Top of Mind Networks

Is Your Voice on the Phone Killing Your Sales?

November 9, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

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More and more our debt settlement and mortgage sales are dependent upon our performance on the telephone. That means that your voice and tone are critical to closing the deal. Is it helping or hurting you?

Let’s run through a simple checklist.

Tone

Let’s start with your tone. What are you conveying to the customer? Confidence, strength, and competence or are you telling the customer you are unsure, timid, or confusing?

You need to position your mind to be sure of the sale. This and a little preparation will make you come across as the right person to help them. And if they aren’t looking for help they may open their mind to your value proposition.

Inflection

Your key points are critical to conveying value. Are you pointing to this unique value propositions with your voice? That is what inflection does for you.

Put the emphasis on the key point of your pitch. This takes thought and practice. Rambling through a script is unlikely to deliver.

Delivery

Like I just mentioned in talking about inflection, a good delivery takes practice. A smooth delivery brings confidence and competence to the sales pitch. Your customer will feel like you know what you are talking about. It makes them confident you can guide them through a complex transaction or solution, like a mortgage or debt settlement.

Sound

Listen to your voice. Record your sales pitch while you are practicing. This will sound weird at first, but understanding your nuances or distracting features in your voice can bring big improvement.

A good conversationalist does not necessarily make the best sales voice. Record, listen, and practice. Get your voice to sound more appealing. It works. This is what all the actors, singers, and politicians do. If you want to earn a living with your voice too–practice and perfect it.

Energy

You ever wonder why the great sales people don’t do sales calls laying down or even sitting? It is because those body positions are energy killers.

Do you want more proof? Think about rock stars. They stand, run, and gyrate around the stage for their big, high-energy hits. And then they sit down for their slow ballads.

Stand-up and move around. This is what gives your voice energy and confidence. No customer wants to buy from someone that sounds like they are awaking from a slumber.

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The Hidden Referral Source – Your Vendors

November 3, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Everyone reading this article is in sales, right?  So basically, we’re all vendors.

So far this week, I’ve had two experiences I’d like to share – one positive and one negative.

The Positive Experience

This afternoon, I got a phone call from a client/friend.  In his travels, he ran into a borrower in need of a mortgage in a state he cannot service.  So my client picked up the phone and asked me if I know anybody in a certain state.  Fortunately, one of my favorite Top of Mind clients immediately came, well, to the top of my mind.  So I referred this individual a nice, juicy, highly qualified deal.  It was the easiest thing I accomplished all day.  And the most enjoyable.

This client doesn’t spend a lot of money with Top of Mind, so it’s not a game of “tit for tat”.  This client simply shows me tremendous courtesy and respect every time I interact with them.  They are an absolute pleasure to deal with.  When I call them, I don’t detect that hint of disappointment in their tone.  You know the one, right?  The one that says “I really wish you were a client calling me.”

The Negative Experience

We got a lead over the weekend on our website, and as it came in I happened to be on my home computer.  I immediately emailed this individual to thank them for their interest and introduce myself.  There’s no need to get into granular details about what happened (but if you buy me a beer at Mortgage Revolution I’m sure I’ll come clean).  Suffice it to say that this loan officer (notice how I don’t use the term mortgage professional here) was purposely making me jump through hoops – for two straight days - just to pin down an appointment.  We’ve all been through this, right?  We can tell when someone is just wasting our time and when they’re legitimately busy.

Sometimes, people think that just because they might represent a “sale” it gives them authority to disrespect us.  Maybe it’s because they’re getting disrespected by their clients?  I don’t know, I’m not a psychologist.

The Point

Don’t treat vendors like second-class citizens – no matter how poorly your clients treat you.  The right vendor will run through a brick wall for you -  Top of Mind is just one of them.  Not only that – vendors can serve as your “eyes and ears” on the street. 

They are always down with what’s working out there – and more importantly, what’s not.  Best of all, every once in a while vendors get to give back through referrals.

Take a moment and think about your vendor base.  Is there anything they can do to help you facilitate more referral business?  Does your CPA belong to a trade organization that will allow you to host a lunch & learn on the various tax initiatives on the table?  Is your barber friends with any local real estate agents?

