Differentiation lies in what you give away for free

by MPA15 Aug 2014

By David Lykken
Special to MPA

What separates you from your competitors? It's probably a question you think about all of the time. But, it's quite difficult to answer satisfactorily. We all like to talk about how different we are but, when it comes to justifying the claim, it can be quite a challenge.

Most industries are commoditized in one way or another. Coffee shops sell coffee. Insurance companies sell insurance. Mortgage lenders sell loans for homes. So how can you realistically set yourself apart from other lenders in the industry?

Differentiation lies in what you give away for free. Think about it. It could be extra information that you provide to your customers. It could be the friendly, welcoming environment. It could be the consistent communication. Whatever it is that sets you apart, it's probably something you aren't charging for.

Don't focus merely on what you're selling. If you're honest with yourself, you'll admit that most companies can do what you do. But none of them can do it the way that you do it. Focus on making that better. Improve what you're giving away for free.

David Lykken is 40-year industry veteran who consults on virtually all aspects of mortgage banking. David hosts a successful weekly radio program called “Lykken On Lending” (www.LykkenOnLending.com) that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals.


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