Monthly Archives: April 2007

How To Organize a Salesforce

If you are already a Kaleidico icoSales client you have heard a lot about organizing your salesforce into contact teams and closing teams and using our unique “hot transfer” functionality. If you have implemented our recommendations you have seen your contact rates soar and production volumes spike.

Here is another endorsement of this concept from Aaron Ross, who ran sales at Salesforce.com.

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Create Your Mortgage Sales Playbook

Did you ever play football or have you at least seen the concept of a playbook?

It is a simple concept and very necessary in mastering a complex, fast paced, explosive sport. You line up against your opponent and have seconds to see, assess, and make adjustments. This three step process and your effectiveness at reading and adjusting is the difference between success and failure.

I see a lot of analogies between mortgage sales and football. We often only have moments to hear our clients situation and goals, assess, and advise. Those few moments determine not only the sale, but your clients success or failure.

Here is a technique I used with both new and seasoned loan officers. Create a mortgage sales playbook:

  • Study the mortgage market for the last 5 years-understand rates and product trends
  • Build the top 10 scenarios (rate and product) that clients are probably currently in
  • Matrix with those scenarios the top 5 potential client financial objectives
  • Create the top 3 solutions/options for each box in the matrix

Now that you have your matrix, get a three-ring binder and create a separate sheet for each. On the sheet should be:

  • Brief client overview
  • Rate scenario, with date ranges
  • Product scenario, with date ranges
  • Client financial objective
  • Top 3 solutions/product options-IMPORTANT: one or more options maybe DO NOTHING or REFER

Now you have at least a 50 page playbook. Study it every night and update. You will be amazed at how productive and professional your qualification, goals, and presentation calls become.

This is one of several techniques in my latest presentation Stop Dialing for Dollars, Start Building a Business:

Podcast with Top Mortgage Originators

The market is tightening and we are all looking for new or old creative ideas to attract new clients and get old ones to return. Morgan Brown, author of the Blown Mortgage Blog is starting a Podcast featuring top mortgage originators discussing their formulas for success.

Morgan has already provided some interesting articles on loan officer ethics and keeping up with shifting investor sands.

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Evaluating Internet Lead Providers

As you can tell by our launch of Lead Marketwatch.com and our Internet Lead Buying Checklist, becoming educated about lead buying and Internet lead generation is becoming a priority to many mortgage lenders in this tightening market.

Here is another good resource on evaluating Internet lead providers from ProspectZone.

In full disclosure, they are a lead generator and do provide Kaleidico’s icoSales clients with leads. However, I think the white paper is very objective in giving you advice on selecting lead providers and even on reviewing lead management or CRM solutions to use with Internet lead providers.

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Competing on Rate Makes You a Loser

First to avoid any confusion–I am not advocating gouging your clients; I am advocating you not competing against our not so scrupulous “bait ‘n switch” brethren. You know, the ones that give your prospects good faith estimates “assuming” 720+ credit, big income, six month reserves, 15 day rate locks, etc.

I want to point out a great post by Morgan Brown over at the Bloodhound Blog, When Banks Compete, You Lose. This article builds nicely on good faith estimate and loan originator shopping posts by Brian Brady.

All of these posts are targeted at consumers looking for mortgages (BTW, building on my previous post about building your mortgage business–notice how they are talking to their audience not their colleagues. This is a hard skill to master in blogging, but they both do it nicely), but they have big value for improving your sales presentation. Here are some of the top things you should focus on:

  • Internet consumers have a tendency to get straight to the point–what is my rate and payment?
    • Pivot with education: “You are obviously are an educated mortgage shopper. So, you know that a lot of important data goes into those two questions like your credit, income, and financial objectives. Let me ask a few of those questions and I will be able to give you an accurate, honest answer to those two questions.”
  • If you counter by throwing out teaser rates and payments then you will ultimately fall into the pile of bait and switch, no integrity lenders when the client is finished “shopping”
    • Pivot with trap door sales: “You have been quoted some very good rates there. Have you considered that the prepayment penalty that is probably included, plus the astronomical credit score required, and the unreasonable reserve levels required might have you wasting a lot of time on a mortgage rate and payment that is only a teaser. Give me the next 20 minutes, I will ask some important questions, get a better understanding of your objectives, I will give you an estimate that you can rely on.”

