Top of Mind Networks

Harris Orsini Benefit Golf Tournament

My nephew Harris was diagnosed with the liver disease Biliary Atresia at 7 weeks old. He has spent almost half of his first 20 months on this planet in a hospital and has been through more pain and sickness than most of us will in our lifetimes. But through it all he is such a trooper and always has a smile on his face. Treatment for this disease is expensive and ultimately will result in a liver transplant. The transplant and the medication to prevent rejection of the new organ (which he will have to take for the rest of his life) are also very costly.

In the spirit of our industry giving back, and since this is obviously a cause that is near and dear to my heart, Top of Mind is helping sponsor the 2nd Annual Harris Orsini Benefit Golf Tournament on Saturday October 1 to help his parents cover the costs of his treatments. Anyone in the greater Savannah, GA area is invited to participate. If you would like to play in, or help sponsor this event, all of the pertinent information is in the website below. Thank you for your support!

September 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment

Atlanta Cancer Care Benefit

Top of Mind Networks is proud to team with our good friend and client Jon Bodan to sponsor the Atlanta Metal Scene United Against Cancer benefit concert. The show is on Saturday, October 15 at 6:00pm at The Local @ Sidelines. All proceeds from the event will go to the Atlanta Cancer Care Foundation. Whether Rock or Metal are your scene or not, if you live in the Atlanta area please consider dropping by for what is sure to be a great time. Event and ticket information is below:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=273973025952006

September 16, 2011 by · 2 Comments

How to Blow Up Your Phones Today Using Surefire

Sorry, but I flailed for the first couple minutes of this webinar because I am a moron. Wasn’t showing my screen.

Please see a few notes from today’s training underneath the video.

Notes:

1) So far more than 50 of you have replicated this technique. Some of you have shared your successes with me. Thank you, and please keep them coming. One way to share your success stories is to comment on this blog article (below). Thank you!

2) After sending your email blast, you can get an idea as to who is viewing it… in real time. On the right hand nav bar, scroll down until you see “Email Blast Report”. When you drill down into that area of Surefire, you’ll see who opened and viewed the email. Please know – this is not going to be 100% accurate… I can explain why in another blog post sometime. My point here is that if you decide to “call behind” your email campaign, you might want to prioritize the readers who you know interacted with the email.

3) Caleb’s success – and yours – is directly tied to the trust level you’ve instilled with your database over your career. If you’re a novice database marketer, that’s okay, but there’s no better time to raise your game than TODAY. Get your database cleaned up. Let us help you get it uploaded into Surefire. Let’s get fired up and start implementing right now. Who’s in?????

Thanks again to Caleb LeGrand for letting me share his success.
Thanks to Toni Flory for being my guinea pig for today’s training.
Thanks to all of you – our clients – for making this possible.

August 11, 2011 by · 1 Comment

You think that you have it hard?

In life and in business we often come up against challenges and obstacles.  No matter what we do, no matter how well prepared we are, the monster will rear its ugly head at the worst possible moment!

For those of us in the mortgage business, that ugliness appeared around the end of 2006.  Since then, it has been a struggle to stay in business.  And for those of us that have survived thus far, five years later, it remains a struggle.

How can you survive when faced with challenging obstacles? How can you overcome the demons that want to possess your life and your heart and stop you dead in your tracks?

Often times we think that success is because of luck.  We think that if we are lucky enough, we will succeed through a challenge.  But luck has nothing to do with it.  It is even simpler than luck.  How you handle your life, your business, and your family is based on one simple thing…

Your Attitude!

Your attitude is your first line of defense for any situation.  And it is as simple as saying “self, what are you putting in your head?”

What you say and what you do (thoughts and actions) will have a greater affect on your outcome than how you do it.  Your brain is a very powerful weapon in your arsenal of defense.  It will process multiple situations at a time.  Often, you do not even realize all of the thoughts that you are putting into your brain to process.

If you have lots of negativity and doubt, your brain will process that.  And watch out!  Because you will speak, sound, and reflect of negativity.

If you are positive, upbeat, focused, and driven, your brain will respond positively to those and your reflections will be positive.

So look in the mirror.  How is your attitude?   Will you be defeated today or will you win?

A colleague of ours, a friend and teacher of many in our industry, is facing the hardest challenge of his life.  The meltdown in the industry was not able to take him down.  Personal family relationships could not defeat him.   And now he has to face another battle.  A battle most of us have never had to face.  Our friend, our colleague, Dustin Hughes, has been diagnosed with brain cancer – stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme.  This is an aggressive form of cancer with a low prognosis for survival.

You think that your attitude is bad? You think that you deserve a pity party?  Dustin is 35 and has three young children.

