What is the Biggest Bottleneck in Your Business?

Because You Don’t More Leads Until You Fix It. Business runs by the numbers. There are different kinds of numbers in that, of course, like the numbers found in the loan documents, interest rates, closing costs, etc. And there are numbers that help loan officers run their business better, like how much money is in their business bank account, how many happy customers they have and their return on investment for advertising. You might not think about it but there is a difference between monitoring a metric, which is just a number, and a Key Performance Indicator (KPI), which is a number that reflects business results. We are going to talk about KPIs because those are the ones that help create results. 

In our business, loan officers need to track five KPIs with great accuracy – leads, conversations, credit pulls, preapprovals, and locks. Meaning, we need to measure how many leads we get in, how many of those leads turn to conversations, how many of those conversations turn into credit pulls, how many of those credit pulls were pre-approvable, and how many of the people we pre-approve end up with a locking or contract with us. 

Within each of those five KPIs exists the possibility for doing better. When I ask loan officers where the bottleneck is in their business, and what’s preventing them from reaching the production numbers they’re looking for, most will say it’s about getting more leads. The primary business growth strategy most loan officers focus on is trying to get more leads. However, when you have five KPIs, chances are that each has about a 20% stake in creating results. That means that the number of leads accounts only for about 20% of your business results. 

The most comprehensive way to build your loan business is to measure where you are with each of these five KPIs so you know where you’re doing well and where you might need to put some time and attention. (And if you need help in any of this, you know that me and my team have your back, right?)

Conversations

Let’s assume you have the leads taken care of… you are maxing out your 20% efficiency and effectiveness there. So what’s the next step? Having a conversation with that lead. Now, I’m talking about having a true conversation, where you exchange words – not an email, text or chatbot. This is about getting someone on the phone and speaking out loud — that’s a conversation. 

Now, if you’re getting leads but aren’t having conversations, what’s going on? I would guess that there is an issue with follow-up. It’s probably one of the top three issues I see when I analyze loan officers’ businesses and their behaviors because LOs make the mistake of calling once or sending a message and that’s it. It is definitely not enough. You might be asking how many times you should be following up, and I would say constantly. Following-up with your leads is never a done-deal until you have a done-deal. Even then, you follow up every few months to make sure your client remembers you for referrals and for their next purchase.

But there could be another issue here because you might not be getting the right leads to have conversations. What is the source of your leads? We know online leads have a lower conversion rate into conversations, especially if the leads were tricked into giving their information or opting into a list. That happens when there is an ad that has false facts or uses hype to get attention but can’t live up to the promise. In either case, it’s not good business. Run your ads past a few friends to see if they pass the real-world test before you put them out online. 

And, of course, you need the right bait as well as the right fishing hole to get the right leads. If you are looking for reverse mortgage leads in a new parenting community, as one example, you’re not going to get the right leads (or maybe ANY leads!). 

So once you have made the connection with a lead, talk to them. Find out what’s important to them, answer their questions and set the stage for a great working relationship (even if that means in the future because they’re not quite ready yet). 

Credit Pulls

Once leads come in, and you have real conversations with them, the next step is to verify credit. What could go wrong here? Low credit pulls. 

When you are getting low credit pulls, there is probably a problem with your scripting. If you have leads engaged in a conversation with you or your team members but they aren’t generating credit pulls, something is going sideways with your scripts. There isn’t a sense of urgency, the leads aren’t comfortable with sharing their information or don’t understand why it’s needed at this point. There are many potential objections. However, the good news is this can be one of the easiest problems to identify and handle because you just need a little tweaking and training with scripting.

Pre-Approvals

At this point, you’ve taken the time to collect the leads, have the conversations and get the credit pulls – that’s great! You’re at about 60% efficiency when you have all that working. But what happens when you find out your leads are not pre-approvable? This happens when the lead source is bad. I have two stories to share with you that describe this perfectly.

In the first, one, I was at a flea market, saw all the people there and got a brilliant idea – I should set up a booth to collect leads. With all those people, I should get a ton of great leads, right? So that’s what I did – I set up my booth, started talking to people and collecting leads. I got a ton of them, as a matter of fact. But guess what? When I started working them, I learned the difference between quantity and quality. Even though I got lots of leads and had plenty of conversations that led into credit pulls, none of them were pre-approvable. That was a hard lesson to learn at the time. Flea markets are not a quality source of leads for qualified buyers. 

