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Starting to think I just suck at this...how do I collect proper market research? (Mortgage niche)

Marketing, social media, advertising

BPH1994

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I started this thread some time ago, and I'd mostly left replies there, but I think this is a more general question so I'd like to get some more eyes on it...

It's been rough going and I still haven't made a sale. I recently took a morality hit when I ran my ads for the second time around and got some very underwhelming results for the amount I'd spent to run them - essentially forcing me back to the drawing board again.

This is a tool designed for mortgage loan officers to essentially automate incoming organic leads, nurture them on autopilot in one place, and run their own Facebook or Google ads through the tool if they so choose. I had pivoted to the SAAS (software as a service) model after essentially running an ad agency for this same clientele using the SMMA business model (social media marketing agency). With that original SMMA model, I had never sold the service, with the common objections being related to price and a lack of confidence in me to deliver the result I promised without having a track record or a team.

I read through @Sean Marshall 's course and thought this would be a great offer because I could allow loan officers full oversight and automated lead gen without having to pay big agency retainer fees. I've even been having conversations with loan officers on LinkedIn asking for feedback on whether this is a "good idea", to which the answers have been almost exclusively "yes".

I had a conversation with somebody who has a lot of experience running successful ads on Facebook, and his suggestion was to find my prospect's pain, focus on it, and alleviate that pain with my solution.

So now I'm second-guessing this entire venture, wondering if my messaging in my ads is off, if my tool is useful, whether I'm maybe just not getting in front of the right customers, etc and I'm trying to focus on what the first step would be to fixing all this, and I think the answer to that is finding out what the most painful thing is about my prospect's job and seeing how my tool can fix it.

How do I do this?

I don't have the money to run Facebook ads for the sole purpose of collecting data, Facebook groups for this niche are entirely self-promotional and self-interested, and even though I've gotten a lot of "yes's" to my idea on LinkedIn, I've had far more read my messages and never respond.

So basically I think this is the first step to refocusing my efforts, time, and money on this idea, and I'm wondering how best to do it.
 
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machinistguy

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Not my area, but I'll give feedback since you asked for it.
This is a tool designed for mortgage loan officers to essentially automate incoming organic leads, nurture them on autopilot in one place, and run their own Facebook or Google ads through the tool if they so choose.
1. This sounds like a business that needs high customer education for them to be sold on why they need this solution. If you advertise through FB, do you need a whole funnel? Ads to build awareness, not convert. Then ads to build engagement. Then ads to finally convert.
2. Lead management and FB/Google ads management are two different things. Why are you doing both?
3. "Incoming organic leads"... you mean the leads that need the least effort and least thought because the customer is already sold? Is there even a need for this?

I had pivoted to the SAAS (software as a service) model after essentially running an ad agency for this same clientele using the SMMA business model (social media marketing agency).
Did you find a problem that needed solving and SAAS turned out to be right way to solve that problem, or did you want to start a SAAS so you created a solution to a problem no one has?
 
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BPH1994

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Not my area, but I'll give feedback since you asked for it.

1. This sounds like a business that needs high customer education for them to be sold on why they need this solution. If you advertise through FB, you'd have to a whole funnel. Ads to build awareness, not convert. Then ads to builds engagement. Then ads to finally convert.
2. Lead management and FB/Google ads management are two different things. Why are you doing both?
3. "Incoming organic leads"... you mean the leads that need the least effort and least thought because the customer is already sold? Is there even a need for this?


Did you find a problem that needed solving and SAAS turned out to be right way to solve that problem, or did you want to start a SAAS so you created a solution to a problem no one has?

1. I don't think it is. I had emailed Sean himself a few times and he himself thinks mortgage loan officers are plenty smart and savvy to be able to use a solution like this - a decent amount are even provided a CRM by their brokerage. My thinking is that maybe these people want the solution done FOR them, rather than something much less expensive but done BY them. They all know they need more leads to close more deals to make more money, but some would rather invest in their referral base than scale through advertising.

2. I'm not sure what you mean by this. The tool is built through GoHighLevel and comes with automation. This means that when somebody inquires, that lead is automatically nurtured and managed until the loan officer can personally respond. This keeps leads from moving to the next name in their local searches which is why I said "incoming organic traffic", as in people who are searching for the MLOs solution without being advertised to.

3. No, those would be referrals. The purpose of this tool is to automate responses and nurturing to people who inquire through texts, phone calls, Google My Business, Facebook, or Instagram where the loan officer is unable to respond fast enough to keep the lead from going to the next person (statistically something like 52% of all calls made to businesses are missed, for example). It also helps them get ranked higher IN those searches by running review campaigns for past clients. What I mean by this traffic is that these are leads that did NOT come to the page through an ad.

The problem is mortgage loan officers need leads, ideally qualified leads. I thought the solution, originally, would be to run ads on their behalf to bring them business that they would then convert. That turned out to be difficult because those leads were rarely qualified, and it was hard to get results in a market where the interest rate is so high. This made it hard for a lot of the loan officers I spoke with to justify the price of this service, and they had little faith in its success.

I thought a better solution would be to hand the loan officer the steering wheel, at a fraction of the price. We integrate their online presence into a tool that does most of the remedial work for them, so they can focus on having conversations with leads who are serious and able to move forward. A lot of the people I spoke with on LinkedIn also described that it would be great to run their own ads for the same reason I mentioned above.

I'm just not sure if my solution isn't being perceived as such (whether they'd rather things done for them at a much higher price vs with them at a much lower one), if I'm simply not reaching the right audience (MLOs who have money to spend, are just getting started and have no referral base, or understand the value in scaling by advertising), if I suck at selling this as the solution for their pain (very likely since I've never sold the SAAS or SMMA versions of this), or if it's something else.

Or, like I said...maybe I just really suck at this. I've tried a lot of different things in a lot of different ways and I'm trying to focus on what's going to move me forward rather than all the things that might be wrong.
 

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