Be the one-in-a-million (or 663,000,000) to your members

After weeks of error messages and crashes, I decided to buy a new laptop before my current one finally succumbs to the blue screen of death. For a technophobe like me, buying a new laptop is my worst nightmare. Go to Amazon.com and search for “laptop.” 6,720,212 results. Gulp. Maybe I’ll just go off the electronic grid for a bit.

So think about how daunting/paralyzing/maddening homeownership—the largest purchase most Americans will make—can be. With first-timers representing 39% of home purchasers, a large segment of your members are new to the process. Ninety-eight percent of those first-timers will get a mortgage. Just for fun, Google “mortgage.” Yep, that’s right—663,000,000 results. Yikes.

With so many choices available, why should anyone do business with you or your credit union? It’s not enough to say you have great service or the best rates. You know your competitors are saying the same thing. Well, you should know what your competitors are doing and saying. But we’ll save that for another day. Here’s how you can be that one-in-a-million:

Differentiate yourself 

At the 2012 NAFCU Annual Conference, Steve Richman of Genworth Financial explained five key points you need to know to succeed in the real estate and mortgage business. These points can be applied to any industry actually and should be the basis for your marketing efforts.

What you need to know

  1. Yourself: What are your strengths and challenges?
  2. Environment: What are the industry trends?
  3. Government: What’s the lingo? Regulations?
  4. Company: What are your company’s strengths and challenges?
  5. Customer: What are the consumer trends?

Two of Steve’s suggestions for building trust with potential customers were particularly interesting and easy to implement. These tips are geared towards the real estate and mortgage business, but you get the idea. (1) Print your NMLS license number on your business card. This provides a third party objective source. (2) Connect with your satisfied customers on LinkedIn and ask them to write a recommendation. Testimonials are highly effective marketing tools (think of feedback sites like Angie’s List, Yelp, or Trip Advisor).

You can listen to Steve’s presentation and download his slides.

And yes, after eliminating 6,720,211 (almost one by one), I took the plunge and bought a new laptop. Now if only I could figure out how to turn it on!

Post written by Liz Santos, Director of Marketing, NAFCU Services Corp.

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