My second story is about the importance of tracking a KPI around credit pulls. A metric would be how many I got; a KPI is how many credit pulls are pre-approvable for each of my referral sources. 

So I had this agent who I thought was excellent. I was getting business from her constantly and spent a lot of time and resources following up on the leads she sent my way. One day, Diane pulled me to the side and said, “You know, we’re not closing any of the leads this realtor is sending over.” I was floored. I just couldn’t believe it. But the numbers don’t lie. When Diane and I sat with the agent and started going through lead by lead to track results, it confirmed what Diane had said. This agent was a great source of leads that turned into conversations and credit-pulls, but none of her clients were pre-approvable.

If you are having issues come up with your pre-approvals, check your lead source. Your time is your most precious asset – you cannot afford to waste it. This might sound harsh but when you build your business on broken people, you have a broken business. So look for red flags and patterns in your leads and how they’re progressing through your system. When pre-approvals are down compared to your incoming leads, you know it’s time to upgrade your lead source(s). 

Locks

Now, if you’ve gone through all these steps but still aren’t able to get these people into contracts, what’s left? Well, if you’re getting pre-approvals but no locks, it’s another symptom of not following up.  

Low conversion – as another point of conversion for your leads – means you have low follow-up. 

We need to talk about our PAALs, or those who are “Pre-Approved and Looking.” I’ll share more in my next post on that. 

For now, look at each of these five KPIs, or steps, in your business process to see where you have bottlenecks, leaks, gaps or inefficiencies. In fact, look at the four areas that are NOT more leads because that can have the biggest impact the fastest in your business. And when you are rockin’ and rollin’ in all five areas – conversations, credit pulls, preapprovals, locks AND leads – your business will grow. There’s just no other possible outcome. 

Let me know where you think you might have a bottleneck in your business below. This is not to call you out! (Well, maybe a little…) Instead, I want you to own what’s going on so you can address it. And maybe one of our community will have been through the same thing and can offer some insight or a way to get it handled faster and easier. So share below – you’re among friends here.

Carl White, Chief Officer of Coolness
Article Originally Posted on LinkedIn

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How to Lose PAALS Fast

I promised to talk about how to take care of our PAALs, or those who are “Pre-Approved and Looking.” Obviously, these are people you’ve already pre-approved who are on the hunt for the right property. Once you pre-approve someone, they typically go out looking for houses because they know what they can afford. 

Why do we need to talk about them in a serious and focused way? Because this is where we drop the ball as loan officers – sometimes we get so busy going after the next lead we ignore the leads we already have working. Ignoring the people we’ve pre-approved to go get more people to pre-approve can cause all kinds of unintended issues. 

First, we spend so much time, money and effort getting that lead and building trust that dropping the ball once they are a PAAL shows we are inconsistent. But it’s even more than that because to get the lead in the first place, we invested time in build the relationship with our referral partner. So what really happens is, once they’ve sent a lead, and we’ve done our due diligence and built trust with that lead and pre-approved them, ignoring them to look for more leads is a huge waste of time and money.

PAALs can also “ghost” us. When that happens, it’s an indicator they’ve found another lender, or worse, another lender and another realtor. If a realtor keeps sending you leads only to have those leads buy from someone else after you pre-approve them, then they’re probably to think twice next time about sending a lead your way. It’s a real loss when a referral partner starts referring their leads to someone else.

The bottom line is that, as responsible loan officers, we MUST follow up. Realtors have to be able to trust they won’t be losing sales by sending their leads to us. They’re relying on us to be attentive with their clients, which builds a beneficial relationship for everyone.

In our office, we like to call our PAALs every Thursday. Thursday works well because it gives us an extra day before the weekend to tweak things if we learn anything during our calls. We take it one step further because, once we call our PAALs, we also call the real estate agent to let them know we followed up with that person. We’ve found this to be a good way to build trust and demonstrate our commitment to our collaboration. 

Future Casting

Now, sometimes PAALs can drag out their homebuying process to the point it starts to hurt you and your realtor. For example, a PAAL might look at a property, then another, then another without ever deciding on one. When a PAAL sits on the fence like that, you can help them commit by future casting their dreams. 

