Back in college days, I had a professor who had a unique way of putting things and a way of encouraging excellence. At the University of Maine's Business School in its early days, there were no buildings solely dedicated to our classes. We were nomads. [I am happy to report this is no longer the case.] There were four majors in those days: Finance, Accounting, Marketing & Management. Each professor had his own specialty and favorite subjects. I was a Finance major. And my professor was fond of saying he really thought highly of us for choosing that major. Accountants were good as well, but needed to have a "high tolerance for tedium" he would say. The other two majors were not as challenging in his eyes.
He drove an old Post Office mail truck before happening upon an old MG, which seemed to have bondo as one of its main components. We never knew what clever comment would put us in stitches next. So, for our 8:00 class--the type of scheduling we abhorred, by the way--up on the 3rd floor of Shibles Hall, there in the front of the classroom, was a shopping cart. As our professor made his way into the classroom, he shed his bookbag and coat all the while staring at this exhibit taking up as much space as the desk. "Well," he deadpanned, "this must be left over from the marketing class."
For those of us in the mortgage business, we must be sharp in finance. We must know basic accounting, we need to manage our business, and we surely must know how to market ourselves. Not in the way pictured above, of course. But, we have to know who we market to, how best to spend our efforts and resources and how to recognize when something either is not working or no longer works. We have to be able to differentiate ourselves from our competition. We have to be savvy in various modes of communication. We cannot simply sit idly by and wait for the phone to ring. And we cannot think that someone else will do it for us. I am reminded of another quip that came up at a 2 hour class in the same building whose bulletin boards were covered with elementary art projects that made us scratch our heads and wonder what they were spending their tuition dollars on. A peal of heavy laughter broke out which interrupted our discussion. Our professor paused, looked across the hall, and said, "The laughter will soon stop when they graduate and try to find a job."
The point I am trying to make is this: It is not necessarily WHAT we learn, it is THAT we learn. And we learn from our failures more than from our successes. However, we fail to recognize a basic truth--it is a lot easier to market to a past client than to develop a relationship with a new one. Remembering that is Marketing 101.