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Industry Commentary

Creating, Executing Marketing Plan

Go after your world, not the whole world

June 6, 2007


photo of Dave Hershman

For years, mortgage loan officers attending my sales education classes arrive with 300 names in their database and leave knowing that the number should be 3,000.


Because after taking an inventory of their life -- including relationships, experiences, educational background, skills, hobbies and more -- they realize the value of their full social sphere.

Most loan officers get in the business or try to increase their production by attacking the whole world. They should attack their own world. It is the key to building a foundation rather than a business model that puts them on a treadmill. It is also a key in development of their unique selling proposition.

But identifying the contacts is only the first step.

Next, a database must be developed -- converting the information from paper and other sources to an electronic form.

After that, a marketing plan needs to be crafted around the database. Instead of marketing the world, they can be able to build upon their lives. A marketing plan begins with prioritization. Some targets are more important than others. Some will get a face-to-face meeting. Others they will just mail to -- for example a newsletter.

The marketing plan should include value.

It is not enough to send a letter or e-mail every month saying "give me a loan." The message needs to establish credibility. Not recipes or handy homeowner hints, but real value that establishes you as an expert. Prospects may love brownies, but they don't want cooking or handyman expertise from their loan officer.

Also, originators should not be sending the same piece to everyone on their lists. It must be more targeted and relevant.

For example, they may want a sales article for real estate agents and other business-to-business targets such as financial planners. In this way they are helping them build their business. In addition, if they can provide pieces that recipients can send to their own constituency, they are basically leveraging their efforts. An example might be consumer articles that are relevant to their interest. There is nothing more effective than achieving maximum leverage.

Consumers and business-to-business clients will not respond unless the information is relevant for them. They will not pick up the phone or e-mail unless they see a substantial benefit. The substance usually needs to contain more than one piece in order to generate response.

And even though the loan officer wants to show he or she is an expert, they need the average person to understand what they are telling them. In order to get prospects to take action, they can't be befuddled. It can't be esoteric secondary terms or charts.

Most importantly, the newsletter should make the phone ring. With material they understand, there should be response mechanisms attached to a newsletter service. Just because one is not doing a sales job does not mean the phone can't ring.

In order to achieve these lofty goals, not only substance is needed, but also the technology necessary to carry out these goals. The newsletter system must have print and e-mail formats. Even the print formats must vary from a one page article to a 4-page newsletter. And a robust Customer Relationship Manager System is essential in directing efforts. This can be done "in-house" or subcontracted out. Either way -- the results will be worth it.

Today's newsletters must be flexible from a technology and substantive viewpoint. That means they should be distributed in different ways, such as face-to-face, by postal mail and by e-mail. Delivery in person establishes the recipient as being among the most important contacts. But for the masses, e-mail can be more efficient -- though it is important to comply with the "Can-Spam" Act, which, among other things, requires for clear instructions for removal from e-mail lists.


Effective Newsletters Generate Leads
While sending a newsletter can be an effective marketing tool in generating mortgage leads, the content of your newsletter depends on who you send it to and how you send it.

Dave Hershman is a mortgage industry author and speaker -- with 8 books and hundreds of articles to his credit. He also heads OriginationPro.com Mortgage School.
e-mail: [email protected].

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