Future casting is where you get your pre-approved potential client to envision themselves with their desired result. In this case, it’s about getting that PAAL to imagine themselves in their new home. You can work this into your Thursday touch base calls with something like, “Refresh me – what’s the purpose of the move?” When they share their dream goal, like maybe owning a pool home or living in a particular area to pursue hobbies or be closer to family, then you can help accelerate their decision by reminding them why they are moving by envisioning that pool, having fun with those hobbies or hanging with their family. 

Essentially, your goal is to get them to visualize what they’ll be doing when they’re in that new home, whether it’s swimming, having barbecues, saving money, or downsizing. There’s an old saying that demonstrates this idea well: 

Wherever your head is, your butt will soon follow. 

When you can get their heads into that house, it’s in their best interest. They’re not going to bite off something they can’t chew; instead, they’ll get off the fence faster because they know you have their back and they’re connected to their dream again.

Treat Your PAALs Like Pals

It might sound a little bit crazy but treat your PAALs like you would treat your pals – with respect, follow through and care about what they want in life. Would you let a friend go for a month without talking to them when you know they’re up to going after a big life dream? No. You would want to support them and find out how it’s going and see what’s up in case you can help. And that’s what you need to do with your PAALs too.

You’ve come a long way for them to become your PAAL – they came to you as a lead, you had one or more conversations where you built trust and shared information, you pulled their credit to see their financial life in detail, and you pre-approved them for one of the largest loans most people take in a lifetime. All that’s left is to lock in their deal… but if you don’t know how they’re doing, you can’t help them. 

To have a PAAL you need to be a pal. It’s just that simple. Follow through, keep the communication going, support them in seeing their vision, keep the dream alive and make sure they know you have their back when they find their ideal new property. That’s how you keep PAALs, and deals, in your business.

You’re Still Pals After the Deal is Done

Of course, once the deal is done, you are still pals because you will stay in touch with them. I’ve shared how to do that before but, in case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s how to use technology to help you stay in touch in a time-effective way – my newest book that I wrote with my buddy, Chris Johnstone. It’s called The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Ad Campaigns for Loan Officers: How to Use Social Media and Google to Generate More Leads, Build Your Network and Close More Deals. To get your copy, just click here now – you’ll be glad you did (IMHO). 

Do you have a strategy you use to stay in touch with your PAALs?

Carl White, Chief Officer of Coolness
Article Originally Posted on LinkedIn

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#LoanOfficer #MortgageMarketing #MortgageExpert #LoanOfficers #LoanOriginators #Lenders #MortgagePro #MortgageBroker #FreedomSeeker #Branding #Mortgage #MortgageLoanOfficer #MortgageAdvisor #MortgageBanker #TheMortgageMarketingAnimals #CarlWhite #FreedomClub #LoanOfficerFreedom #MortgageLife #MortgageLifestyle #HomeLoans #LoanOfficerLife #LoanOfficerLifestyle #MortgageBoss #Entrepreneur #MortgageFinanceAdvisor #MortgageAdvisor


4 Keys to Building a Frictionless Business

I don’t know if you know this, but I used to be a Boy Scout back in the day. I wasn’t too good at a lot of the things we did in survival training, but I liked learning about everything. One of the skills we had to learn was how to make a fire. To get a spark to start the fire, we learned how to create friction with a drill bow – basically, a round wooden stick that was in a vertical position, placed on a second flat, horizontal piece of wood. (Think of an upside-down T.) Then we would wind a string around the vertical stick to spin it back and forth quickly; the friction caused at the contact point between these two pieces of wood created a spark. Once we had a spark, we could start our fire. So, friction caused us to create fire.

Now, is creating a fire in business a good thing? Maybe… but you want the fire to be about visibility in your market, generating leads, and getting and closing lots of deals instead of having a raging fire in your infrastructure, your team, or your in-house systems. The way to make sure you have fire in the right places in your business is to create a frictionless business.

Look around your office right now. How far away is your computer? Your printer? Your stapler? Can you reach them without pulling a shoulder? Is your chair comfortable? Do you have pens and paper handy or do you have to get up and walk over to a file cabinet to get them? Can you get ahold of a team member easily or do you shout down the hall to get their attention? Where are the things that hold you up or take extra time because they’re not set up just right for you to be productive and at peak performance? Those are your friction points.