This one schmucky prospect really helped give me perspective on how awesome our clients are – and how it’s okay to walk away from bad business.

Do people really know, like, and trust you?

October 23, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

origmkcoahDo you ever wonder why some originators do really, really well with a system or strategy and you struggle with the same stuff?

Which system, strategy, or program is right for you? How do you choose?

What will really make you successful? Listen to today’s Originators Guide podcast to find out what 3 key ingredients you will need to have to very successful in life and business.

You can listen online here.

How to Prepare for the Future of Mortgage Origination

October 14, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

So much talk has been going around about the future of  the mortgage business. Some brokers have been questioning the wholesale business and if it will still be around, while some originators at banks have dealt with the fear of being shut down by the Feds. Where is the truth and what does the future really hold for the loan officer?

Should you be a broker, banker, or candle stick maker? Is there a safe place to hang your hat?What can you be doing to secure your future?

These are the types of questions I am getting a lot lately, so I devoted an entire podcast to what I think today’s loan officer should be doing.

If you are in need of some hope, real life strategies, and a clear vision for your business then be sure to listen to this podcast.

Feel free to listen here or download a copy and take it with you on the road.

Go Grow Your Business….No Really…YOU!!!

October 11, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

I have the pleasure of knowing and talking to many of the industry leaders as well as some fresh faces that are doing great things. What I find interesting is that they all are working on growing and building their brand as well as working the day to day items.

There are LOTS of great ideas and lots of great Services such as Top of Mind, Loan Tool Box, Mortgage Coach, MMG, Sales Mastery and CMPS just to name a few.  You probably have mentors and parterns with equally great ideas.  Really all of the ideas you need are out there just waiting to be implement.   There are TONS of other resources both free and for a fee.

IMPLEMENTAION IS THE KEY!!!

My challenge to you is to build, grow, swipe and adapt, create, strengthen and CREATE your business. The MOST opportunity is when there is turmoil in the market which shakes up the status quot.  YOU can pick up market share right now. You can build your brand. Here are some of the REALLY COOL examples of items being done.

This is by no means a comprehensive list and I would love to hear other ideas:

Dustin Hughes — VIDEO KING — motivation and information

Chris Brown — TV STAR — News casts and press releases

Shaun Guerrero — Client Event — Movie Night

CREATE OR IMPLEMENT YOUR ITEM HERE!!!

I have seen great things with these…some of which I have personally done and had GREAT SUCCESS.

FTHB seminars — 287 to my last event — you can too!

Leann Scrimpshire — Realtor BP events — she did one 2 years ago and Greg Frost has an interview on LTB with her….I did the same last year and will do it again. We took full video, pics etc….TRY IT!

LUNCH/COFFEE — if you are eating alone, you are MISSING OUT!!!

Mark Green — doing incredible things for us as an industry. The NAMB call last week, Mortgage Revolution, etc…

Again, this is a quick list…what others do you see that YOU can implement?

What are YOU willing to do for your career, for your industry, for your TEAMS, and for your family and friends?

Most importantly, you must have a TAKE NO PRISENERS attitude.  Failure is NOT an option.  You can and must commit to your success.  YOU, and I do mean YOU, must make the implementation of items a NON-NEGOTABLE item.  As Tim Davis has said to me, “Take Massive Action!” 

YOUR TURN…..ACTION STARTS WITH ACT!!!

You can take market share and build your brand. With the current challenges in the market I have just one thought….

BRING IT!!!!!!!

~To Your Success

4 Simple Strategies That Are Working Right Now!

October 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Wow! we have seen a lot of changes and more are on the way. Many people are questioning, what is coming next, how do I handle it, and what should I do with my business and career. I have found that it really all comes down to 4 simple strategies that the top people do to get, keep, and maintain success.

Here they are…

1. Determine your commitment level. Are you all in or all out. It just isn’t possible to get half pregnant so you either are or you are not. There is the story of having eggs and bacon for breakfast that really drives this point home. In the story, the chicken was available, but the pig was committed. There are a lot of opportunities in today’s market, and how you see them is based on your level of commitment.