Read the articles and slow your customer down so they don’t work against themselves. Remember when you compete like your lesser skilled competitors do–you will lose the deal and your trusted relationship.

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How Do I Build My Mortgage Business?

This is probably the number one general question I get emailed from Better Closer readers. Obviously, this is the whole subject of Better Closer, but I will try to create a Build My Mortgage Business 101 starter kit in this post.

The fundamental key to all of this is start small and focus on execution. You are building a solid foundation that you can grow on.

I always find these to be the foundational building blocks (and in the correct order):

  • Attitude–I know you have heard this, but it is important. You have to believe you can do it and have confidence you will get there. That is easy said, but what most people don’t get is that it is more than a state of mind. It takes action. You have to read, learn, practice, and train to have the confidence that builds a winning attitude. Albert Pujols did not have confidence or the attitude to face any major league pitcher when he was 12, but he certainly does now and it was not all just training his belief–it was work
  • Knowledge–This is fundamental to attitude and to your plan, which is the next step. Being the best and most knowledgeable at what you do creates opportunities for success. Again this is work. That work, for you in the mortgage business, includes learning about the markets and what makes them change, learning about financial planning and what financial objectives people need to accomplish at different stages of their life, learn about mortgage products and what they do or don’t do for a borrower, watch and listen to other successful professionals in your business.
  • Execution–Now you have the right attitude and the knowledge to be valuable. All you need to do is to develop a plan to distribute that plan. This is where a lot of people get too broad too fast. I subscribe to the get small, grow fast philosophy of business. If you pick one thing, do it well, then you can build on that solid foundation to get bigger. Next are some ideas.

Ideas to build your client base and distribute your value:

  • First, determine the audience and client type you want to target–good credit, poor credit, early life, late life, average home, high-end homes, etc.
  • Start a blog–make sure you are talking to your customers and prospective customers, NOT yourself or your colleagues
  • Start an email newsletter–don’t do it more frequently than weekly and send out rate watches, market updates, financial strategies, product education, or other information that will inform customers when they should be talking to you
  • Offer complimentary credit or equity analysis–consumers are always curious about their credit and how much their home is worth
  • Write handwritten notes to your clients–send birthday cards or mortgage check-up reminders
  • Start speaking and giving seminars–Mortgage101, Surviving the Crash: Are You in the Right Mortgage?, etc. Start at your local civic clubs

Here are some excellent resources to get started:

Mortgage Market

The Mortgage Reports
Bankrate
Altos Research

Real Estate Market

Future of Real Estate Marketing
Bloodhound Blog
Inman News

Sales

Jeffrey Gitomer
Savage Insights
Better Closer
My Sales Presentations

Marketing

Seth Godin
Duct Tape Marketing
Morinsight
Doublepositive Blog
Lead Marketwatch

Resources

Hoard
Amazon
WordPress
AWeber

Hope this helps. Drop me an email anytime to ask questions and tell me how it is going.

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Why Goals Call is Critical with Shifting Market and Products

When markets are volatile and products are as diverse (and creative) as they have been in the last several months a goals call or segment in your sales process is critical. We are often conditioned to lock into one or two products and assume we can compete against a customer’s current product.

This problem was highlighted the other day when one of our customers was looking for sales tips on combatting rate objections. My next natural question was, “what type of product was the customer in currently in or was the competitor offering?” Quickly followed by, “what were the financial objectives of that client?” The mortgage broker didn’t know the answer to either question, but immediately told me what product they were offering.

My response, “Forget the rate objections. If you don’t get the situation and the goals of the borrower you are going to get beat the majority of the time!” The market has done tips and turn and spiral back flips and your competitors have placed borrowers into all manners of creative products–so, you have to find out where you are starting before you start presenting.