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6 Critical Steps Allow You To Expand Your Prospect Base By Narrowing Your Marketing Focus
If you market to everyone, “your client will be no one." This is an old saying that is as true today as it was whenit was first spoken. Mortgage professionals waste an immense amount of their marketing dollars on ineffective advertising that blasts their general message to the entire marketplace. This is commonly referred to as "spraying and praying" in the marketing world.
The Solution: Niche Marketing
Niche marketing on the other hand, allocates a smaller portion of your marketing budget on building a list of likely prospects and then investing the rest on converting those prospects into clients. The result is a more effective use of your precious marketing dollars and a much higher prospect to client conversion rate -- not to mention a significant increase in referrals.
By definition, niche marketing is narrowing your marketing efforts to a group(s) of prospects that have a high likelihood of being interested in purchasing your product or service.
Basically, there are three types of niches, (1) business occupations such as revenue property owners or general contractors and (2) "sub-cultures" such as people who love to play golf or people who love their Harley Davidson motorcycle and, finally, (3) credit scores such as A, B or C business.
Once you come to intimately know the niches you've selected to market to, your ability to convert prospects into clients becomes infinitely easier.
Your 6 Step Niche Marketing Program
Setting up your own mortgage niche marketing program is simple using the following six step process. Each step in the process is important to the ultimate success of your niche marketing program. There are no shortcuts to niche marketing success.
Step 1 - Choose a Niche
When choosing a profitable niche to market to make sure that it's one that you can easily contact by mail. A good choice would be a niche in which mailing lists are readily available. If at all possible, your niche should be one that communicates amongst itself through community groups or events. It helps if your niche suffers from problems that a mortgage professional can solve. Lastly, ensure that your niche has the money to purchase a home.
Perhaps the easiest method of choosing a niche is to review your client list and look for groups of people in the same occupation or subculture groups. The beauty of this method is that the niche you choose has already proven that they want a mortgage.
Potential niches that you might consider are self employed business owners, first-time home buyers or people with damaged credit. Each specific niche has a unique set of problems and aggravations that they have to deal with when trying to get a mortgage.
Step 2 - Develop your Brilliant Marketing Message
Once you've chosen your niche, your next step is to develop the marketing message that you will deliver to your prospects. To develop your message you'll need to know: What problems or issues they are facing? What results are they looking for? And what is it about your service or approach that is going to interest them and make them remember you?
Materials you should expect to develop are a lead generation special report or financing guide. The guide can be 5-10 pages in length and should, (1) identify your prospect's problem, (2) create a mental picture of the negative effects of the problem, and (3) talk about the benefits your financing solutions and how you will solve their problem. This financing guide can be in written form or better yet, a CD or video.
You'll also need to create two sales letters. One sales letter will be for promoting the free financing guide and the other for leading them to take the next step and complete their application. You should also create a "What People Are Saying…" testimonial book that contains endorsements from clients in your niche with accompanying pictures of them standing next to their newly purchased home.
Lastly, you'll need a brochure. But not a standard mortgage brochure -- one that is custom developed for your niche. So if you chose to market to renters and general contractors, you should develop two different brochures that include messages specifically targeted to the needs of your niches. The brochure doesn't have to be glossy and expensive. But it does need to talk directly to your niche and address their unique problems.
Step 3 - Obtain or Generate a List of Prospects
Your list of prospects is the most valuable element of your niche marketing program. First, look for existing lists of niche prospects. For example, if you're targeting business owners you might buy a membership list from your local Chamber of Commerce.
If you chose renters and couldn't find an existing list, consider doing a deal with a local financial planner to do mailings to each other's respective client lists.
To obtain a list of professions and subcultures to consider in your niche marketing program, send a blank email to nichelist @ http://mortgagemarketingcoach.com with the subject: ”Niche List”.
Step 4 - Contact your Niche
It's time to assemble your marketing message and send it to your niche market. This will be done in two steps. First, send your sales letter offering your free report or guide. Ask your prospects to respond by calling you to order their free financing guide. The next step is to send the guide to those who responded to your mail out and combine it with a note stating the benefits of taking the next step with an application.
WARNING: The next step is a common area where many mortgage professionals either cheat or skip altogether by just sending a one-step offer to the list. People are tired of one-step, "in your face" marketing. They want to be courted first. By sending good, non-sales type valuable information you'll be establishing a warm relationship, which will prepare your prospect for your offer.
Step 5 - Follow up
Following up with your prospects is key! 98% of all mortgage professionals rarely follow up after their first mailing yet studies have shown that a prospect needs to see you and your offer at least three times to make a decision.
To dramatically increase response to your direct mailings you should consider following up by phone, introduce yourself, ask if they received your guide, and ask if they had any further questions.
Step 6 - Develop a Niche Referral Program
Now that you've taken the effort to establish your niche marketing program you should leverage your efforts by implementing a systematic referral program. Remember when I mentioned that it was important to choose a niche that communicates amongst itself? This is why! If you've created a happy client they will begin to talk to others in your niche.
For example, if you've targeted business owners in your city, they will start to talk about you in their monthly meetings and informal get-togethers. You can multiply this by rewarding your clients in some way when they tell their friends.
Be sure to make your referral program "systematic" so that it is an established process in your business that gets measured and for which people get rewarded for closed deals.
For instance, you might consider awarding a free dinner for two certificate or move tickets when your clients write a personal endorsement letter to two friends. You provide the endorsement letter template and they share their testimonial with two of their friends.
There is a misconception that if you narrow your target market that there will be fewer prospects to market to; however, you'll find the opposite to be true. Once you begin to tailor your message to the specific needs of your niche and you begin to receive word-of-mouth advertising within your niche, new clients will come out of the woodwork. In fact, your client base will actually expand.
To be competitive in today’s economy you need to consider new methods and marketing techniques to reach more high quality prospects. Niche marketing is a proven way to uncover new prospects, increase closing rates, and boost referrals.
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