Have you ever watched the reality TV show “Shark Tank” and seen the presentation of a brilliant business idea that the investors were interested in, only to watch the entrepreneur walk out without a deal because they didn’t know when to stop talking? This happens to mortgage originators all the time.
If you don’t know proper sales etiquette, it can be easier to talk yourself out of a deal than you think (without ever realizing you’re doing it). Regardless of your style — whether it is aggressive, laid back, enthusiastic or something else entirely — here are a few practices you need to implement into your sales process.
Do no harm
There’s an old school of thought about sales that says you have to work to overcome all of the objections of your prospect. It’s important to be able to read between the words of your prospect to get to the heart of their hesitation, as there are times when the objection they give you is not the real objection they have.
There’s a difference between asking questions to uncover what’s going on with your prospect so that you can best support them and pushing prospects into a sale that doesn’t serve them. You have to know when to stop pushing for the sale and honor what’s best for the prospect. You want to value a good sale over your commission. It’ll help your reputation with the prospect, as well as their friends and families, and your referral partners. You never want, for instance, an accountant who referred you to a client to hear that you were overbearing in your dealings.
To learn how to know when to stop pushing the sale, you need the skills of asking the right questions, listening to the cues and paying attention to the prospect’s body language. When the prospect leans into you and gives you open body language, you’re safe to keep selling. If the prospect puts up barriers and closes themselves off, such as by leaning back or crossing their arms, it’s time to stop selling.
If you don’t learn these vital skills, you’re in danger of making the prospect feel poorly about themselves and then they’ll associate you with that feeling from then on. Whether or not a prospect buys today, a negative emotional association could compromise future sales and referrals.
Keep in mind that a prospect does not only represent one possible transaction. They represent multiple sales opportunities because of who they can refer to you. Even prospects who don’t buy will still refer business to you when they have a positive experience.
Guide the process
Overcoming objections is an important part of any sales process. And it’s no different with the mortgage industry. Prospects are bound to have questions, fears and hesitations. It’s your job to guide them through the decisionmaking process that truly benefits them. Sometimes, this means not making the sale and directing the prospect elsewhere.
The key is to remember your goal, which is to inspire your prospect to overcome their objections and arrive at the best decision for themselves (which usually is the sale). It is not your job, however, to break down their objections.
Inspiring prospects helps them to reframe their mind around their objections so that they can see the opportunity clearly. You should trust them to arrive at the right decision for themselves — whatever that happens to be. Breaking down their objections involves dismantling and disregarding what your prospects are sharing so they’ll say “yes.”
Any good sale made with integrity should be handled with respect and honor for what the prospect is sharing, with a detachment to the outcome. The only outcome you should expect in the sales process is the one that’s right for the prospect. You can support and inspire them through the process, but you don’t want to break them down to close the deal. The victory in sales is the empowered decision the prospect comes to on their own.
When talking about a mortgage, make sure it fits with your prospect’s needs, situation and resources. The sales process is more about fit and alignment than about closing deals.
Find the fit
When talking about a mortgage, make sure it fits with your prospect’s needs, situation and resources. The sales process is more about fit and alignment than it is about closing a deal. On average, closing rates go up over time because originators become better at qualifying leads ahead of time, learning the right questions to ask and learning how to read prospects by paying better attention to them.
So, when you talk to a client about a mortgage, you should not assume that they will choose you. The offer will come only if it’s right for the prospect. This approach works so well because it takes the tension out of the conversation and allows you to authentically connect with the client.
If you expect to make a sale, the prospect will feel that tension throughout the conversation. If you’re having a conversation to feel out whether an offer is right for the prospect, then they also will feel that. The only time to make an offer is when you believe that it is the right thing for the prospect. Anything else creates a more convoluted process than necessary and can tank your closing rates.
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When a prospect says “yes,” move on to giving them what they want. Don’t try to talk them into the sale — they’re already in. The more you speak in this scenario, the more likely the sale is to fall through. The next time you’re in a sales conversation, remember to stop overselling and close the deal that has been agreed upon. ●