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Industry Commentary

What Next?

The Realtor sales meeting


April 3, 2003

You did it! You have successfully badgered the broker in a real estate office for seven consecutive months and he/she finally acquiesced and is going to let you address the sales meeting-despite the fact that the real estate company is affiliated with a mortgage company and the corporate office would not be too happy that the brokers are letting "outsiders" in to speak.

The big day arrives. Your standard script is set (you've been giving the same talk for three years). And here it goes:

Hi. Thank you for letting me be here.
Many of you already know me, but for those who don't:
I am a great ______ _______;
I work for a great _______ _______;
We have great _______ _________:
This is what I think that _______ ______ will do in the future;
I have given out ________ _______;
I brought __________. Help yourself!

This is a contest to see who can fill in the blanks correctly. I am betting that 98% of the loan officers reading this column can fill in the blanks correctly because they have regurgitated these lines before.

No wonder the broker had to be talked into letting you into the sales meeting. When they said that they had a loan officer last month, they are really expecting that you will say the same thing. It is unfortunate because giving a sales meeting is a perfect synergy marketing opportunity.

One rule of maximum synergy marketing is that all targets and tools do not have the same level of effectiveness. You do not have time to use all marketing tools-therefore you must select your weapons carefully. There is no tool more effective than conducting a sales meeting comprised of your top targets. How long would it take to sell twenty Realtors one-on-one? Three weeks of voice mail tag, one or two lunches, more tag in between and perhaps one loan after three to six months of effort.

On the other hand, speak to a sales meeting of Realtors and do a great job and five to ten of them will be calling you tomorrow because they now know how much value you can bring to their lives. Is there any tool more effective than that? Of course, to do this you must observe another synergy marketing rule-if you are not delivering value to your targets, why bother?

Do you think that Realtors are interested in your mortgage products or how good you think you are? How many loan officers get up in front of a sales meeting and say: Please give me a loan, I am a mediocre originator! You can easily dispense with proving your worth more effectively by arranging a third party testimonial right at the sales meeting. You must then attack the value angle. Realtors do not sell mortgage products for a living-they sell homes.

Ask yourself-how are you going to help them sell more homes with less stress through your talk? Give your talk a title and develop attractive handouts. The title should be one which will grab their attention.

Boring: Using FHA ARMs

Better: Selling More Homes With FHA ARMs

Best: How To Sell More Homes To Those Who Are Short on Income and Cash

Deliver the talk with energy. If you do not have a passion for your topic, how are you going to instill anyone to take action? If you need practice with you public speaking skills (sales managers, this is an excellent topic for your own sales meetings) obtain outside help. Organizations such as Toastmasters can help you develop your public speaking skills.

And do not be satisfied with merely delivering a great show. How are you going to get leads from the meeting? Just standing in front and saying -- Does anyone have a loan for me -- is not an effective way to ask for the business. Ask if anyone is working with a client right now who does not have enough income so that you can demonstrate how this program works. If you highlight the goal of gaining a lead from the meeting you are much more likely to design a talk which will convert this objective.

And don't forget other synergy rules such as: If you are marketing by yourself you are wasting synergy. Perhaps you can bring an assistant to help introduce you and distribute your handouts. Perhaps this same assistant might be someone who can give a third party testimonial. Make sure that your synergy marketing partner has relationships within the office of which you can take advantage and that your partner will benefit by being at the meeting as well. Perhaps your synergy marketing partner will be a financial planner. You are going to be giving the sales meeting anyway-why not achieve a second or third objective?

Maximum synergy marketing-a long way from getting up in front of real estate agents and regurgitating doughnuts and interest rates. Oops, did I give away a few of the answers?

Dave Hershman is the leading author and a top speaker for the mortgage industry with seven books-including two best sellers for the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. Dave also heads www.OriginationPro.com Mortgage School.

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