Positioner or prospector?

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What is a positioner? A positioner is a mortgage professional who builds a brand and reputation such that prospects come to them. Prospectors, on the other hand, chase clients. You see, positioners command respect, while prospectors are seen as beggars. Positioners pick and choose their clients, while prospectors will take anyone with a pulse who can fog a mirror.
Positioners are seen as experts, while prospectors are seen as a replaceable commodity. As a result, positioners enjoy a lucrative income with more clients than they can handle, while prospectors are always hustling just to put food on the table.
When you position yourself as an expert, people start talking about you, and your name and reputation spread quickly. Once you build your brand as the “go-to” mortgage authority in your local market, you become the only logical choice for mortgage financing. At which point, your clients are willing to stand in line and even pay higher fees, just to have the privilege of working with you. That’s the power of expert positioning.
In contrast, prospectors myopically focus on getting that “next deal” to pay the bills. They lose sight of the distinction between income and equity, activity and productivity. Therefore, they stay stuck in hustle, going from transaction to transaction, like a hamster on a hamster wheel. Instead of investing their time to develop marketing assets that build wealth for the future, they spend their days prospecting for their next sale. They do crazy things like cold calling Internet leads and knocking on doors. And then they wonder why they feel burned out, overworked and underpaid. That’s the prospector’s way!
At the same time, they’re watching the positioners who seem to effortlessly attract all the clients they want, while enjoying lots of time off to play golf, hang out with family and go on vacation. So, what’s their secret? Their secret is that they position themselves as “mortgage experts” who are authorities at solving their target market’s unique problems as it relates to mortgage financing!
How is this accomplished? Admittedly, there are no easy buttons or quick fixes. If there were, everyone would be successful! However, there are several factors that contribute to manufacturing expert status. Just a few of which are credibility, third-party endorsement, publicity and education-based marketing. The remainder of this article series is dedicated to unpacking those key strategies, so you understand what they are and how to use them. In the meantime, remember this: The second secret of Superstar Mortgage Brokers is that they are positioners, not prospectors.
This is a slightly amended version of an article written by Doren Aldana, considered by many to be Canada’s leading Mortgage Marketing Coach. It has been shortened to make it suitable for web publishing.
  • Walid Hammami on 2015-08-11 8:53:05 AM

    So true, just missing one piece..
    It takes time to be recognized as an expert. A good reputation does not happen in 1 or 2 years and does not go very fast either. You have to be patient and strategic. You have to start somewhere so yes you have to start as a prospector (not a crazy prospector though)

  • Ron Butler on 2015-08-11 11:08:40 AM

    I find these kinds of articles laughable. It's always the same tired line: "embrace my system and you too can be a superstar"

    Well I know a bunch of the superstars in our business and there is no "system" going to turn a person into one of them. Just like no amount of singing lessons is going to turn you into Katy Perry.

    All mortgage brokers should strive to achieve expertise in their field for the good of the consumers we serve but RBC is a brand, Apple is a brand, mortgage brokers are not brands.

    Keep on prospecting: hard work always trumps a "system" someone sells you.

  • Layth Matthews on 2015-08-11 3:23:06 PM

    I like the mention of education based marketing as the entry point to positioning.

    I also like the distinction between prospecting and positioning because it feels more professional and sustainable.

    You have to experiment to find a system that works for you. The thing to understand is that any good system will still require you to work it! it's like pancake mix. The ones that require you to add milk and beat an egg are far superior to the ones where you just add water.

    Prospecting with a strong system to capture your leads and generate repeat business is the only way to go. I knew this at the beginning, but it took me 10 years to put my CRM in place. Guess I had to learn it again.

    I'm looking forward to this series of articles.

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