The Importance of Branding as a Loan Officer
A well-planned branding scheme contributes to reach new markets, build brand awareness, increase the customer lifetime value, improve the clients’ perception and retain current customers. Branding is not only important for loan officers starting in business, but for professionals in the field looking to grow and expand their endeavors.
Building brand awareness allows freshly started loan officers to get to know the community, engage with them on a more “personal level” and put their name out there. This enables them to truly get to know the financial needs of their potential clients and provide with a fair solution for the lender and the customer.
Increasing the customer lifetime value may sound like a negligible metric for loan officers, as customers usually make a one-time acquisition followed by a relatively long period of sales stillness. Yet, customer value increases when the cost of turning leads into buyers scales down. Then, increasing lifetime values assist loan officers on redistributing resources invested in marketing material.
However, loan officers shouldn’t be aiming to boost these metrics all at once but focusing on aligning their branding scheme with business goals and other marketing strategies. For that, they should work out which inbound and outbound strategies blend to speed-up the process of reaching and retaining customers.
Balance Inbound and Outbound strategies
In inbound strategies acquiring a loan is not the focal point nor the immediate goal. These tactics aims to give information related to the product that can be useful for the potential client/customer to start establishing a relationship with them. The bottom line is to offer something without any cost (like a bit of financial advice) to build trust.
On the other hand, outbound strategies spin around current clients and referral getting new loans. Loan officers make cold calls and emails, reach out through flyers, ads and newspaper. In this case, the professional is the one who contacts clients whether they were looking for a loan or not.
It is important to differentiate both marketing strategies to relocate resources in a sensible manner: balancing branding through inbound and outbound material.
For branding purposes, it is a good idea to engage with both simultaneously, if there a budget to do so. For example, reaching out through newspaper or magazines inviting to seminars or conferences to discuss personal finances for home or business owners. The reach-out process is a outbound strategy, but the seminar per se, as loan officers won’t discuss the process to acquire a loan, it is considered a inbound strategy.
In this case, loan officers will be boosting their awareness while gathering contact information to put together a list of leads.
Best Branding Tools for Loan Officers
There are plenty of tools and resources loan officers use to brand their services. Traditionally, business cards, calendars, and magnets are on top of the list. It goes without mentioning each marketing material is not equally effective.
For example, calendars are great for business owners. In the design, loan officers can add important dates, like when usually “tax season” starts, important local events or small quotes with financial tips. Personalizing calendars and business cards with a catchy design and important information helps to stand out and ensures the message gets through.
Email and calls can be used in different ways. Change the cold calls to offer a product to a quick couple of minute follow-up to check if whether the client is satisfied with the solution given.
For sending cold emails, loan officers should work on a very creative headline. Depending on the answer of the referral or client - if they opened the email or click any link inside - the recipient must be reclassified in the mailing list in order to provide with better segmentation and information. Segmentation helps to deliver better customer service and as a consequence improve the perception of the client.
Promotional products leave a great impression on clients and referral sources. Going from keychains and pens to food products they all must have a distinguishable message related to the overall branding strategy. If there is a logo or a slogan, they should be included in the product. Giving away products builds an atmosphere of prosperity and successful business.