This almost seems a silly topic, but I think it is often overlooked and regularly kills deals. Your customers come to you or buy from you because of your knowledge. After all if they could do it themselves they probably would. The question is-are you staying competent enough to do them a service?
Most of you have been in the business for a long time. You know that mortgages and debt solutions as a big concept don’t change all that much. However, this market has created an avalanche of new products, qualifications, and ways to “skin the cat” so to speak. That means if you want to maximize your business and your service to customers you need to bone-up on your product knowledge.
How do you do this?
1. Regulators – I always suggest starting here because these are the guys that can instantly shut down or change your business. You need to be constantly monitoring government legislation, as well as key regulators (depending on your business), like the FTC, FDIC, OTS, OCC, and others.
2. Lenders and Creditors – Again, depending on whether you are in the mortgage or debt business you should consider what your lenders or creditors that you work with or against are doing and how this affects your products. For mortgage, this is pretty straightforward as you get new rate sheets. However, in the debt business you are constantly negotiating with creditors-knowing their goals and objectives are great for your business.
3. Industry Groups and Associations – I have been blogging a lot more about these lately. They can add significant value to you business. Good ones are doing most of this monitoring for your-watching out for you best interests, battling for positive change, and blocking bad. Getting involved can put you closer to having direct impact.
4. Social Networks – Much like industry groups and associations these are networks of like-minded individuals. Add to that the growing power of social media for industry impact. It also gives you a great chance to learn more about your products, industry, and opportunities. LinkedIn groups are where I have been spending a lot of my time learning and participating.
5. Competitors – Don’t discount competitors as a resource for enhancing your own product knowledge. Learning what your competitors are doing and offering can spark ideas and make you more competitive for your own customers.
6. Customers – It is amazing what your customers can tell you about your own products and services. Listening is a great way to learn what your customers want. As you explain your offerings their responses and questions can improve your knowledge and presentation.
Staying competitive in the mortgage and debt business is all about tweaking your sales presentation. So, becoming more knowledgeable about your products, services, and the market that drives them will make your pitch better and higher converting.