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Mortgage Originator Marketing ? Differentiate or Die

One of the best ways to attract more clients is to quit marketing the same way your competitors do. Because when all mortgage originator marketing is essentially the same, it becomes nearly impossible to distinguish one loan officer from another. And studies show that consumers will make decisions one of two ways.

First, if all competitors appear the same and there are too many to choose from, consumers won't make any decision. Instead they'll continue procrastinating. It's the same when you go to a restaurant with a hungry appetite. You're instantly paralyzed when you're handed a 10-page menu from the waiter. There are too many choices.

Secondly, if the consumer doesn't procrastinate and all competitors appear the same, they'll choose based on price (rate, fees, etc). This is the worst component to compete on because there's always some desperate loan officer who is willing to bid lower.

Promote Today's Special

Does your marketing promote these items; debt consolidation, refinance, purchase, home equity line, home improvement, VA, FHA, bad credit ok, apply online, free pre-qualification.

Consumers get confused with too many choices. Just like the example about the restaurant and having a menu too thick when you're craving a meal.

A good waiter uses "Today's Special" to his or her advantage. If the waiter has scripted his or her presentation, they deliver a wonderful picture of a single entrée that helps cut through the decision-making.

If you want your marketing to stand out, communicate a single idea. Let your competition beat each other up while promoting everything they have to offer under the sun.

If you're not sure, you can test the validity of my suggestion by opening any publication and comparing advertisements. Scan the publication for advertisements and mark the ones that grab your attention. Chances are you'll select ads that display images, have fewer words than compared with others and that deliver a single message.

Consumers read advertisements that speak clarity. Your eyes will be attracted to simple messages that aren't cluttered by unnecessary words or stress too many points. You're more motivated to read ads that are quick, too the point and convey a single idea (preferably with images).

Don't Offer the Whole Elephant

You eat an elephant - one bite at a time. This means your marketing should offer smaller, bite-size decisions. Don't ask your client to do too much, especially if they don't know you very well. Here are some examples that ask too much:

- Blah, blah, blah?.call for a free pre-qualification
- Blah, blah, blah?order online
- Blah, blah, blah?call today

Instead, offer something of value with no strings attached. For example, if you're marketing an Interest Only Program to first-time investors, create a simple report called, "3 Critical Investment Mistakes to Avoid," and give it away for free.

Of course the report is a brochure for your services, but it's a bite-size step in the decision-making process for the client.

Use Side-By-Side Comparisons

Before I got married, my pastor shared with me his greatest wisdom for a happy marriage and avoiding disagreements. He said, "Jeffrey, I will give you the secret to a happy and fulfilled marriage?" I waited with notepad in hand! He went on with, "Anytime you take your bride out to dinner, to avoid in-decision, always offer her three restaurants to choose from."

Offer different choices using side-by-side comparisons to avoid in-decision. This strategy is commonly used in the high tech industry. When you buy new software there is always a comparison on the back of the box. It has comparables against the older version, or against a competitor's product or a list of product features.

For example, if you're marketing Interest Only loans, demonstrate the loan using a side-by-side comparison. You can show three different examples of an interest only loan with specific outcomes. For instance, how will each scenario affect cash flow, deliver a 1, 3 and 5-year return on investment and affect future investments, etc.

By the way, my pastor's wisdom was right on. I've been married for more than 7 years without an argument about where to have a meal together.

Use Infomercial Selling

"Lose it with the gut-be-gone," screams the infomercial lead-in. Is it unbelievable - of course! But as you watch the story unfold, it shows dozens of people who have achieved the miraculous result. Before you know it, you're pulling out your credit card for a new thigh master.

Create your own infomercial with dignity. An infomercial tells the reason, "why" your solution is the premiere choice. Testimonials demonstrate that people are getting results, but didn't believe it was possible until they decided to take a chance.

You can build an infomercial using testimonials. You probably have many happy clients who would tell their story about how you helped solve one of their problems.

Jeff Nelson helps mortgage companies and individual loan officers increase loan originations by developing customized relationship-building strategies that secure quality relationships with real estate agents.

Click here to get a free copy of the Marketing Planning Guide, a 20-page workbook designed to help you outline a strategy to becoming an Agent Magnet.

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