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Losing Business: How to Be Irreplaceable

In the mortgage industry, it used to be that customers collaborated more closely with loan officers from the very beginning of the process. Once the conversation started, LOs could feel confident that prospective borrowers wouldn’t likely leave for another lender. Now, with the open access to information available to consumers on the Internet, people looking for mortgages are shopping multiple lenders before making their purchasing decisions.

It can be helpful for us to ask a simple question. If we’re losing potential customers to the competition, we might begin asking, “What went wrong?” Why do consumers choose one lender over another? When you ask people directly, they will offer a myriad of reasons: the other lender had a better rate, the other lender was closer, and so on. But answers such as these don’t really get to the heart of why we’re losing business. Might there be a deeper reason why customers are dropping out of the pipeline?

Here’s a phrase I’ve always loved: people may never remember what you so or what you do, but they will always remember how you make them feel. I think that, more often than not, the reason organizations lose business is because they fail to establish that emotional connection with their customers. It’s easy to leave when there are no hurt feelings, but it’s a lot harder when there are real relationships involved. A competitor could offer the best rate in the market, but if you have a close enough bond with your customers, they’ll pick you every time. At the heart of it, losing business is not about rates or geography; it’s all about how you make people feel.