By Linda Kassis—The most important rule of thumb in marketing is Never Stop Marketing. We all get tired of it and think that one day we will have enough business that we won’t have to market. This is where you are wrong. The day you stop marketing is the day someone else contacts your client and takes them away from you. We will go into some tips and tricks of how to market your business and yourself to build a successful Notary Signing Agent Business.
First of all, we will get into Phone Etiquette. Your phone is your lifeline and communication tool with your customers. Most Signing Agents use their cell phone and home phone for both business and personal. This is absolutely fine until your 3-year-old child feels they can answer it for you. This may be fine and cute but companies calling you in haste to get their signing booked don’t have time to talk with a child. A teenager may answer the phone in the manner teenagers answer the phone with a “Yeah.” Let us take these scenarios and use them in real life situations and see how many calls and referrals you get, then sit by your phone and wonder why it is you’re not getting any calls. Remember, this is a business you are running, whether it be in your office or in your home, it is a business. Answer your phone “good morning, this is (your name) speaking” or “good afternoon” depending on the time of day. You can also answer “Good morning/afternoon. (Your name) speaking.” You may also answer with the name of your business. If you have children and run this business from home, get a separate line, and designate a certain number for your business.
Next on our agenda is Networking. This is one of the few businesses that working with your competition can help you more than hurt you. Quite often, when I’ve had signings booked and calls have come in for signings that I might could have done but were a little too far, I would refer the company to another notary or walk them through finding a notary in our area in a directory. Doing this has accomplished two things; one, the company was not left scurrying looking for a Signing Agent and two, most companies that I have done this with now call me first all the time. If you are involved with a notary network, here is how this can work for you. We’ve all had the situation where we get a call but we’re already booked for that time slot. We just lost the signing. If this happens too often, then we’ve lost the client. With networking, when you get one of those calls, forward it on to a fellow member of your network. By doing this you have accomplished two things. You didn’t leave your client hanging and desperately searching for another Notary and they will appreciate and remember you for next time. The second thing you have accomplished is your fellow Notary will appreciate the business and remember you the next time they have a similar situation when they can’t handle a signing.
The next tip Is Understanding Marketing Basics. We often wonder why we loose our customers. Why some companies just never call us back. We’ve been doing business for them for quite some time, never made a mistake yet we don’t hear from them anymore. The difference between you and some of the most successful companies is marketing. We all know there are many new Signing Agents every day in every major city throughout the country. I have gone to many signings where the Borrowers have asked “How do you get hired to do what you do”? “How do you get trained”? “Can I do it?” If I don’t take advantage of explaining and teaching them, then I risk 2 things. I will definitely have the type of competition I don’t want and I will lose the income involved in the training process. This leads back to Networking so we will get back to Marketing.
Marketing is what gets a company to notice you and WANT to call you over and above every other Signing Agent in your area. The seven most important things in Marketing Basics are:
1. Your Company name
2. How you answer your phone
5. Company Branding and Brochures
6. Company Website
7. Company Correspondence (emails, letters, invoices and “Phone Etiquette”)
Choose a catchy yet professional Company Name to represent you. Many of us have a business outside the Signing Agent business and you should not mix the two. Keep them separate. I will use the example of a restaurant. Let us pretend I am a Title Company or Signing Service looking for a Signing Agent to do a closing. I call the number and get “John Doe’s Beasts and Burgers. Can I take your order?” Chances are I am going to hang up, thinking I got the wrong number. I have made the mistake of answering the phone, “Hello.” There ws a long hesitation and the person then asked if they had a business. Keep the names separate and the phone numbers separate as well, create less confusion for your client.
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