When I mention the nationwide sandwich chain Jimmy Johns, what words come to mind?
If you are like most people, your thoughts went immediately to the words fast or delivery – not sandwiches or subs. Why is that?
Jimmy Johns competes in a highly competitive industry with competing brands like Subway, which urges consumers to eat fresh, Quiznos who brags about their toasty subs, Jersey Mike’s with their fresh-sliced deli meats, as well as a plethora of other national and regional sandwich shops – each pushing their uniquely delicious sub sandwiches to the hungry public. So amidst all the “sandwich talk,” Jimmy Johns realized they couldn’t stand out from the competition if they sounded just like their competition, talking only about sandwiches. To stand out and get noticed, their marketing could not be focused on touting things like fresher, toastier, bigger, better, etc.
If Jimmy Johns was going to win, they had to change the conversation and focus on something the competition hadn’t even thought about, something not related to fresh, toasty or the quality of its meat. Again, they had to stop talking sandwiches. The result was 3 words that Jimmy Johns went on to build their entire business on: Freaky Fast Delivery.
Far too many companies rely far too much on what I call “lazy marketing” where they try to win the attention of consumers by talking about the same thing(s) their competition does – while trying to put their unique spin on the topic.
As an example, let’s say a new sandwich shop wanted to go head-to-head with the sandwich shops above, bragging that their subs actually featured the “freshest ingredients” or “made from scratch bread.” Unless one of the shops listed above went out of business, Subway will continue to own “fresh,” and Quiznos will own “toasty subs” far beyond the duration of the new sub company’s marketing plan.
Sure, this strategy may yield to some short term “wins,” but if you want to win the long term attention of the consumer, you must change the conversation to something you (and you alone) can own; something that can make you stand out from the competition and something that cannot be easily copied at risk of the competition looking like a cheap imitator.
So what’s your “Freaky Fast Delivery?”
What’s the thing that separates you from every other title company in your area?
One of the first things I do when I get to work with title companies is suggest they stop “talking title” and change the conversation to something their customers care more about; something the consumer would rather talk about.
At least from what I’ve seen in the industry, Real Estate Agents, consumers, and mortgage professionals do not want to hear more about Title. They also do not want to hear more about how your company closes files on time, accurately and with a smile. Because in their minds, if your company is open for business, it is assumed that you do these three things plus a multitude of other things. Those are not the things to brag about, nor are they the things that make Real Estate Agents interested in your company. If you really want to stand out and grow, you must change the conversation.
So I’ll ask again: What’s your “Freaky Fast Delivery?”
Here are a few examples of title companies that have changed the conversation and as a result, are seeing amazing results:
- I heard about one title company with a large $50,000 granite table in the conference room where they conduct their closings. Wanna guess what the Real Estate Agents talk to their clients about when they recommend that title company?
If you guessed the $50,000 granite table, you guessed right.
Now, before you freak out at that dollar amount, I’m not suggesting you go out and purchase a $50,000 granite table for your office; again, do not duplicate what other title companies are doing. I am however suggesting that you consider what makes your closing experience stand out from the competition and if you do have $50,000 burning a hole in your pocket, I think you could come up with a lot of ideas that are less expensive but could yield similar (or even better) results. So, read on.
- I know of another title company that gives consumers a free Panera lunch at the closing table (this is legal in the state they are located, and it is only for the consumers, not Real Estate Agent). What do you think Real Estate Agents in that area know about that title company?
As a result, a conversation between the referring Real Estate Agents and consumer might go something like this, “I recommend XYZ Title. They are great to work with and on closing day we will go there and you will get lunch from Panera. They really do a great job making sure you have the best experience … I can’t wait to get those keys in your hands!”
Notice what was not being talked about during that conversation? Title.
- I have another story of a title company that received 20 deals per month from a real estate broker simply because they said that their title company would proactively communicate during the closing process with text message and email updates throughout the closing process. That’s right, text messages and email updates! What were they not saying? Stuff about title.
What would 20 more deals each month mean for your business?
If that’s not impressive enough, that same title company had a meeting with a builder who was not currently using their services and after telling the builder the same thing, that title company walked away with 85 new deals for the year.
In each of these examples, notice how talking about title was not what led to the new business. It was always about things the customer really cared about. So if you want to change the conversation to something other than land title, where do you start? Here are 2 things you can do today (feel free to include your staff as well):
1- Take a break from the busyness of your business and get out a piece of paper or white board. At the top of that piece of paper or white board, write the words, “Things to stop talking about.” Then write down what you think your customers (Real Estate Agents, Consumers and Mortgage Professionals) always hear from your company and the competition. This will start your list of things not to talk about.
2- Brainstorm things that you could do (that none of your competition are doing), or write down things that you are currently doing that no one else is doing. This list will serve as the starting point to look for ways you can differentiate from the competition. Focus on things that are not simply adjectives around your closing process. Think of things that you do (or could do) differently than the competition.
Then you can make a list of your favorite one or two things from these exercises and execute on them for the next 90 days. Mention these things to potential and current clients as much as you can and make sure your team is fully aware that these are the things that your title company will be known for. At that point it is also important to keep track of what your current and potential customers say about your title company. Do they recognize these things, and did it lead to increased sales or more energetic customers coming to the closing table? What were the results?
If you are looking to stand out in 2020, it’s time to change the conversation. Stop playing by the same rules as the competition and find creative ways to own something unique in the customer’s mind. I have a good feeling that if you do this, you will win the attention of more customers, and most importantly, your business will grow.
Bill Svoboda is a passionate speaker on the topics of customer engagement, growth strategies, marketing, sales, entrepreneurism and how to bring a positive mindset into your business to see massive results. He is also the Co-Founder of CloseSimple, a software that helps title companies stand out during the closing process and communicate with automated Text Messages, Beautiful Email and the Pizza Tracker for Title™. For questions, comments or inquiries, contact Bill Svoboda via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via text/call at 612-805-4080.