Dustin is entitled to have an attitude!  And let me tell you, he does!  His attitude is on fire!  His attitude is that he is going to kick his cancer in the ass and he is going to survive!  Dustin is already a winner!

If you do not know Dustin or if you have not read his story, send a friend request to him – you need to read it!  His attitude shines right through.  This is someone that is entitled to be down.  Yet, he has chosen to accept the challenge and defeat it!

Please join us in supporting Dustin, Tracy, and their children in this fight.  Click here to join the Hughes’ Troop.

If you can, please support Dustin financially by clicking here.  An online page has been set up to help Dustin and his family.  Any amount, at any time, will be helpful.

And when you are faced with your challenge, remember, your positive attitude is what will get you through it!  Keep up the fight.  And keep up the POSITIVE attitude!

July 23, 2011 by · 2 Comments

The New Top of Mind Training Calendar

This was built using Google Calendar – and I’m experimenting with Adobe Reader for my online meetings.  I’m using the simple “embed” code Google gave me in order to display the calendar on this web page.  Wow, this was really easy. If you’re a mortgage professional, you could use a feature like this to add a Community Events calendar to your website (and your preferred agents’ websites). Or you could easily create and maintain a calendar of upcoming Open Houses for your Realtor partners. Lots of fun and powerful applications here!

July 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment

Never. Ever. Let them walk away. Without a smile on their face. Here's why.

Last night I went out to dinner with my family and I’d like to tell you about my experience.  No real need for granular details here, but at the root of my issue was my meal.  I ordered what’s known in Israel as a “schwarma” sandwich for $16.  By the way, that link goes to a photo of a schawarma sandwich, but that is not the place I’m talking about in this blog post.

I took about 4 bites of my meal and I was done.  But I didn’t say a word.  Three different people at my table each tried the schawarma too.  And when they were done tasting it, I asked them each what they thought.  Each of them said the same thing I was thinking.  It was dried out and tasted like cardboard.

I rarely send food back at a restaurant because I think it puts the server in an uncomfortable position.  However, after our meal, I discreetly approached the restaurant owner and politely told him that I didn’t think the schawarma was up to his high standards.  His words back to me were that schawarmas are “always dry” and that’s why we give you the sauce on the side.  Here’s what he didn’t say or ask:

I’m sorry!

Is there anything else I can get you?  Are you still hungry?

Please allow me to take that off the bill for you!

How can we get better?

I’m in the middle of reading Atlas Shrugged and feel more strongly than ever that the restaurant owner has every right to handle the situation however he wants.  He owed me absolutely nothing.  I ordered a meal and he delivered it.

It’s also my right to never visit his restaurant again, right?

This blog post discusses something each of us has experienced hundreds of times in our purchasing lives.  But the angle I wish to take here relates to quick math and long term ROI.  We spent $100 on dinner last night and I think it’s safe to assume that we’d spend the same $100 each time we’d visit that restaurant.  Let’s assume that his margins are 100%, so last night the restaurateur earned $50 in profit.

Conservatively speaking, now let’s assume that I’d dine at his restaurant twice a year.  Finally, let’s assume I live in Highland Park for 10 years.  Now we have all the numbers we need to determine an LTV (LifeTime Value) for me – his customer:

Profit per visit = $50

Visits per year = 2

Number of Years over customer lifetime = 10

Quick math determines that I represent a $1,000 asset for this particular restaurant.  And that’s the number that each of us in business needs to calculate for each of our valued customers.  This is the #1 most critical number any mortgage professional should know.

Taking the LTV concept one step further:  what happens if I leave the restaurant with a big fat smile on my face?  Do I visit the restaurant 4 times a year instead of 2?  Do I order that extra bottle of wine next time and spend $150 per visit instead of $100?

And here’s the biggest variable of them all – one that “by rule” does not contribute to LTV, but philosophically and realistically is the biggest game changer of them all…

What happens if I turn on just one of my friends or family to this restaurant – and they become a customer too?  Doesn’t my LTV instantly double from $1,000 to $2,000?  And when we get to this point in our business, we aren’t using “addition” anymore.  We start using the good old “multiplication sign”.  The same multiplication sign that allowed Facebook to grow to 600 million members in less time than it took the average consumer to forget how to spell “My Space”.

The customer experience matters every single time for all of us.  Car washes.  Mortgage lenders.  Restaurants.

We all should think in terms of LTV – 100% of the time.  I am planning on going back to that restaurant next week and pulling up my laptop and sharing this article with the restaurant owner.  He may throw me out – I don’t know.  But I really want to help him get better – and I want to help you get better too.  If you think you’d like to start using the multiplication sign in your LTV numbers, let’s talk!

