There is fierce competition in the mortgage industry for every borrower. How do you obtain the necessary edge to win more than you lose, especially with an increasingly knowledgeable borrower who is sizing up the right fit for their mortgage needs?
To do that, let’s address the art of the close. In other words, on every call, you should be able to create the feeling that if you do everything right, you will put yourself in position to capture the loan and hang onto it all the way to funding. To truly be able to realize this feeling, there are a progression of steps that lead to three magical words with a borrower, “Wouldn’t you agree?”
You will never complete a sale unless you master the ability to uncover or create need in the borrower’s mind. The core foundation for making this happen is to generate a mindset to strive for this on every call you have.
Whether it be with a borrower or a Realtor, selling is a craft and the art of closing rises from creating seamless communication with the client. So, when talking with a borrower, think “question first, statement second.”
With this proper approach in communication, the call then evolves into reacting to the client’s responses. In selling, the first question rarely leads to a result. Many more needs become clear on the second or third questions that build off the client’s responses. This leads to clarity — both for you as a sales professional and them as a borrower or Realtor.
Once you start to understand how to let the call come to you versus forcing your ideas on the client, selling becomes a lot of fun. As you develop as an astute salesperson, the mental game of selling is to always stay in control of the call while consistently applying subtle pressure that leads to a result. Do you win every call? No. Do you want to win every call? No, and here’s why.
Everyone has heard of the concept of creating a client for life — again, this could be a repeat borrower who returns to you multiple times, or a borrower or a real estate agent who sends you referrals year after year that help you produce more closed loans.
Many times, you are so desirous of this type of relationship you may take on a difficult or potentially bad loan if you lack confidence in your ability to sell. By maintaining the values of what you believe in and guarding against nonproductive, high-maintenance relationships that use you more than utilize you, the sales process can help to avoid getting in these entrapments by sticking with the plan.
The best relationships are based on trust, and strong business partnerships are formed by executing and meeting each other’s expectations. This dynamic is best achieved through a quality interaction and coming to a meeting of the minds about what each party can do to meet the other’s individual requirements. For example, a borrower may truly need more than just a low-fee, low-point, 30-year fixed rate loan, but they start off with that primary request.
Our ability to find out all the variables that go into recommending the right loan product only happens with second- and third-level questions, and establishing with the borrower that you are looking out for their best interests, rather than just trying to make a sale. A Realtor may say they want constant updates, but you’ll need to dig deeper to find out how often and in what form they want to be kept on track throughout the transaction. This can help you avoid overwhelming them with too much information.
The agent wants to build a level of trust so they have the confidence that their commission will be earned in tandem with a quality mortgage professional. This can only be met through a needs-analysis type of sales call and a true understanding that is reached through implementation of second- and third-level questioning.
In so many aspects of our life, analogies bring clarity and perspective. In the game of sales, tennis is a true barometer of what a call can be all about. If you have ever played the game or watched a match, the basics of how a point is won is that once you hit the ball over the net, the opponent has to try and return the ball to your side of the net or the point is yours.
Sounds basic, right? Yet as you watch tennis professionals play or you play a game, so much more goes into winning a point than just that basic description: strategy about where to hit the ball, as well as skill in how to set up and return a shot, constantly putting pressure on your opponent to be able to return the ball. In the game of sales, this analogy translates to the client not being able to say no.
As you look to win on a sales call, here are the tips to winning the point. By utilizing the process described, you are figuring out the proper angle to hit your shot (by asking the best possible question) and putting your client in a position where it is difficult for them to object or offer a counterargument.
Through your sales approach of asking and listening while building off the responses, you have positioned yourself for the shot that cannot be returned. The way to confirm that is through a complete summary prior to asking for business from a borrower and/or Realtor.
As you start your closing approach with the client or referral partner, use their own words that you have pulled out with your questioning during the call. You can then ask a question that is extremely difficult for them to say no to. These are three most powerful words in sales: “Wouldn’t you agree?” At this point, you can hear it in their voice or see it in their reaction whether you have won the point.
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Sales is not a science; it is an art. The more you work on these skills, the more they will benefit you this coming year and beyond. Be prepared for each interaction you have but never forget the importance of closing with confidence. This is earned through the points we have reviewed. All the other party can do is return the shot and you still have a chance to hit it back.