AI, this is wishful thinking in my opinion. What these managers fail to realize is that selling, especially in the financial services arena, requires human interaction to transform prospects into borrowers.
Mortgage loan products are complex and one wrong purchasing decision can result in long-term financial repercussions for our customers. This is not like purchasing an air fryer from Amazon. Mortgage originators who step into an advisory role and set prospects up on the right course are better positioned to be the first call when the consumer makes another housing purchase or wants to refinance.
While every originator is tasked with building a trusting relationship with prospects and customers, the best in our business have mastered the art of connecting with others who are different from them. This is key to earning repeat and referral business.
These talented sales professionals rely on more than just a sales script to forge long-term customer relationships. Top producers do the heavy lifting of planning and thinking about their business model and how they will differentiate themselves from other originators.
High-performing salespeople recognize that with over 300,000 originators in the mortgage business, borrowers have unlimited choices when selecting a producer with whom they want to do business. Becoming top of mind in the marketplace does not happen by chance.
Three Essential Questions for Originators
Originators who want to gain traction among their target audience should answer these three essential questions:
- How do you want to be known in the marketplace?
While this sounds like an easy question to answer, it really isn’t. In a crowded marketplace, originators must articulate their personal brand in a way that resonates with prospects and inspires customer loyalty. This requires competitive research and self-awareness.
- How are you different from other originators?
Pricing can grab attention but low pricing is fleeting because another lender will match it or go lower. This is why originators must look inward and identify their strengths compared to other producers in their marketplace. How sales professionals choose to differentiate themselves is endless but whatever attribute is chosen, originators must do it better than their competitors and must frequently communicate the difference in their marketplace.
- How often are you communicating your personal brand to your target audience?
Too often, originators view marketing communication as the lender’s responsibility but the truth is, no lender can customize and effectively communicate what makes an originator different in his or her territory. When originators rely on their lender’s marketing efforts, they are missing out on connecting with potential customers in an authentic, personalized way. It is impossible to connect with others if originators are not telling their own stories.
As the mortgage industry moves to a purchase money environment, the number one strategy for producers is to market their personal brand and attract prospects with whom they can connect and create referral-worthy relationships.