2. Be Consistent! It is really hard to gain traction and everyone wants something now. I hear it all the time…What is working now? What people really mean is how can I get a loan that will close today so that I can put a paycheck in the bank. When you determine to be committed, you also have to realize that success is built over time, not all at once. You will meet failure face to face on your journey, but you must remain consistent throughout.

3. Be Memorable! If you go to an agents office, speak at a chamber event, or network at BNI are you someone people will remember? You’d better be if you want to succeed. Develop your brand, your image, and your hook and think outside the box. Make it a part of who you are as a person. Stand out or sit down. People are too distracted today to think of you unless you are truly rememerable. Gitomer says, it is not who you know, but who knows you!

4. Develop Quality Relationships! At the root of every successful person is a rolodex of quality realtionships that they worked to develop over time. When you meet an agent, client, or referral partner what system do you have to build the relationship? Remember you must invest 100% of you into the relationship for it to be a success because you can not control the investment of the other party. Choose your relationships carefully and then give them all you got!

Think about how these apply to you. Are you being your best?  If not, then improve, the choice is yours!

If you need help with your sales, then check out our new book! It is a real kick in the pants and guaranteed to help you bust out of a sales slump!

buybook

How to Make a Killer Video

August 23, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Learn how easy and inexpensive it can be to make Videos and start getting calls from sites like YouTube!

Building Trust by Answering Questions

July 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

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Few things build trust better than being helpful and knowledgeable. Answering questions can be the trick to building a strong trust-based selling opportunity.

I think social networking and websites are beginning to get the power of questions to proceed sales-LinkedIn, Yahoo!, and several others are debuting question and answer formats.

Capture Consumers Early

These are precisely the services you should be targeting to harvest new prospects.  Invariably consumers will start complex and infrequent processes, like mortgage loans and debt settlement, with a ton of questions. The earlier and more often you get in the mix to answer these the better.

There are a couple of great places to start to begin capturing more customer questions and earlier:

  • Twitter-Simply add your search terms and monitor for mortgage or debt questions
  • Yahoo! Answers -Search or monitor varied loan related categories
  • Linkedin Answers-This is another great place to search for opportunities

There are tons of questions already out there. Many have been answered and possibly the original inquirer is long gone, but search is a powerful thing. Many of these basic questions will bring new visitors with the same questions. Answering puts you in a credible position for a follow-up or a visit to your website.

Answer Questions

Make it a practice to answer a few questions everyday. This builds a bigger search “net” to capture curious homeowners or debt clients. It also improves your knowledge and presentation skills. Being forced to put your knowledge of mortgages or debt into concise, short, sentences is great practice for sales.

Follow-up with Information

If you do get an inquiry or visits to your website you need to be ready with information. Remember they had questions and they will have more. Take each of your answers (or at least the most popular) and turn them into longer explanations or PDFs that you can point or provide to these prospects.

Close and Get Referrals

The beauty of closing clients that started with questions and received a good knowledge-based sale is they are usually great referring clients. They feel like they got more than a mortgage or debt settlement. And, they want to reciprocate, which usually means a referral.

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17 Agents Eagerly Signed Up to do Business With Us!

July 21, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

origmkcoahSo often I hear the statement, “What can you give Realtors to get them to do business with you?”

The answer is simply this…find their problem and solve it. In fact that is the answer for getting anyone to do business with you.

“When you have a solution to their problem, they will come to you rather than you chasing them!”

The challenge is in finding the problem. In order for you to find the problem here is what you have to do…

1. Have a professional meeting with the agents. As them questions about their business. Do not go in looking to get deals, go into the meeting looking to present yourself as truly interested in their challenges

2. Do not try and problem solve at the meeting. Take good notes and then think about solutions during a quite time away from the office.

3. Keep the solutions simple. Don’t attempt to make a 75 step process to solve a problem. Very often a problem can be solved with a worksheet or checklist.

We recently started a Circle of Champions campaign that has literally taken off like wildfire! I just completed an office presentation for a group of agents who I knew were looking for solutions to closing loans in today’s market. After the 20 minute presentation, I offered to come  in 2 times per month and coach their team personally because they had said that accountability was their biggest problem. I had 17 agents sign up that day!

Out of that we developed a product called “How to Shorten the Sales Cycle and Get Paid Faster!” in which the agents must sit down one on one with one of our loan officers to get the program. (I purposely did not make it a download, because I want them to call us!)