Here are other friction-makers in business… not having a complete file on your prospects, clients and/or agents and referral partners. Not being able to see exactly where each deal is and who is handling what part of the deal(s). Not having the right team members – trained – in place. Doing manual data entry on the same file in two or more places. Basically, anything that is redundant as a processor that gets in the way of or slows you in delivering a great result and experience to your potential and current clients is a friction point.

Or we can think about it in the opposite – what makes a frictionless business? I would suggest having the ability to call up and rely on accurate, relevant, complete information on each prospect, client, agent and referral partner on command. Having the ability to communicate to each of your prospects and clients quarterly is a big deal. Having the right technology to leverage your time and energy. Having the right team members who are trained and can handle processing the deals once you get them in the door. Having the right corporate culture that supports innovation, fast-thinking and serving your clients in a personal way is critical. Having the ability to attract new prospects and then convert them to work with you for their deals easily is a big key to success.

Basically, anything that allows you to attract, educate and nurture clients and close deals more efficiently, quickly and easily in a cost-effective, timely and streamlined way makes your business frictionless. (Try saying that three times fast!)

4 Keys to Frictionless Business

While you can see there are many things that add up to having a frictionless business, there are four keys that can help you leverage your time and energy in making your mortgage business frictionless and more successful with less effort.

1. A Motivated Culture

The culture of any business is, basically, the heartbeat of the business. It’s the unspoken ‘hum’ that you and your team members create through language, behaviors and attitudes. The unwritten culture guides team members in making decisions, collaborating effectively (or not), gives your team ‘the feels’, and creates safe space for trying new things to improve helping your clients. When I say ‘safe space’, that’s not about the office environment, although that’s important too. Instead, it’s a mindset that supports team members in finding new ways to support your clients and close deals more effectively. Growth needs motivated team members and wiggle room. So your culture needs to value continuous improvement, forgive mistakes and celebrate progress.

2. Client-Centric

Business exists to serve clients and get paid for doing so; if your business isn’t wrapping everything around your clients, you are overlooking opportunities for growth. Consider every aspect of your brand promise, your business processes, your operations, your skills and your ability to deliver a delightful experience to your clients. Where needed, upgrade (or establish) what’s needed to ensure your clients have an exceptional experience with you and your business. If you aren’t quite sure yet what that means, focus on delivering better value and a smoother, happier experience for your clients because that’s what will make sure your business grows over time.

3. Flexibility

As we’ve already established, business is about serving clients – clients who lead dynamic, busy lives and who might have short attention spans – using your resources and capabilities. Business is changing faster than ever before in history. Your clients are being bombarded with messages and are doing more self-service research and being more informed than ever before too. You need to be able to understand trends, problem-solve and make quick decisions in your business. Your team needs to be agile and able to adopt new processes that will help serve your clients better. Being able to flex with the changes that are inevitable – because people are always changing – is how your business stays fresh and viable for the long-term.

4. Invisible Intelligence

I think I just made up a new business concept – invisible intelligence. What I mean by it is that your clients should never see you sweat. Your processes should be automated. Your team members should be able to answer the phone and pull up that client record to continue a conversation like they know what’s going on with that file. Your marketing should be cohesive, with clear messaging that relates back to your brand promise. Your online advertising should be strategic and target prospects using real-time data. Basically, make the operations invisible to make your business frictionless and your results seem effortless.

Altogether, when you look at the friction points in your business so you can eliminate, or at least neutralize, them, you set yourself up for more efficient and effective operations. That means you and your team become more productive. And that means you can help more people get the homes they want, which makes your business more profitable.

Where can you see that you need to eliminate friction in your business?

Carl White, Chief Officer of Coolness
Article Originally Posted on LinkedIn

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#LoanOfficer #MortgageMarketing #MortgageExpert #LoanOfficers #LoanOriginators #Lenders #MortgagePro #MortgageBroker #FreedomSeeker #Branding #Mortgage #MortgageLoanOfficer #MortgageAdvisor #MortgageBanker #TheMortgageMarketingAnimals #CarlWhite #FreedomClub #LoanOfficerFreedom #MortgageLife #MortgageLifestyle #HomeLoans #LoanOfficerLife #LoanOfficerLifestyle #MortgageBoss #Entrepreneur #MortgageFinanceAdvisor #MortgageAdvisor

What’s Working For Your Mortgage Business Right Now

Carl White - Focus On What's Working Right Now in Your Mortgage Business - Mortgage Marketing Animals

It can be really fun to chase the next bright shiny object to build your business. In fact, I am often asked about my thoughts on the latest widget, gizmo or tool that can help grow a mortgage business. While cool tools certainly have a place in creating business success, they can be a slippery slope because we will rely on them to do what we need to do for our business growth. Relationships are the key to business success and tools can’t replace relationships. Can tools help nurture relationships? Yes. But on their own, tools are meaningless when it comes to sustainable business growth.