June 30, 2011 by · 1 Comment

Sales Tips and Follow Up Requirements for Realtors and Loan Officers

Are you gaining new prospects, referral sources and market share?  Are you focused long term on gaining relationships and the actions for success?

Lucretius said, “Constant dripping hollows out a stone”

Are you hollowing out the stone for new referrals and prospects?

Better yet, do you follow through and follow up?

A huge majority of sales people don’t follow-up with their most recent customers let alone new prospects. In fact over 48% of sales people never follow-up with customers what-so-ever.

But the statistics tell us sales are made just:

  • 2% of the time on the first visit.
  • 3% of the time on the second visit.
  • 5% of the time on the third visit.
  • 10% of the time on the fourth contact.

A full 80% of sales are made on or after the fifth contact.

How many times are you visiting or contacting your potential prospects before you give up?

Think about this in your business.  Think about the last person to ask YOU for business.  It might be an insurance agent wanting referrals for your purchase clients or a home inspector looking to be suggested during the inspection period.   It might even be the local mortgage loan officer.  Do they expect your business the first time you meet just because they showed up at your door?

How many times would you want to talk to them before you trusted them with YOUR business?  How many times did they contact YOU before they either gave up and quit contacting you or they won your business?

How many times do you call or market to a new potential clients before you stop?

So how are salespeople doing?  Sadly 90% of salespeople make 3 or fewer contacts which is interesting since it has been proven that 80% of sales are completed after the 5th call or contact.

How do you compare?

If you REALLY want the business do not take no for an answer.  Take your prospects NO or indifference as a NOT YET because you have not built up enough trust and leverage to earn their business.  So what can you do?

Commit today to:

  • Send——–1 more hand written card
  • Set———-1 more coffee appointment
  • Deliver—–1 more letter of interest or personally memorable item
  • Make——–1 more phone call

Your prospects should trust that you follow up diligently and consistently with them to earn their business so they can feel confident that you will work that hard “ON” their business.  They should realize that you did the same to GET their business and stand out from the crowd.

Remember, “Constant dripping hollows out a stone.”

Start today and break through to new prospects.

Derek R. Egeberg

Branch Manager

Academy Mortgage Corporation

May 22, 2011 by · 9 Comments

Dunwoody Charity Golf Tournament

Top of Mind is pleased to team up with some of our good friends over at Silverton Mortgage in sponsoring the 2011 Dunwoody Charity Golf Tournament. The tournament had a great showing of local Atlanta Real Estate and Mortgage professionals (as well as many not in our industry) and was able to raise over $7500.00 for the following charities: I CARE, St. Joseph’s Hospital Cancer Survivors Network, Southeastern Sarcoma Foundation, and Knights of Columbus Charities. Thanks to all who participated!

May 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment

Scarcity

Did you happen to see the South Park episode when Cartman inherited a million dollars and bought an old, failing amusement park?

Yep, he called it Cartmanland. And once he bought the place, he opened the theme park up to… nobody. Don’t you see, this way he could ride all the rides he wanted… and no lines! Well Cartmanland worked out great for a while, but eventually Cartman started to realize owning a theme park required maintenance… and security. But he didn’t have any money for those things because he’d spent the entire million buying the park.

So in order to raise the money he needed for repairs and upkeep, Cartman decided to let two – and ONLY two – people buy tickets into Cartmanland each day. Of course, this scarcity threw people into a buying frenzy. What was a failing amusement park only weeks before suddenly began drawing throngs of ravenous fans. Cartman hadn’t changed a single thing except limiting the number of people who could buy from him.

It’s actually a funny episode and you can watch it here: http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s05e06-cartmanland.

Warning, it does contain some pottymouth humor. But it teaches us a solid business lesson.

We really shouldn’t try to do business with “everybody”. Instead, we ought to figure out who we work best with and who inspires us. Do you enjoy working with first time home buyers? Why not specialize in serving that market? Or maybe you’re awesome at originating reverse mortgages?

In sales, I think most of us inherently want more. More clients. More revenue. More success. Right?

Now that we’re 8 years into this ride, I think our clients like knowing that Top of Mind provides them that edge… and that we’re still a relatively well kept secret in the mortgage marketing world. And you know what? When you genuinely stop trying to sell “everybody”, your clients will realize and appreciate that they really ARE valued. I’d have bolded that for effect but for some reason our blog doesn’t seem to like the new IE 9. Oh well. Point made.

Again, if you don’t like potty humor don’t watch that episode. Most of it is pretty stupid.

April 28, 2011 by · 1 Comment

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