Personal Branding for Lenders
By Ron & Alexandra Seigel, Partners--Napa Consultants, International
With the luxury real estate market slowing down, this is the best time ever to catch your competition off-guard, and secure the leadership position in your marketplace. Many of those at the top are more vulnerable in tougher market conditions because they are either complacent or they are not responding quickly enough to the new reality.
The best home loan consultants in the nation continue to grow their practices and thrive under any and all conditions because they know these three vital facts:
- All of their competitors basically have access to the same products and offer the same interest rates--it is a commodized world
- Having efficient operating systems and giving excellent service is not enough to distinguish themselves from their competitors—at their level, these are the minimum requirements that separate the good from the great
- Contrary to popular belief, the battle for market leadership does not occur on the battlefield where competitors reside--it occurs in the minds of prospective clients and referral sources
The Battle for Market Leadership Is Primarily the Battle for
Mind Share Not Market Share
In any given category of product or service, a potential customer or client can usually only remember two or three brands or names. That is because, in a time-pressed world, we just cannot afford the luxury of investigating more options and keeping them all fresh in our minds. We need shortcuts for making decisions.
For example, ask anyone if they can name more than two Internet search engines brand names. The majority will say Google and/or Yahoo then draw a mental blank. Google enjoys the #1 position in consumers’ minds with more market share than its closest competitors, Yahoo and MSN, combined.
In the category of colas, market leader Coke also outsells Pespi at a ratio of 2:1, even though the overwhelming majority of consumers prefer the taste of Pepsi based on the famous Pepsi Taste Test Challenge. The Coke brand (and what it means or represents to the consumer) won the battle of the mind that Pespi could not win on the battlefield even with a better tasting product.
The Power of Creating Your Own Personal Brand As a Lender
The same principles of mind share apply to lenders. Yet, the use of
branding to achieve and sustain market leadership is almost entirely overlooked by home loan consultants as an essential strategy.
A personal brand is a means to instantly let people know what you stand for, what is important to you, what value you have to offer in a business context, and also how you are distinct from your competition. It describes the total experience of having a relationship with you. Essentially, a personal brand is a shortcut to establish trust in a business relationship, the kind of trust that only happens when two people believe there is a direct connection between their value systems.
We all live in an over-advertised world where we are exposed to thousands of messages each day. A personal brand can break through the clutter and differentiate YOU in a crowded market. The easier you make it for people to grasp your core identity and the personal benefit they will derive from doing business with you, the faster you can establish new relationships and increase business.