One of the greatest blessings of being a loan officer is having the opportunity to be creative. And one of the worst things about being a loan officer are the opportunities to be creative. While creativity is a great tool to have in your toolbox, too much can actually be a problem because when creativity combines with intelligence, you start getting a lot of new side projects.

Bear with me now because I’m going to explore a side road. There is something interesting that happens with success… your thought patterns change. Remember how you felt right after you got your first five loans a month? What did you think about that? Since I think you and I are pretty similar, chances are you thought, “hey – I did that! I can do anything now!” I think everybody likes to believe they are smart, and they can do anything they put their mind toward doing. And I believe that too. I believe you can do what you set your mind on but here’s what gets in the way: humans are hardwired to be creative.

Creativity plus smarts equals new projects. Each project you start is like the start of you building a new bridge. With creativity and inspiration, it’s easy to start building bridges; it’s a lot harder to finish the ones you’ve already started. But if you don’t finish the bridges you start, you never get to the other side. That’s the downside of “new”, “next” and “future” calling your attention.

In my opinion, it shouldn’t be all about what’s new or next, or what’s working for somebody else… instead, the question you should be asking is, “What’s working for my business right now?

The One Question to Ask Yourself

One question I always ask loan officers is, “How did you bring in your last 10 loans?” I don’t care whether you’re closing 30 loans a month or one loan every other month — what really matters is what you did to bring in your most current loans. Whether it took you a week or a year to accomplish it, what’s important is how you did it. Why? Because that’s working for you right now.

Some people will say it was closing on time or going to closing right away – which are great! – but you have to go further in answering that question. In those scenarios, ask yourself, “What did I do to bring that loan in for it to close on time? What did I do for that loan to be able to go to closing?” You have to think back to the original activity that brought in those ten loans. It might have been meeting with real estate agents, delivering a clear call to action, teaching a class to new homebuyers, social media marketing or something else but, no matter what it is, the key is to identify it and do more of it. And, naturally, to eliminate any obstacles in your way to doing more of it.

Once you’ve identified the activities that are working for you, try evaluating them using the following four steps. Remember, in answering the questions for all four steps, your ratings should be based on your approach vs. anybody else’s approach.

  1. Write down the methods you used to bring in the loans.
  2. Rank the strategies that energized you the most, using a scale of 1–10 to with 1 being the most draining and 10 representing the most passion for you.
  3. Use the same 1–10 scale only this time you will measure each strategy to see how sustainable it is and whether you can keep it going on a continuing basis.
  4. Use that same 1 – 10 rating system to measure how easy the activities are to use and complete.

Of the strategies you have been using, whichever one gets the highest grade is the one you want to be doing. Instead of focusing your attention on the new or next strategy, you just learned what you’re doing that’s working for you. Your goal is to do more of those things. As a result, you’ll find yourself feeling more energy, and enjoying your work more, because you are using strategies and techniques that are sustainable for you and don’t cause additional stress.

What does all this mean? The secret to great success in business is turning off your big brain and all that creativity from time to time. You don’t need to think of new ways to improve your business; instead, make it easy on yourself. Just do more of what’s already working.

What are some of the strategies you realize are working for you? Remember, even if you share them below, they won’t work the same for somebody else – instead, you’re sharing to inspire others to think about new possibilities. It’s impossible to ‘steal’ someone else’s way of doing business because each of us is unique. Even if someone adopted your way of doing something, their results will be different because they aren’t you.

Now I’m not asking you to share top-secret proprietary methods or anything you don’t want to share! But if you have a tip or strategy or turning point of discovery in your business, you might be the catalyst to helping someone get new results in their business. We are all friends here… thanks in advance for being willing.