In fact I have a new coaching client in my FINISH STRONG coaching program that we are going to implement the same strategy for in the next month.

In today’s market you have to be all in to win and that means you have to sift through the wannabees and get straight to the winners.

For more coaching tips and strategies visit me at www.theoriginatorsguide.com

500 Leads in August!

July 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

BHAG, Big Hairy (Fill in the Blank) Goals! You gotta have some BHAG in your business plan because if you shoot for the Moon and miss you may just end up in the STARS. One of my BHAG is for the month of August 2009 and it is to generate 500 home buyer leads.

WHY?

Of course for the obvious reason, to close more loans, create a security blanket around my business, and because I can. For the life of me I can not remember who I heard this from so any help would be appreciated; ‘it is the person with the largest database that wins’. The more people who want to buy a home that knows me and listens to me the more business I will close.

I feel that to be truly successful as a loan officer and/or real estate agent you have to master two things and two things only, Lead Generation and Database Management. If you can generate and capture a relevant number of people who have raised their hands and told you that they are considering buying a new home in the foreseeable future and you communicate to them consistently providing worthwhile information and valuable call to actions you will have a steady stream of renewing business.

In his book; “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent’, Gary Keller goes into great depth regarding this subject, to paraphrase, he tells his audience, ‘if you don’t believe you are in the lead generation business….then today is a good day to quit’. I take some literary license in what I just quoted but that it is what I got out of it. He also talks about lead conversion ratios, for leads similar to what I am generating Mr. Keller states I should expect a 1 in 50 monthly conversion ratio. If I want to close 10 loans every month from my pool of leads I need to stay in touch with at least 500 people who will be buying a new home in the near future. These are people who contacted me, who asked for information, who asked I pre-qualify or pre-approve them for a loan, these are future home buyers who have invited me into their home buying process.

HOW?

I place myself where the greatest number of potential home buyers gather, on the Internet and at the homes they are interested in. I think we have all heard that 87% of all home buyers start and maintain their search for information and to view homes on the Internet. But, did you also know that 68% of all Internet home buyers once they find a house they like on the internet will drive by that house? 

I put myself on the Internet in the most used Internet sites for listings and information, Realtor.com, Craigslist.com, ActiveRain, and many of the other most used listing web sites, blog sites, and social networking sites. I also put myself at about 100 to 150 listed homes, a small but significant portion of all listed homes in my area.

Through what I refer to as a joint venture lead generation and marketing program I maintain a decent number of real estate agents and their listings to create a synergy that produces significant volumes of leads for both of us. In fact, I have a title for my program, RSVP which stands for Reciprocal Success Valued Partnership.

Using listings as bait to draw out potential home buyers I offer a call to action that drives home buyers to contact me, contact the real estate agent, call into a message center to request additional information, or go to my web site to fill out a pre-qualification questionnaire.

For every 50 listings I have within the system I average about 4.5 leads every day, convert that to a monthly number and it is 135 leads per month for every 50 listings. I also do a few other lead generation programs that produce far lesser numbers, added all together about 1.3 per day, but its having the ability to partner with a real estate agent and utilize their listings that creates the most leads.

My List of Tools

  • Real Estate Agents with Listings
  • Valued Call to Actions
  • Website, Landing Page, Squeeze Page
  • Call Capture and a call back system
  • Individual Listing Web Site creator
  • Auto Responder and Contact Management System

In upcoming blog posts I will discuss each tool, how I use them, specifics and generalizations.

500 Leads in August!

To reach 500 leads in August using the ratios mention earlier I estimate I need about 186 listings, as I write this blog I have a current inventory of 112 listings that are using my individual listing web site program. I am also recruiting several new real estate agents, agents in certain areas of town where I want a better presence and who have a large portion of their listings in the sweet spot of our home buying market, the First Time Home Buyer price range. This week alone I have interviewed 10 real estate agents and next week I have 8 interviews set up, so far.

I want to carry an inventory of 2o0 to 250 listings which if statistics hold true will easily produce 500 leads in the month of August. If I can’t hit these numbers, at least I tried to reach the moon and at worse will need to settle for being among the stars. There’s always next month.

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