Gaining the Right!
One mistake that loan officers make repeatedly is to ask for the business before they deserve the business. I know this sound a little contrary to popular sales training where you are always supposed to be asking for the business, but in reality it is a mistake that will cost you! Asking to soon is like trying to get a date with someone that you do not know very well. Sure you can ask, but unless you have some tremendous advantage, you are likely to be turned down. Jeff Burgess, president of Equity Services, a mortgage banker in North Carolina puts it best, “Until you earn their trust, you can’t earn their business.” You can earn their trust faster than you think if you focus on the golden rule of sales, “No one cares what you know until they know that you care.”
If you have a meeting with a Realtor and start talking about all the wonderful things you can do for them you are dead before you start unless you have the greatest advantage in the of the mortgage business which is unlikely! Every person has a “hot button” whether it is personal or professional and you only uncover that hot button by following a very simple formula. Here it is:
Step one: Do your homework! It’s likely you got this person’s name through a referral. Ask your referral source the “hot button” questions:
“What is the one thing that you think is most important to this person regarding his/her business?”
“What does this person value most in his/her relationship with a loan officer?”
“In his/her personal life, what’s most important to this person?”
“Tell me one thing that you find most interesting about this person?”
Step two: Now you can at least build questions around the hot buttons that you learned! Suppose your referral source said they really value great service. I would certainly bring testimonials with me that provided proof about my service, but I would also ask directed questions. Example: “Mary, I know you build your business through satisfied clients and their referrals, what are some aspects of service that are most important to you from your mortgage relationship? Notice how that question is worded. It starts with a “statement of value, clients, and ends with a very direct service question. Once you gain an answer, you can ask more questions such as, “Mary, I know all loan officers will tell you they give great service but how to they prove that to you?” Most likely Mary will tell you they do not prove it. This is when you provide your “hero letters.”
Step three: Ask the Realtor questions he or she cannot answer. I know, now you are confused! What I mean is ask him/her a question that reflects your strength but that is very unlikely to be something that their current relationship provides. “Mary, when you are working with a loan officer, what specific things does this person do to help you increase your referral base?” That is a very safe question because even if he or she can answer it (they might say he or she gives me referrals), you will redirect the question. “Mary, that’s important and I also share referrals with my partners, but what I meant was how does the loan officer create new referrals?” The answer will almost always be, “they don’t.” At that point you can introduce the specific value you add. What would that be? In the next blog, I will give you the secrets! I know, you are thinking “Ken, come on I need to know! Guess what? I just created the “second appointment!” That is what you will do on the sales call. “Mary, there are a number of ways I do this with my business partners, but I provide it in a detailed plan. With your permission I would like to ask you some more questions about how you currently gain referrals and then I can build a proposal that fits your business. Would that be okay?” The Realtor will almost always say “yes.” What you are doing is building a relationship over time and building trust. Hey, I will see you at the next appointment/blog!