Carl White, Chief Officer of Coolness
Article Originally Posted on LinkedIn

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#LoanOfficer #MortgageMarketing #MortgageExpert #LoanOfficers #LoanOriginators #Lenders #MortgagePro #MortgageBroker #FreedomSeeker #Branding #Mortgage #MortgageLoanOfficer #MortgageAdvisor #MortgageBanker #TheMortgageMarketingAnimals #CarlWhite #FreedomClub #LoanOfficerFreedom #MortgageLife #MortgageLifestyle #HomeLoans #LoanOfficerLife #LoanOfficerLifestyle #MortgageBoss #Entrepreneur #MortgageFinanceAdvisor #MortgageAdvisor




Are You Asking or Begging for Business?

Let’s look at two different selling conversation scenarios. In the first, the loan officer looks concerned, is over-selling with too much information and practically throwing themselves on their knees in front of the client, a bit like they are pleading for their life. They might not actually get to inviting the client to make a buying decision because they’re too engaged in their own stories about why the client should work with them. In the second scenario, the loan officer has good posture, appears confident, and asks, “Can I help you get your house with a great loan?” Which scenario do you think is going to be more attractive to a client?

I’m obviously over-dramatizing these scenarios, and it’s obvious which one a client will be more comfortable with in a buying decision. But I’ve seen a lot in my years in this business; what loan officers don’t know about how they are showing up in their selling conversations is hurting their business. This usually happens when the loan officer is new to sales, is intimidated when they think of asking for business, or feels like sales is a big manipulation. They don’t know they are, by default, setting themselves up to beg for business.

If you approach a selling conversation thinking about how badly you need the commission, that’s a mental set-up to beg for business. You are thinking about yourself, and your focus is on your scarcity vs. helping your client. If you believe that selling is unpleasant, that’s a problem too because you will naturally avoid or postpone having the sales conversation or it will come out strange when you do get to that point in the conversation.

Then there are the big-box banks that have high quotas; loan officers there are focusing on reaching those quotas so they might put their client into a program that is not in their best interest so the LO can hit their numbers. Call this unscrupulous or call it career survival tactics – either way, it’s not helpful to the client which is where our attention has to be focused.

The reality is that asking for a sale is good salesmanship – it’s something we call “closing”, and it needs to happen to help the client get what they want – their new home. When I ask someone for business, I’m confident I can help that person in many ways and dramatically impact their life for the better. To me, when I ask for business, I’m really asking, “Can I help you in a way I know I can?

In fact, when I don’t ask for a person’s business, I’m being disrespectful to that person because I know I can enhance their experience. If I hold back on making an offer because of my own projected fears that I’ll be “begging” for business, or sounding too “sales-y”, I’m preventing that person from getting the best possible service through me to have their dream home. My attitude is what determines the quality of my “ask”, so my focus is always on providing the service I know will, ultimately, help that person. And when I do that, I change that person’s life.

At the risk of taking us off-track for a second, let’s look at that for a minute… how many times has someone asked to help you with a purchase or to make a decision about making a purchase – and it changed your life? If it was something you wanted but weren’t sure how to get, or something you thought you couldn’t have until someone showed you how it could be yours with their help, wasn’t that life-changing – in only good ways? A good sales conversation shows you how you can have what you want faster and easier. And that goes for your clients too.

Four Parts in A Sales Process

There are four parts in a sale: traffic, relationship, call to action, and follow-up. Each part is about 25% of the sales process.

  1. Traffic is about how many people are seeing your business and being referred to it.
  2. Relationship focuses on how those people who learn about or come into your business feel about you. So you could have a decent amount of traffic coming your way, but if they are unclear about the value you provide or they don’t like how you do business or, worse, you insult them in some way, you’re probably not getting the sale.
  3. The call to action is one of the most critical parts of making a sale because it’s where you set up the close. You might have good traffic, and your people like and want to do business with you, but if you don’t tell them how you can help them and what they should do to work with you, you won’t have any deals.
  4. Lastly, follow-up is about being efficient in the second (relationship) and third (call to action) parts of the sale. Follow-up makes the relationship more tangible, clarifies the action steps and sets the stage for the outcome of doing business together.

All businesses have bottlenecks in one of these four areas. Any time someone comes to me with a problem about sales, I look for which stage of the process they’re missing or not handling well. For example, that loan officer might tell me they’re meeting with clients and agents but not asking for business. When I hear that, it’s good news. Why? Because it means all they’re missing is a call to action, which is the quickest, easiest and cheapest fix of the four parts of the sale. It’s nothing more than actually asking for business.

