As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, May 2012.
In today’s tumultuous market, many mortgage professionals try to sell too much and persuade too little. That distinction is important to make — mortgage professionals who are skilled at persuasion and can appeal to the buying patterns of their clients often outperform brokers and originators who attempt to appeal strictly to their customers’ analytical sides.
In an industry as competitive as the mortgage industry, it can be frustrating to watch clients choose another broker or originator instead of yourself, especially if that other originator is less experienced or skilled. Of course, a multitude of factors affects clients’ decisions, but brokers and originators who are familiar with broader principles of persuasion often can have the upper hand.
As such, bear the following four tips in mind if you’re considering how you can improve your business — whether you’re hoping to boost your closing ratio or simply trying to increase your volume.
Know the difference between persuasion and communication. Don’t be mistaken: Persuasion and communication are not the same, although they’re certainly related. In short, persuasion skills are the nitro behind communication skills, because they’re designed to lead people to a belief or action, rather than merely convey an idea. Simply distinguishing when you’re persuading and when you’re only communicating can help you improve your sales success.
Excite your borrowers’ imagination. When talking with clients, be sure to clearly outline all of the benefits of working with you — and make sure that you’re appealing to their emotions, as well as their logic and sensibility. Knowing what drives your customers’ emotions is the key to knowing what drives them to say “yes.” The same holds true for your referral sources; if they can’t clearly imagine all of the benefits of working with you, then you have very little chance of getting their business.
Be careful about what you say, whether negative or positive. All too often, clients only think in literal positives. In other words, if you tell people not to worry about certain potential problems with a deal, you may actually be telling them to think about those very topics. If you advise clients, for instance, not to worry about the economy, it may be the case that you’re inadvertently encouraging them to do just the opposite and dwell on the recession. It’s vital, therefore, to be careful about each and every word you speak.
Establish authority and control from the first interaction. Although it can be a relief to have clients who are well-versed in financial matters and the mortgage industry as a whole, those customers still should defer to your expertise. Don’t let clients tell you how to do your job; establish control from the moment a sales situation begins.
In short, every word you speak and write is a suggestion. You need to be aware not only of what you’re telling prospective borrowers and referral sources, but also what you’re suggesting to them. If you aren’t happy with your current production, that simply means that someone else is doing a better job of persuading your prospective borrowers — even if that much is difficult for some people to admit.
John Alexandrov is CEO of REIC, the leading coaching and training organization in the U.S. in assisting mortgage professionals and Realtors to use advanced persuasion techniques to make more sales and close more loans.
To learn more, visit reicconnect.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.