One of the most important questions we can ask ourselves is “What is our value?” If you sell price, then you have just one message, “Here is my low price.” You can market and share your low price, and then compete with others who are in the same market. It is easy and quick. Price is the sole factor and that is what you sell.
For many others, the reality is you can’t compete on price. The reasons you can’t compete on price are many, but a few of them are:
- Someone will always work cheaper than you!
- Someone can always lie better than you!
- The markets change every minute of every day!
We have long had to understand that price is a lousy factor to base your entire business on. I am not saying it isn’t an important factor, and that you don’t have to be in the middle of your market, but the reality is, price is a losing battle. Building and maintaining long term relationships is that you must create exceptional value! If you are not creating exceptional value, you’re just another commodity.
So how do we create value? Look at the overall experience for both your clients and your referral partners. Here are a few questions you should be able to answer:
- How does working with you provide for a better experience?
- Do you have a clear process that is simple to understand?
- Do you provide a specific timeline of events?
- Do you communicate the way the customer or referral partner needs you to communicate with them?
- Do you set and exceed expectations?
These are really simple questions that are not so easily answered the same way for everyone. Some of us do many of these things well, but not many succeed in all areas. It may just have been a matter of not knowing that these were the questions. It may just be that we do these things occasionally or most of the time; just not all the time or consistently. The good news is that awareness is the first step in creating your process to cover all the areas and develop a consistent approach that delivers value to both your clients and referral partners.
Look at these questions and look at your current systems and processes. Write it down! Get really clear on what you are trying to do and what your message needs to be. Focus on the points you know are the frequent cause of stress or delay and be sure your process removes those issues or detects them early enough for you to correct and adjust.
Clients and referral partners are looking for professionals. Your ability to take a contact smoothly through the loan process and according to a predetermined timeline is a huge value. Being the professional who is trusted by those in your community is critical. If you can’t be relied upon to provide accurate and specific information or stick to a timeline, your price means nothing! As I have always said, “The rate isn’t great if the closing is late!”
Value can mean different things to different people. We have to provide great value to our clients and referral partners by being specific and clear. We have to set proper expectations and deliver above them.
- We need to offer our clients all of their options so they can make an informed choice!
- We need to set a timeline and make sure we deliver on, or ahead of schedule!
- We need to communicate the way our clients and referral partners prefer!
- We need to make a very complicated process simple for our clients and referral partners!
You can sell price, but people who share value often have better outcomes!