What gets in the way of asking for business? I believe it’s the fear of rejection. When people say no to us in the sales world, they’re not saying, “I don’t like you,” even though that can be what we think sometimes. But that’s a lie. It’s not personal. The reason a prospective client says no is almost always because that individual doesn’t need what we’re currently offering.

I have a good example for you. Recently, I bought a set of new tires for my Jeep. I thoroughly enjoyed the sales process – the business is solid, the tires are spectacular, and the salesman – Larry – was a great guy. Imagine if Larry were to call me up today and say, “Hey Carl, you know those big expensive tires you bought? I’ve got the deal of a lifetime. For $100 – a fraction of the original price – I’ll sell you a whole new set. You just have to use them for yourself and not sell them.” What would I say? “Larry – no, thanks.” That would be my answer not because my experience was terrible, but because I don’t need another set of brand-new tires at the moment.

So when an agent tells you “no,” it just means they’re already working with an amazing loan officer and everything is working great. But you and I know things go wrong all the time; and, when they do, there is an opportunity. If their loan officer isn’t asking for business and you are, eventually you’ll win out because you’re the one who’s doing all the asking. A gentleman I saw speak at a seminar once told me an invaluable piece of wisdom. He said, “Carl, whoever makes the most offers wins. If you want to make more sales, make more offers. Ask for more business.” It just stands to reason, doesn’t it?

Business is about asking how you can serve with what you know or have to help that person. Good business means you can get the transaction done in a clean, timely way. Great business means you care about the impact you’re having with the person while delivering value on your promise to them.

So, as you’re having a conversation with someone — I don’t care who you’re talking to, how the conversation started, or what script you’re using — one of the last things you need to say is, “Can I count on you to give me a call?” Asking this question ensures you’ll close on time, secure ongoing updates, get follow-ups on your leads, and increase the number of referrals you receive going forward.

Presenting a Call to Action (CTA)

The last part I want to go over with you is what happens if you haven’t presented a call to action before. Many people think giving a call to action sounds weird and is “too sales-y.” But are the guys who talk about football “too football-y?” Are the parents who talk about good parenting “too parent-y?” No, of course not. You are in the business of making dreams come true through loan opportunities. You are in business, period. So when you talk sales, and ask for business, you are being a good steward of people’s dreams.

The first thing to remember is that a call to action only seems weird to the person giving it. What if I were to ask you, “Hey, you’ve been a member of our group and receiving these newsletters for a while now — has it been helping you?” I think most everyone would say, “Well, yes.” From there, I would respond with, “Could I ask you for a favor? If you know of another loan officer in your area who may not be part of our group, could I count on you to introduce us so that we can tell them what we do over here? I’d like to help them out, too.

When you read that, I doubt you’re thinking, “The nerve, Carl — I can’t believe you actually asked me to do that!” In fact, you – and many others – wouldn’t find it odd at all. You might think, “Of course I’d like to help you out, Carl. You help me, and I’d like to do the same for you.

Even though I know I can help you and other loan officers, and that my call to action is received positively, it feels weird every time I present that call to action live. However, for the person receiving that information, it doesn’t sound weird at all.

On a side note: when one loan officer does better, we all win. The only real competition we have is against who we were yesterday. So when you help another loan officer, you’re helping that person take care of their family and all the clients in their world, which you probably wouldn’t meet anyway. We attract clients who are our best fit. Generous people generate. The amazing loan officers who work with me and my team get that. We’re an amazing group… shout-out to The Freedom Club and the Mortgage Marketing Animals members!

Anyway, always remember the call to action only sounds or feels weird to you, not the person receiving or being invited to take action on it. So set aside those mental goblins that keep you from asking for business and just do it – just make the ask. That’s the secret great salespeople have discovered – they ask for business. And they make a lot of asks – with confidence, a service orientation, and clarity so people don’t misunderstand their call to action. Be one of the great salespeople – ask for the business. Do you have questions about how to close a sale? Are you stuck in a pattern where scarcity or low sales-esteem is causing you to not make an ask? Or do you have words of encouragement for others based on when you learned how to make a good ask?

Carl White, Chief Officer of Coolness
Article Originally Posted on LinkedIn

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