Setting yourself and your company apart in any business can be challenging, but in a highly regulated industry like Financial Services it can be doubly so. Title companies, in particular, are subject to a number of state and federal laws — most notably the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act — that limit certain activities that might be used to win them business if they were working in another industry. So, what’s an executive in the title industry to do to win more business? Well, there’s a lot they can do, actually.
But first, let’s start with what won’t work. Attempting to differentiate on product doesn’t make sense in an industry where our offerings have become commodities. Attempting to differentiate on price is not effective in an industry where the states have some control over pricing and consumers have been trained to expect to pay a certain rate. Besides, when the lender passes through the expense, there isn’t much leverage one can use for bargaining.
Attempting to differentiate on service seems like the obvious choice, but when it is everyone’s choice it loses the power to be a differentiator. It’s also not always at the very top of a client’s wish list for title services, either. Tell a lender or real estate agent that your service is the best in the industry and watch how fast their eyes glaze over. So, what’s left?
Any professional salesperson will tell you that sales are the result of relationships. People do business with people they know as well as trust, and the better you know someone, assuming the relationship is positive, the more likely you’ll buy from them — and the more you’ll buy. Relationships are the result of a series of conversations.
The solution starts with engagement
The first part of any well-developed solution is to get your prospects to want to talk to you. Everything else we talk about in this series will bring us back to this concept of engagement.
You can’t have a conversation with someone until you get their attention. This suggests that engagement is the key to sales success and, in fact, this is true. Communication too often moves in one direction when most companies attempt to connect with their prospects. Engagement happens when communication comes back in the other direction, from the prospect to the marketer. The result is a conversation.
Think back to the relationships in your own life. In every case, we are friends with those people we have spent the most time conversing with. The connection that forms when we share information with each other can become very powerful and if you study relationships that last, you’ll find a continuous stream of information flowing back and forth between the parties. In relationships that don’t last, that’s typically the missing element.
Getting your prospects to engage
If you want to differentiate your business, you have to be the company that consistently gets prospects to engage with them, and there are a great many ways you can do this. Keep watching this blog and we’ll share many great ideas with you. In the meantime, think about the last time a savvy marketer got you to engage with them in a conversation. Chances are, they understood the value of building a relationship with you. Companies that can do this will always set themselves apart from their competition.