You Can Change Your Results In Any Market… By Changing The Numbers – Part 2
In the last blog post we introduced this series with the goal of helping a sales person or entrepreneur set up a marketing plan that will change their results by changing the size and scope of value they deliver to their sphere. Now it is time to drill down for more details on how to do this.
In our analysis, we will use the example of pre-qualifying your prospects. Why? Again, because of our economic environment, so many do not qualify for the services of our readers. Whether you are selling homes, mortgages, insurance or even cars, qualification of the prospect is a major issue. If you pre-qualify more prospects, you have selected a value that is matched well to the economic times. This is why the VPS team of ISAs is taught extensively how to pre-qualify a lead before setting the appointment – wasted time = wasted money!
In addition, this is not a need that will disappear when the economy and real estate market recovers. The value must be a long-term proposition because we can’t afford to make wholesale changes in our marketing plan every time the market moves. We will show you how to increase your numbers using this value and the steps you must take to make it happen. Keep in mind that this analysis will work with any “long-term” value package, not just the pre-qualification component.
First, you must have the tools. To have the right tools, you must understand why many do not qualify. That may seem to be a very simple question, but if you don’t break these down to specific components, you are not likely to find the best solution. Here are the major reasons people don’t qualify for a purchase:
Their credit. We have moved into a “credit score” based society. This is not just about homes, it is also about car loans, insurance and even getting a job. So, helping your prospects with this issue helps them in many areas of their life. Their poor score increases their cost of living and of course, that serves to lower their score even more. It is a vicious circle. What causes a poor score? Late payments, too much credit as compared to available credit, too little credit, inaccuracies and a few other factors.
Their debts. Obviously, you can see these issues are linked. If someone has too many debts, they can’t make their payments on time. This lowers their score and then their payments go up. The vicious cycle gets worse. For many prospects, you can’t address credit without addressing debts. Add the fact that many are underwater regarding equity in their homes and the situation is exacerbated. We must help these home owners increase their equity and for many, that is not possible until they lower their debt loads.
Loan modifications, short sales, unsecured debt renegotiation and even bankruptcy are all solutions, but many of these solutions can make the client’s credit score worse and lengthen the road to being able to make future purchases.
Their spending. There is no doubt that many Americans have spent their way into their financial situation by purchasing houses, cars and other luxuries they could not afford. The good news is that the recession put a damper on much of this spending. The bad news is that most Americans do not have access to financial expertise to help them determine appropriate budgets and save for the long-run.
Their income. Two things have happened within this category. For one, lenders have tightened guidelines. This includes full documentation and tighter underwriting with regard to the income needed to qualify. Secondly, many Americans have become unemployed or under-employed during the recession. Either one of these issues puts a strain on all three of the previous categories. Helping someone with their income deficiencies is the hardest of all the issues to rectify.
There are many services that will help your prospects get back on their feet. From credit score improvement to financial counseling, we need to know what is available and how these services can help our clients. Note that I am not at all suggesting that sales people decide to provide these services themselves. The key is finding the right experts. Of course it would be helpful to find a service that provides more than one solution so that you are dealing with fewer points of contact. The long-term help you deliver for those in need will result in clients and referral sources for life.
In the next segment we will take an in-depth look at the second part of the marketing plan. Obviously, it is not helpful to have the tools if you have not found the specific targets to which we need to apply these tools.