Monthly Archives: September 2006

Lead Quality Doesn’t Matter

I get a lot of questions about lead quality. You want my opinion?

It doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter.

What does matter is understanding what you are getting. If I am getting leads originated from public records, trigger files, “get a free ipod” emails, affilitate pop ups, or Wall Street Journal Online real estate media, it doesn’t matter. What matters, is adjusting your sales processes and strategies to target those prospects. Here is a short list of how to tactically adjust your sales methods for any lead quality:

1. Effectively manage and observe lead flow and sales performance

My suggestion, of course, is a lead management system The best in the land–icoSales. You have to be able to watch what is working and what isn’t.

2. Use a telemarketing style front-end to qualify leads

This is a fast and efficient way to drill through leads that are not homogeneous in their quality. This can give a significant increase in the productivity of your highly skilled sales professionals.

3. Have scripts and processes tailored to each lead source

They all give different customer expectations. You should make the customer experience, from the point of lead generation to your closing, seamless and fluid to the customer.

4. Don’t let sales people whine

If you let lead quality be an excuse, it will be a factor. Attitude is everything and if it flows from the brain to the voice the prospect will hear it. You will not get the deal. They may have been tricked into submitting the lead information, they may be looking for a free iPod, but that does not preclude you from building a relationship that will some day or many years to come be a client.

And if they close with you and they expected an iPod, surprise them and send them one. Is a couple hundred dollars worth a customer for life?

5. Pay the Right Price!

See #1. If you can see and evaluate the quality, you can pay the right price. Price should be a function of acceptable cost per closing and nothing else.

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Lead with the “No Shits”

I was talking to a very wise and successful mentor the other day about sales processes and he imparted a very interesting and effective strategy–the no shits methodology.

Think for a minute about your own sales script or process.

How many times do you jump right out at your prospect with your key differentiator or your perceived value? Most of us, right? Unfortunately, that is typically the most debatable portion of our sales process, because it is something that the prospect probably has not experienced yet.

The result of this process is to place the prospect in a state of skepticism, defense, or pondering. Any of which takes their attention away from buying. So, here is the no shit technique in action.

Start with a couple of no shits.

You have a 3 year IO ARM that only has a one year left, huh?

Have you noticed that the mortgage interest rates have been going up?

Have you heard the experts talking about a lot of areas, including yours, where homes are not appreciating that much anymore?

The economy does not seem to be that great, with people losing jobs, and talk of inflation–did you know they raise rate to slow inflation?

Then go back to your typical sales technique.

Well, with there being no question that interest rates are going to continue to go up for the foreseeable future, and your house isn’t going to appreciate that much, we better get you into that 30 year fixed now.

If we wait to get you into a fixed rate in a year you could be at 8% or 9% and it will quickly wipe out any savings you had in the last year.

We can still do the 30 year interest-only, would you prefer that over the principle and interest version?

Deal closed!

Buying Leads without Lead Management is Foolish

Is it a good idea to start buying leads without determining how you and your sales force might manage them? Let’s do the math on how big the problem might get in 30 days and then answer that question.

Lead Management Problem.jpg

Are you confident you or any one of your sales professionals can manage a 145 and quickly growing prospective customer pipeline? At $45-$65 per lead every 1% mistake in conversion will mean a loss of $225-$325 per 500 leads.

Even the most average lead management system will yield you a 2%-5% lift over email management of leads. So, now you have $600-$1500 in improved ROI per 500 leads, but the big result is on the revenue side. What does 2%-5% lift in closings yield you?

Time to find a lead management system…

Great Question!

One of the Brokers over at brokeroutpost.com asked a great question that bares repeating: “What sites, blogs, and newsletters should I read to stay informed and improve?” Here are my thoughts:

I think it is more important to know why you are reading than necessarily what sources you use so I will outline the why and the what in my list.

  • Know your average mortgage rates, what is happening in the bond market, and your market real estate and mortgages–Bankrate.com, finance.yahoo.com, WSJ Real Estate
  • Know your top news and sports–I like using www.google.com/ig to build a good custom view of these items
  • Know your competition’s offers–Bankrate.com
  • Improve yourself–Jeffrey Gitomer and NeverColdCall –both have better newsletters than sites
  • Do You Talk Too Much?

    This is a great newsletter from Frank Rumbauskas: “The KISS Test”

    I can’t tell you the number of times that I have heard young sales people so wedded to the “sure fire sales script” that they talked themselves out of a deal.

    This is particularly dangerous when dealing with purchased mortgage leads. Remember these customer prospects have raised their hand and showed intent to buy. You need to focus more on your assumptive language and building rapport techniques.

    Building the Trusted Advisor Relationship

    Brian Carroll does a nice job in addressing this topic in his eBook, Eight Critical Success Factors for Lead Generation:

    “…buyers…clearly choose the sales person who has not only been a resource but who has also developed an ongoing relationship with them, regardless of their timing to buy.”

    What are you doing to be an ongoing resource to your target customer? Are you telling them when rates are changing? What the latest Fed news means? When their ARM is about to reset?

    Call your past clients when they need you not just when you need them.