For example, remember the experiments of Pavlov and his dog? Pavlov trained his dogs to receive a treat each time a bell was rung. Eventually he removed the reward and simply rang the bell. The dog responded by salivating every time the bell was rung, expecting a treat.
Pavlov created an expectation for the reward and his dog quickly learned the drill. We are not all that different from the dogs. People frequently have a perception about an experience, and our perception creates an expectation about our experiences.
Let us say you have read a newspaper rave review about a restaurant. When you walk into the lobby of the restaurant you are impressed by the elegance and luxury, you are sure you will get a great meal. Because you have built your expectations to believe that you will get a great meal, the food and service is remarkable.
There are many examples of how our expectations shape our perceptions, but it is more important to consider how you can use perceptions of service to your benefit. Keep reading to learn how you can you shape expectations about your business.
Improve Your Materials
Take a look at your marketing materials. Do they give the impression or create an expectation of a trusted and highly skilled loan officer? Is there anything about the materials that make you look smart, competent, and experienced?
Your materials create the first impression with your prospects. They establish the expectation for your service. Do you need to improve your materials?
There are two important elements in your materials: brevity and image. Your window of opportunity is narrow. For instance, a loan officer marketing to Realtors only has an agents attention for a brief amount of time. This is not a good time to expound on your services. It is a just the facts moment. Images can sometimes covey powerful emotions. Consider using pictures to communicate part of your message.
A Website Shapes Expectations
Your website may be your most powerful loan officer marketing tool. Your prospects will often first look at your website to see if you look like a competent professional.
Does your website look like it was developed by a professional? Is it easy to navigate? Does it present information clearly? Does it appeal to both Realtors and consumers?
One way to evaluate your website is to compare it to other mortgage professionals. Your site should be an educational source. And it should distinguish you from the competition.
To get the attention of Realtors and establish an expectation of excellent service, your site has to address their needs. Just like with your other materials, the use of images can pack far more powerful punch than mere words.
Use Touchpoints For Emphasis
The expectation delivered with loan officer marketing materials is reinforced by those occasions of contact between you and the prospect. This contact is referred to as touchpoints, and can refer to human, product or system touchpoints.
For instance, when a client calls your office and the call is answered by your friendly and courteous receptionist, this is a human touchpoint.
When you send Realtors an invitation to meet and discuss opportunities, you set an expectation with the quality of your letter and materials. This touchpoint is a product touchpoint.
When a Realtor calls your office and receives your voicemail with a professional greeting, that is considered a system touchpoint.
Each touchpoint is an opportunity to establish an expectation for your service. Think about every possible contact as an encounter and make those encounters a clear expectation of your professionalism and competence. Your loan officer marketing will seem exceptional, and just what the prospect is looking for.
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