The number one issue facing loan officers today is not having enough qualified prospects. Every loan officer would like to have more high-quality prospects, but most either don't have the time, or just do not have the expertise!
In any given industry, there are a myriad of potential lead sources that can be used to supply your business with highly-qualified sales leads. Some are very simple and inexpensive to set-up, others are more involved. Some will give you a trickle of leads, others will produce a flood.
In this article we’ll cover the best practices for lead generation that take the least amount of effort and no money. You can choose which ones that works best with your style of marketing.
Develop Your Mix
The first step toward a successful 2019 is determining how you're going to disseminate your marketing message. There are virtually limitless combinations of various channels at your disposal. Analyze which marketing methods will be most effective for you. If you're not quite sure yet, this article will walk you through many of your choices.
Your year-round marketing plan should be built from a combination of the following aspects of personal marketing: online marketing, social networking and email farming, direct mail, strategic networking, advertising and public relations.
Start with the Basics
No matter what combination you choose, make sure your plan calls for continual communication with your Past clients, Sphere of influence and All leads generated - via both direct mail and email farming. This critical group provides the core of your business and must be tended to before you target anyone else.
Web Sites and E-mail Farming
It never ceases to amaze me how many loan officers still do not have an adequate web presence in today's Internet age. You should be driving traffic to your site through both search engines and your marketing. But it's not enough to simply get people to your site, however. The key to success on the web is providing valuable content to your visitors. Don't only give them a reason to visit, but you also need to inspire them to return frequently. You want their experience on your site to make a positive impression and convey a sense of quality and trustworthiness.
That's why your annual marketing game plan needs to have scheduled time to work on adding new content to your web site. These activities need to be scheduled and executed with purpose. The beauty is that continually adding new content to your site will not only lure visitors back repeatedly, but it will also increase your search engine ranking. The more timely and relevant information your site can communicate, the more business your web site will generate.
Your site should also demonstrate the value you bring to your clients by offering free special reports and other "opt-in" opportunities. For purposes of your 2019 game plan, your focus should be on increasing your "opt-ins" and growing your email database. The larger you grow your email database, the more you can take advantage of this powerful and virtually free of charge method of generating more leads and increasing your bottom line.
Social Media Integration
Social media has grown up and transformed from "that thing the kids are doing" into an essential element in business. From a marketing perspective, there's great strength in generating a strong following on Twitter, building relationships on Facebook and LinkedIn and becoming a trusted resource for valuable information through your personal blog. Your plan should include time reserved specifically for working on improving and capitalizing on these - and any emerging - social networking opportunities.
This doesn't mean just "having" accounts on the various social media sites and posting without purpose, but truly using them to your advantage. Establish yourself as the authority on your local mortgage market by providing timely, market-related updates via the various social media outlets. To maximize your effectiveness, you need to map out how many posts you're going to make a week. You should aim for a balance of personal and professional content in your posts.
Target Best Buyers
If you look at a financial statement that shows income generated from all your clients, you'll find that the "80/20 Rule" is working within your business. That is, just 20 percent of your clients are giving you 80 percent of the business and profitability. These are your "Best Buyers" or "Dream Clients." What does this mean to you? It means you should target and concentrate on these "Best Buyers" first, because this will be the easiest way to grow your business and profitability. So take a few minutes now to create a profile of who your most "Dream Client" is.
Being Proactive With Your Leads is Your Key to Success
Most loan officers spend an enormous amount of time, effort, and capital to get a few people from a big audience to "raise their hand" (respond) and become a new lead. Yet, most won't invest the time or the attention to follow-up in a diligent, timely, and continuous manner. Every day that a lead goes unattended you are eroding the viability of that opportunity by a huge amount. They would not have responded and become a lead if they were not interested in the benefit your service offers. The key to success with handling leads is to have an aggressive and proactive system in place, even if it's a simple as picking up the phone and calling your lead. Each new lead responded to you because they were interested, so pounce on each opportunity.
Direct Mail to your Best Buyers
The fastest way to build your business is to target the best clients with a "laser-focused" approach with direct mail to your "best buyers." This strategy alone has helped many loan officers literally double their revenues in just 12 to 18 months (or less). This disarmingly simple strategy is one of the most effective and least expensive ways to market and grow your business... fast! Let me explain how. Every market has what we call: "Best buyers." Those are the clients who will buy the most of what it is you offer. In essence, they are your "dream clients." So identify and select a target group who will now hear from you at least once per month. Most of the people on your list will throw the letter away the first four or five times that they receive it, but remember that you are committed to building a great reputation in the market, AND gaining clients. It's a numbers game. The first thing you're going to do is to send them a letter introducing yourself in giving an offer they cannot refuse. Then, send something out to these people each and every month, even if it's only a letter or a flyer offering a free consultation. Over the next 12 months, these people are going to hear from you each and every month. And that's how they'll go from saying: "I've never heard of this company before", to... "Who's this company I keep hearing about", to... "Oh yeah, I've heard of (your company)", to... "Yes, we buy from them." Remember, This easy and inexpensive strategy alone can double your revenues in just 12 to 18 months (or less). So, do it NOW, and do it consistently every single month!
Referral marketing is one of the most effective techniques for creating steady streams of prospects and clients. Plus 70% of Internet users are compelled to visit new web sites through referrals.
Referral-generated clients are most cost efficient, profitable, and loyal source of new business leads you can generate. And, they tend to buy quicker, negotiate less, buy larger quantities, and refer more business to you.
I'm sure you get many referrals already, but the best way to get more referrals is with proactive referral systems that you add to your marketing and business procedures. You can easily set up these referral systems that are fool-proof strategies for increasing your profits. Here are a few tips...
Give your clients an incentive in return for referring others to you.
Use a "Give a Gift" referral system where you invite your clients to give a gift certificates for an example.
Identify and create relationships with non-competitive companies and people who already serve your target market. Then partner with them and have them automatically refer you to their database of clients. Give them an incentive if possible and watch your business grow!
The Public Relations Plan
An often forgotten but important part of your marketing mix is public relations. Having an article written about you or being quoted by the newspaper or local TV news show is powerful advertising that you can't put a price tag on - and it's free!
But the only way to get this exposure is to make yourself known to the local media, and that's why it's so important that you plan your public relations schedule ahead of time. Schedule sending between one and three press releases a month to editors and reporters in your area. Your schedule should include specific topics for each press release you plan to send. Otherwise, when the time comes to send out a release, suddenly you need to think of a topic and write the release, and chances are you won't do it because you're simply too busy for that kind of undertaking.
Putting Your Plan to Work
It's been said that a plan isn't a plan if it's not written down. Well, I couldn't agree more. You cannot underestimate the power of your game plan worksheet. It should be one of the most frequently used sheets of paper you will use in the next 12 months. Post it on the wall as a visual reminder of your progress!
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