Politicians say the craziest things. Just look at the comments made by some of the 17 Republicans running for President. It’s out of control really. However, mortgage technology vendors should take notes about what not to do from these blowhards. Here are five things to avoid:
Don’t Complain. Nobody likes to deal with someone that continually makes excuses for shortcoming. Here’s what I mean:
“Can you imagine, if after the bridge investigation began, I came out and said ‘Oh, I’ve done all my business as governor on a private email server. And, I’ve deleted now 30,000 of those emails. But trust me none of it had to do with the bridge.’ Give me a break,” Chris Christie said to CNN.
But the only email he provided to the Legislature last year came from his private Yahoo account. Christie turned over just one set of emails to the New Jersey Legislature in response to its subpoenas about Bridgegate. That email conversation contained edits that Christie made to a statement announcing the resignation of Port Authority official David Wildstein, who has since pleaded guilty for his role in the lane closures.
Democratic Assemblyman John Wisniewski, who led the investigation, told WNYC that Christie sent those emails in December 2013 from his personal Yahoo account. The public documents had previously been released but the email address was blacked out. Don’t complain when you’re doing the same thing yourself.
Similarly, Carly Fiorina’s campaign slammed CNN and the RNC, accusing both of them of “putting their thumb on the scale.” She’s complaining about being shut out of the debates.
“If the RNC won’t tell CNN to treat post-debate polling consistently with pre-debate polling, they are putting their thumb on the scale,” Fiorina spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a press release.
Flores ratcheted up the attack even further during an interview on Fox Business.
“This is the status quo trying to protect the status quo, trying to protect their power, their prestige, and so they want the same people on the stage as before, and they’ve set up a system that will do that,” said Flores. In the end none of this complaining is going to get Fiorina into the debate.
Too often I hear technology vendors complain about the lack of media coverage that they get or the fact that certain vendors are always in the news. Don’t complain about media coverage, form good relationships with the media so they cover you more.
Don’t Namedrop. You just don’t speak ill of the competition because you end up looking bad. For example Rick Perry blasted rival Donald Trump in the harshest terms — even comparing him to a “cancer” and “false prophets.”
“Let no one be mistaken – Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded,” Perry said, according to a transcript of his prepared remarks. “It cannot be pacified or ignored, for it will destroy a set of principles that has lifted more people out of poverty than any force in the history of the civilized world – the cause of conservatism.”
Similarly, George Pataki also called out Trump directly. Former Pataki slammed fellow Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who he said has been “disrespectful” toward Latinos with recent disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants.
“Yes, clearly, they’re disrespectful,” Pataki told Business Insider of Trump’s comments in a brief interview before the annual New York Republican Party’s gala.
Trump characterized Mexican immigrants in his campaign launch speech as “rapists” and drug runners when talking about how he’d focus as president on reducing illegal immigration. What happened to both Perry and Pataki? They sunk in the polls.
If you are a mortgage technology vendor don’t slam your competitors by name. You need to clearly articulate your value proposition, not waste time talking down about others.
Don’t Over-Generalize. Lenders want specifics. Speaking of Trump, the king of over generalizing is Donald Trump. When it comes to immigration he says building a wall will solve everything, and that Mexico will pay for the construction of the wall. When pressed about what to do with illegal immigrants in the country already, he said that he would round them up and send them home. How would he accomplish this? By hiring good managers. Obviously this is an over generalization that won’t solve the real problem.
Women make up a large voting block and Trump is not doing well among women so he over generalized again. “I will take care of women’s health and women’s health issues better than anybody and far better than Hillary Clinton, who doesn’t have a clue, “ he told reporters after an afternoon rally. Notice that he doesn’t give any specifics? As a mortgage technology vendor, you can’t just use buzzwords and acronyms that you think people want to hear to sell your product. You have to know your solution’s specific value proposition.
Don’t Pander. You can’t tell lenders what you think they want to hear, you have to clearly articulate your value propositions. Politicians tell people what they think they want to hear instead of the truth and they suffer for it all the time.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bus changed his position on the Iraq War three times in the same week. In his clearest declaration yet on his feelings about his brother’s invasion of Iraq, Jeb Bush said that “knowing what we know now, …I would not have engaged.”
“I would not have gone into Iraq,” he said. But earlier in the week he told Fox News that he would have engaged, then he tried to backpedal because he knows that public sentiment is not in favor of the Iraq War.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker did the same think when talking about birthright citizenship. In the end Walker said, “My point is any discussion that goes beyond securing the border and enforcing laws are things that should be a red flag to voters out there who for years have heard lip service from politicians and are understandably angry.”
That’s a far cry from how the Wisconsin governor answered the same question last Monday. “Yeah, absolutely,” Walker said when asked by an MSNBC reporter at the Iowa State Fair whether he wanted to end birthright citizenship. The bottom line is that you should learn from these politicians and just tell it like it is instead of delivering falsehoods to make your system sound better.
Don’t Exaggerate. Nobody likes a person who stretches the truth and goes over the top. To this end, many politicians have exaggerating the impact of the nuclear agreement with Iran. Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee called the Iran deal “idiotic,” and likened it to events of the Holocaust, saying that President Barack Obama will ultimately “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” The Iran deal might not be perfect, but comparing it to the Holocaust is just wrong.
Politicians make the same exaggerated claims about the Affordable Care Act. Ted Cruz gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor, a few hours after the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to uphold the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies nationwide. The senator from Texas, who is also running for president, called the decision “judicial activism, plain and simple.”
“Today, these robed Houdinis have transmogrified a federal exchange into an exchange, quote, ‘established by the State,'” he said. “This is lawless. As Justice [Antonin] Scalia rightfully put it, without objection, words no longer have meaning.” Another crazy exaggeration.
If you’re a mortgage technology vendor, speak honestly and frankly with lenders. Don’t tell them that your system does things that it doesn’t. Exaggerating will only get you in to trouble.
I hope you learned a lot about what not to do from these politicians.
About The Author
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.