I think a little bit differently about marketing than Greg Swann does. Not much, but we’re of slightly different mindsets. I’m not scared to call a name a lead, a voice on the phone a prospect, a loan applicant a borrower, and a funded loan recipient a client. I KNOW they’re people because I’ve always treated them as people. I don’t need a rip off of a Nike ad to tell me that. Ain’t nuttin’ original about treating people who inquire about your services with respect; Sister Brigid taught me that back in 1972.
Greg and I think a bit differently about vendors, also. While Greg envisions a world without vendors, I see them as a necessary evil. My goal is to maximize the necessary (efficacy) while reducing the evil (money paid). The problem with the whole vendor/practitioner relationship is that practitioners are looking for the little purple pill; the shortcut. That’s what the charlatans prey upon.
We talked about this at Unchained. Mary McKnight taught us how the fish can find your bait, Louis Cammarosano gave us a demonstration about how to cast our nets, Steve Hundley taught us how to hook them, and Ron Cates taught us how to prepare them so that they’re edible. Moreover, David Gibbons taught us where the schools of fish are swimming so that you’re better prepared for the next big expedition.
All of them…”vendors”. Vendors inasmuch as they insert themselves in between the practitioner and the customer and get paid for it. They get paid for it because they deliver hungry people to your restaurant for less money than it would cost to do yourself.
Should Greg’s utopian prayer of zero acquisition cost be a virtue? Of course. We should all strive for utopia. His message, if I’m not mistaken, is that the brave new world is building pressure behind the dammed chokepoints so that the chokepoints have to evaluate their efficacy. The smart ones are evolving their models to increase their efficacy while the irrelevant proclaim that we practitioners are all idiots.
Wanna know how I know this? I watched them call you “glorified delivery people, gatherers and order takers“….unless you submit to their idea of how the customer/practitioner relationship should be. Now, the slight was meant for Greg as retribution for exposing their unoriginal thought but if you examine the content judiciously, you’ll discover that they perceive themselves to be the show- you’re just…a functionary. Kinda like the umpires who think they’re bigger than the players.
They threaten you with a “life relegated to cold calling and door knocking” if they didn’t exist. I submit (though it’s probably Inmanically Incorrect) that it would be well for you to do more of those activities, in this market, rather than to buy the next purple pill peddled by pernicuous pedagogues.
What I’m saying is that agents and originators are the craftsman and that vendors are (literally) tools. It was like that in Fred Flinstone’s day and it will be like that in George Jetson’s. Vendors are levers so pick them carefully. The good ones will help you get what you’ve always wanted; more money in less time. The dimmed watts will try to intimidate you with the threat of extinction.
Will we continue to expose these charlatans for what they are? Ya damn skippy, we will. We’re interested in helping people like us; grunts on the front lines. We want to help you serve more people, make more money, and have more free time. If you’re an agent or originator, we’ll give you the straight poop about vendors. If you’re a vendor, come on in and demonstrate your value- if you have it, we’ll do the selling for you.