1) The Expensive Rant.
Here’s the first social media mistake: the expensive rant. I know, it is challenging to keep your mouth shut. We are paid to talk, to connect, to network, and to have an opinion. Political posts are killing more than one career right now. You have an opinion, you have a glass of wine, and you know the exact counterpoint to change the mind of your fellow high school alum. Well take a pause and breathe. If you need to take a stand, do it carefully, do it deliberately and do it in alignment with your target demographic.
I am in my fourth year of working with relationship based mortgage pros on online leads and wrapping up my tenth year leading consumer direct mortgage teams. It is with a tinge of embarrassment that I admit it took me a long time to really understand how hard it is for the traditional MLO to integrate the buying cycle into their workflow.
Automation done right frees you up to spend time on the things that matter. Most of us real estate and mortgage folks are obsessed with the idea of automation. We are told automation is a magical gateway to more time, more money and greater recruiting prowess. Consider the last five sales pitches you have seen about automation. There is a good chance it was similar to “We can automate that thing you don’t like doing!” Are you on FB? Every add is “guaranteed to convert” and is basically a promise to generate more money without work. Seems like a good idea, right?
I was squarely on ”team automation” for a long time. The CTO of the F250 company I worked for looked me right in the eyes at an especially intense meeting and said, “I don’t do automagic, you shouldn’t make technology do what humans are getting paid to do.” He was right. I was wrong, (although I didn’t admit it at the time and I continued to make John’s life hell… sorry John).
The keystone holds the arch up. Without it, the entire structure is compromised. With it, you can build the production team of your dreams. Running a successful business is an art and science: the science is discovering the right thing, and the art is making a habit of doing it every day.
Charles Duhigg said that “there’s nothing you can’t do if you get the habits right.” Establishing one habit creates a trickle down effect. It creates systematic improvement in your entire business. What if I told you there’s one habit that when turned into a business discipline will double your business in the next 12 months? The No Lead Left Behind habit can do exactly that.
The times are changing for mortgage and real estate pros. In one camp, there is an increasingly loud group proposing the future is in digital consumer direct and major disruption is eminent. The purists argue this is a relationship-based business fraught with regulation that will always be dependent on a referral and a handshake.
Telling you the sky is falling is a great way to sell books, but the reality is that mortgage and real estate will not be disrupted in the traditional sense. Those who don’t adapt will slowly be forced into new careers. My operations leader once told me, “We aren’t making any major mistakes, but if we don’t create a technology solution to track what is going on, we will die a death of a thousand paper cuts.” Every missed digital opportunity is another paper cut.
Every day, there is a 1 million dollar prize waiting for you. If you had to summarize your UVP into the perfect elevator pitch and deliver it in front of a panel of judges and the prize was 1 million dollars, you would spend the next month practicing. What is the lifetime value of a top referral partner? The leads, the referrals from those leads, the repeat business from the entire lot. Every day, the 1 million dollar prize waits to be unlocked by that one sentence.
Knowing that, we still struggle to spit out a compelling reason for someone to choose us. If you have followed along, you realize this must be done, you have assessed your clients needs, your platform, your uniqueness and now we pull it together. Below I have outlined a couple of real life before and after elevator pitch examples.
Building your UVP is hard work. You have acknowledged your pitch needs work, found out what your customer needs and assessed your platform, it is time to explore your personal uniqueness. Caring more than the next person, providing good service, having been trapped doing the same thing for 20 years, and offering open house flyers don’t count. There is a paradigm that we need to break from that has us spouting our resume as if anyone cares.
The true pro understands, at a behavioral level, what separates them from their competitor and leverages it to add value. When you tell someone that you provide great service or spout off a product feature, you are noise. You are the static we are all working desperately to avoid in our lives. How do you avoid being reduced to static? Examine the behavioral and tactical traits that add value.
Your UVP and the resultant elevator pitch needs to be amazing. More importantly, it needs to be accurate. When your mouth writes checks your company is unwilling, or unable to cash, that is a problem. This problem extends beyond you to your client and all those that put their trust in you. In order to do what you say, you need to have a level of influence that creates certainty.
I attempted to hire a big time recruiter to help me fill a key role. The team is top notch, and always fills their contracts. Naturally, they were my people. I went through the process, yep, they were expensive, nope, no guarantees. The conversation wraps and I am ready to sign. To my surprise, they declined to work with me. “You have a good business but you look like everyone else and don’t seem to have one major point of differentiation we can hang our hat on. The reason we get the job done is we take the right jobs.” Now, that was a wake up call. What about how cool I was, what about our great service, what about our 20+ years in the market?
So, the next step in your UVP construction is to review your platform. Do you understand what influence you have? Do you know the value they add to your business? Seth Kahan defines three ways platforms create value: Creating new business, extracting more business and facilitating better business.
I walked by the Apple store and my phone buzzed in my pocket.It was an alert, from Apple asking me if I needed any accessories for my new phone since I was close to the store. I looked at my phone, turned off my location services, looked up at the big white logo, walked in and bought a new charger. Yet another win for Apple.
Your message has to resonate in order to be heard. Telling people what you do is far different than evoking the proper emotion in the right moment that converts a prospect to a buyer. As salespeople, we are faced with walls of noise. The only way to really be heard is to align your voice with the needs of your people in the right moment. Anyone can meet basic needs, (good service), but you need to solve THE problem. What problem are you solving today? Is it THE problem?