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You can use the hierarchy of needs to classify the level of value that customers seek. Gathering information -- such as their annual income, property value, total debt and job title -- to develop their profiles and listening to their stories are ways to assess customers' need levels. Once you know the level, you can offer more-relevant benefits. This increases the perceived value clients gain by doing business with you.
Tailor a benefit or a series of benefits to their needs. For example, if a customer wants to pay off debt and lower the mortgage payment, you might recommend a financial planner. Or if you are going to meet customers at their house, ask if it would be all right for "your associate" to visit with you.
Most clients want to know every step of the progress being made on their loans. Early in the relationship, I tell these clients that I will call them every Tuesday morning with a progress report. This way, I am acting on their sense of safety needs. Then I attend the closing as well.
This benefit of communication and contact often can be a huge value-added proposition to customers who have had previous bad experiences with loan officers. Again, it is up to you to glean the necessary information to know what benefit to offer that will be of maximum value to customers.
Putting this formula into action is simple. Through interaction with customers, you will assess their level of need and how they perceive value. This will allow you to offer a comparable level of benefit. Adding a bit more benefit to gain that value-added proposition will set you above the competition, and you will have signed docs.
Every customer has a different perceived value. If you are able to offer a benefit at a reasonable cost that will meet and exceed their level of value, then you always will turn a customer contact into a client contract.
Stewart Mednick is a senior mortgage consultant and also the principal for SRD Co., specializing in sales relationship-development training and consulting. Mednick also teaches sales, marketing and finance on a college level. He has a master's degree in business administration in finance and has worked in finance and education for more than 20 years. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 587-6276.
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