Do you want to be an expert or a salesperson?
With the age of the Internet upon us, it seems that every industry has gotten more price competitive than ever. In a few minutes a consumer can pour over hundreds of airline, life insurance, mortgage or house prices. It is no wonder that it is getting harder and harder for us to distinguish ourselves from our competition. But this heavy reliance upon electronics also gives us an opportunity. The more our competition relies upon cut-rate call centers to sell products, the less real expertise there seems to be in the world. How much expertise can be brought forward by these people who occupy low-paying jobs and whose performance may be rated by how many people they speak to in an hour?
Many traditional originators are now wondering whether they may be replaced by a computer and a phone. Some real estate agents have the same concern. But the fact is that a computer cannot develop a close enough relationship to discover a person’s real financial goals and therefore their needs. An inbound phone center will typically find out what a person wants. An expert can go further to determine whether what a person wants will help them achieve their long-term goals and, if not, offer alternatives. And, of course, it is tough to get the real feel of a house over a computer.
Many will have a choice in the coming years. Never before has there been such a dichotomy between sales and expertise. Are you going to be a low-cost provider? Or, are you going to offer a reasonable price but an above average amount of expertise. Especially with new compensation restrictions coming.
Of course, to offer this expertise you must become an expert. I really believe in this concept enough for it to become our company’s main objective. Through the Certified Mortgage Advisor Program, we have designed the only program available to help a loan officer become a true expert in the industry. Unfortunately, within the mortgage industry, most training offered is either basic or focused upon the areas of marketing and sales. Don’t even get me started with regard to what the Federal Government and States are requiring for licensing
Being an expert in marketing and sales does not help unless you are an expert within the other aspects of the industry. For example, the course focuses upon real estate finance, ethics, delivering quality service and legal issues. It is our experience that those who are not well trained do not sell well because they are not confident. Therefore, we integrate sales and marketing with other areas of expertise.
The first benefit of expertise is developing the confidence to sell. But there are other benefits. Experts recognize opportunities far beyond what a sales person may see. These may include the opportunity to fulfill additional needs for a client. They may also include recognizing additional marketing and sales opportunities presented by typical situations. For a sales person, marketing will normally be a completely independent function distinctly separate from servicing their clients. That is why marketing will typically be accomplished last after all other tasks are complete. Experts can combine marketing with their everyday activities, making them much more effective in the long run.
How does marketing from an expert’s perspective differ from a sales person? A sales person would typically focus upon their prices and therefore obtain responses from those who are interested in only a low price. An expert delivers value. They may write articles, teach seminars or courses and distribute substantive newsletters. We distinguish substantive newsletters from those that are made up of recipes and handy-homeowner hints. How can you establish a level of expertise when you are distributing recipes to your clients (some of whom may have a PHD in economics)?
Not sure what such an article would be? If you will email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I will email you a free consumer article. This is just one many, many economic concepts that an expert must grasp within the area of real estate finance. It is your choice—compete on rate, or try to deliver expert value to your customer.