Monthly Archives: May 2006

Reports Don’t Convert

Although metrics and analytics are critical to the continual improvement of any business process, it does not ensure what you have learned will get implemented. This can be a critical disconnect in high velocity business process. One example of this is online media buying. These purchases are made in large quantities, and in the case of lead buys, arrive potentially in real time direct from the consumer. Here is where the danger begins.

Even with the best measures, analytical capabilities, observation, and trend spotting the results are only as good as the analyst and their connectivity to technology implementation. Unfortunately, both critical components are then further degraded by attention deficiencies.

This is why it is critical to ensure your lead management solution has the intelligence and learning system embedded. This intelligence will, with your directed (goals driven) weightings or inputs, ensure what you are learning about contact, application, submission, and funding rates gets implemented into your sales process. This active feedback system also allows your critical lead analyst to get out of the rudimentary tasks of allocating an re-distributing leads and back into detecting the subtle trends that give you the edge in media buying and sales process–revenue effecting activities.

Start Your Sales Day Yesterday

It’s the end of the day and your competitors are dashing to the door. Want an edge on those guys? Try my 30 minute wrap-up. This is guaranteed that is sure to blast you off to a head start every morning:

    Write down and post your top 3 objections of the day
    Write down and post your response and control statement for each objection
    Write down and post your top 3 urgency statements for tomorrow
    Write down and post your goals for tomorrow: calls, contacts, presentations, folders
    Leave yourself a motivational voicemail to focus you first thing in the morning

Start your tomorrow, today!

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Attacking the Opportunity from Your Competitors

You spent the whole morning attacking the fresh leads that came into your pipeline, and what did you hear? Probably:

    “That sounds great, I am waiting on the other offers…”
    “The Mortgage Emporium had a better rate”
    “Bob’s Mortgage Shack said I could close in three days”

Fresh leads are just entering the sales life-cycle and are inherently the toughest ones to convert. These customer know the market is competitive and still have time to wait to hear the best deal. All of your competitors are telling them whatever it takes to get the deal into their commission trigger. These factors significantly impact the probability of converting a brand new lead, particularly if you do not have the brand cache of a Countrywide, Wells Fargo, or Quicken Loans.

So, how can you use this to you advantage?

The easiest customer to close is one that has been disappointed by your competitor. It is like “sticking it to the man,” the customer gets satisfaction and you get a sale. So, the next time you hear, “I am going to go with Tina’s Mortgage Funding” I want you to put them in your calendar once a week for the next 45 days. I want you to check in on them and ask how their mortgage process is going like it was you customer. You don’t even have to ask for the sale. You will be amazed how many of these deals you will win from the competitor. These customer will come to you because:

    If you are this attentive and responsive, what would it be like to be your customer
    The competitor will most probably frustrate the customer when they get into processing
    If you don’t get them this time they will call you next time because of your commitment

So, don’t ignore the customers you loose to the competitor they may be your highest converting lead.

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You’re Building Rapport, but are You Building Urgency?

Building rapport is a tool we all put in our sales arsenal, but are you using it to build a sense of urgency. The mortgage sales process gives a lot of opportunity to build rapport with your customer. You ask about their home, their job, their income, their assets, their kids, and each question can help you build a stronger relationship. But, are you using these rapport questions to create the sense of urgency that gets your customer to close? Let’s look at a couple of conversations you have probably had and look for the opportunity to create urgency: (R=Rapport, U=Urgency)

R: How is the school district where you are looking at buying?
U: You must be real anxious to get into this new house?

R: Is your home the way you want it, or anything you don’t currently like about it?
U: This home equity or cash-out refinance will help you finally get that basement finished?

R: What is it that you do? Do you enjoy it?
U: The job market is really tight these days, is your company pretty secure?

R: Have your investments being doing well?
U: The market has been tough to predict lately, are you saving as much as you would like?

R: How old are your kids?
U: Have you started planning for their education?

The next time you are building rapport on a sales call make sure you are pivoting to a point of urgency that shows the value of immediately closing the deal.

Contacts Create Sales

Ever close a deal when you didn’t call your leads sheets, return your calls, or make your scheduled appointments. Absolutely not, because closing is about contact rate and contact rate is about diligently, consistently, and recurrently calling on your leads.

This seems intuitive, but once you build a pipeline of hundreds of leads much of your calling time can be taken up by figuring out to who and when to call. This is where lead management becomes important. Having a system in place that allows your sales force to stay on the phone and in contact with customers is critical as pipelines increase and customers continue to expect a higher velocity of closing. Spreadsheets and call sheets will quickly lead to confusion and leads (money) falling on the floor or worse to your competition.

A capable lead management system can be the difference between 25 and 80 calls per day and the difference between 5 and 20 deals per loan officer per month. Increase you contact frequency and velocity and increase you sales.

Gaining Control with Assumptive Language

A sales call is a fast furious exchange that must be commanded like a driver commands his racecar. When you get the customer on the phone, much like a driver you are battling distractions and fears—distractions from multiple priorities, other lenders, fears of the process, and potentially the largest financial transaction of their life. Getting a closing in this environment like a winning a race, you have to keep the car (customer) on a distinct, clear path that maximizes your forward momentum to a closed deal. Using assumptive language can help you command the call and keep the customer on track.

You should reset your expectations on every call. Assume the sale! Gain commitment from the customer, cut through the surrounding distractions, and strike out their fear by assuring them you are in control and guiding them.

How do you do that? Take out the words and phrases that make the process and path unclear, like: could, if you would like, if you want to, maybe, can you. Replace them with strong, clear, directing phrases, like: when, let’s go ahead, I’m/your going to, we need to, let’s move forward.

Let’s look at a couple of deal killers versus deal closers:

No deal: Would you like me to call you back?
Deal: I’m going to call you back at …, and here’s what I will need from you?

No deal: If you are ready to mover forward…
Deal: When we move forward?

No deal: What do you think?
Deal: At this point we need to get your loan in process, and to do that we need to…

As you can see it is a fine line and subtle language that is the difference between losing traction on the closing turn and wiping out the deal and staying in tight control and pulling away with a closing.

Control the call by assuming the sale and you will win more deals.