I speak to many brokers across Australia each week and it is amazing the “perception” of what brokers believe marketing to be.
Typical comments include:
- “I don’t do any marketing … my business is purely word of mouth.”
- “I’ve tried advertising, it doesn’t work.”
- “I’ve never advertised … it doesn’t work!” (How do you work that out?)
- “I don’t need to market. My clients know to come to me…”
When I ask about their marketing budget many brokers say they don’t have one; they haven’t thought about it; or, they spend as little as possible.
Firstly, marketing IS NOT advertising. Advertising is when you are selling or offering your services in an open forum with the intention of customers contacting you to purchase your products or services. Customers usually need to be “in the market” and ready to purchase now. Regular advertising becomes part of your branding strategy and market exposure.
Marketing is a two way, open communication system that educates your customers so they understand why they need your services – services they may not have previously considered, or have been delayed because of a lack of a need, knowledge or ‘trigger event’ to encourage them to take action now. This educational process, through trigger point marketing, can often bring forward new business that otherwise may have been delayed or not even considered.
Marketing is a process. It requires a planned approach. It needs a system, and it needs to be consistent.
You need to have a marketing budget. Most businesses have a marketing budget, however the mortgage broking industry seems to have largely fallen behind with little or no marketing budget at all.
The general rule of thumb for a marketing budget has been at least 10% of your turnover. Yet many brokers have no marketing budget and struggle to acknowledge the need for marketing to sustain the future of their business.
For some years now, brokers have been able to get by without having to ‘market’ themselves. Yet, with consolidation in the industry, competition with the banks and the possibility that online finance will soon be commonplace, the only way brokers will be able to stand out IS to market themselves. The alternative will be an inevitable drop off of customers and before you know it, you’ll wonder where all your ‘loyal customers’ have gone.
Marketing is much more than just sending out newsletters. Your newsletter should be just one component of the client retention and education process. Newsletters ensure your existing clients stay tuned to you and the industry, and give them reasons to come back to you while giving you an opportunity to educate your pipeline customers to ‘hang in there’ while waiting for their circumstances to change.
I see many brokers marketing to their settled clients only. While it is important to stay in touch with these clients why wouldn’t you stay in touch with those potential customers who you haven’t done business with yet? I don’t think they are being left out on purpose, I think many brokers have just not thought about marketing to their pipeline.
So what should you do?
- Have a marketing plan (or what we call a client communication plan).
- Have a combination of marketing activities that complement each other.
- Use a mix of different mediums (print, email, sms, websites, social media, workshops, referral partners and let’s not forget the good old phone and some face to face contact) to stay in touch and educate your clients and potential customers.
- Outsource your marketing to experts in your industry, this frees up your time to do what you are good at – writing loans.
- Don’t put your eggs in one basket. Have a range of marketing ‘systems’ so when one stops working for a little while, others are already in place while you re-evaluate.
- Educate yourself about marketing and client communication.
- Get better at referrals. You are already very good at referrals, but use a system to get them from every appointment, not just hoping that those business cards you leave behind will actually generate a call.
- Get yourself an expert mentor. As they say, “two heads are much better than one”.
- And above all else – “Just do something!” Step out of your comfort zone and just see what can be achieved with a plan and system in place.
Thanks for reading.
Your Client Matters
If you want to know more about a multi-level marketing plan, you can contact Deena at Your Client Matters on 1300 926 000, or visit www.yourclientmatters.com.au