Why a Marketing Firm Should Never Quote Closing Percentages on Aged Loan Modification Leads

Everyone who is looking for marketing help is clearly looking for the “Magic Bullet” or the marketing strategy that is going to rain down new sales and help them snuff out the competition.  But the real question is even if it were possible to answer is it really
a fair question?  I know what you are thinking and I can hear you grumbling in the background, but let’s think about this for a minute.  Marketing companies lack control over very important elements that quite clearly effect the performance of aged loan modification leads that would make being held accountable to an conversion percentage a rather slippery slope.

I recently had a conversation with a guy who was pushing me for a closing percentage and he asked the question in a way where he was asking me if certain percentages were what we had seen with our aged loan modification leads.  I thought before answering the question and something inside of me said that I needed to tell him the way it was.  As marketers, we definitely want to see our customers succeed, increase sales, lower costs and reorder, but quite frankly there is a ton of stuff out of our control.  Let’s review the top reasons that a marketing firm should never quote closing percentages.

  1. Marketing Firms truly have no idea what kind of staff you have or whether or not the staff will truly work leads the way they are supposed to be worked.  As an experienced marketer I can’t tell you how frustrating it is with companies who allow their reps to call once not reaching the prospect and then telling management the leads suck!  This behavior is not conducive to sales and the problem is lazy sales managers do not dig in to investigate the claim and coach sales follow up that is likely to help create more contacts, more conversations, more pitches and more closed deals.
  2. Marketing Firms can’t force loan modification firms to monetize data with a strategy that includes reaching prospects with every contact method available to them.  With an aged loan modification internet lead phone, email and address will allow telemarketing, email blasts and direct mail strategies.  A rep that wants to outperform his or her peers would certainly apply all three if they wanted to succeed and produce beyond expectations.  I have yet to see one of our aged internet lead buyers take my advice on this and to all of them I say this cost you sales!
  3. Marketing Firms do not control a loan modification firm’s use of a Customer Relations Management Solution otherwise known as a CRM.  Without this, how could ownership or management possibly expect the leads to be worked in a way that will yield significant production and sales growth?  Many of the companies we serve either don’t use a CRM or don’t use the one they have effectively.  Look at studies from Leads 360, a nationally respected financial services CRM provider.  They indicate that companies throw away 95% of leads purchased and this destructive sales behavior and culture is not going to keep a firm healthy and
  4. Marketing Firms do not control the scripting.  For whatever reason, managers are not coaching reps and demanding proficiency with building rapport and making sales pitches.  As a former
    employee of a well-known publicly traded mortgage company, I have first- hand experience with a 13 page script and the differences in production between reps that are loyal to scripting and those that wing it.  The difference when scripting is used over when scripting is abandoned is staggering.  Young reps that adhered to proven scripting outperformed seasoned veterans whose pride would not allow them to buy in.
  5. Marketing Firms do not control the accuracy of the feedback given to them.  In competitive markets I have been asked by good customers not to disclose to others how well they are doing.  These companies understand the law of diminishing returns so they do not want other
    companies to do what they are doing due to the fact that any lead source or industry that becomes saturated will certainly start to send good results backwards.  Many of our customers give us feedback geared to keep us from getting excited about a lead and reducing the
    possibility that we tell their competitors.


So you can see that it is not a good policy for marketing companies to tell aged loan modification lead buyers what the percentages are and for legitimate reasons as noted above.  While as marketers we study leads, results and feedback, we are not Nostradamus and
we can’t predict the future.  Even when our customers give us feedback we only have one indicator that it is working out that bears noting and that is consistent reordering.  Beyond that, expecting us to give you a number or percentage that is relevant to how you will do is simply unfair.  We know that some companies will do this and we expect that there is a high probability that you will be disappointed.  The risk they take is on them.  I personally do not want to get into disagreements about what was said and the end results because quite frankly I control none of the elements that will dictate success on aged loan modification leads and to be held to a standard or percentage when this is the case is not cool to say the least.  For
this reason, I will plead the 5th on performance and believe that, like it or not, this is the truest and fairest answer a marketing firm can give! 

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