“Closing is what you do WITH the prospect, not something you do TO the prospect.” I wish I could take credit for this astute quote. I actually heard it at a sales conference hosted by Mountain West Financial a few months back. The speaker was Bryan Flanagan who serves as Zig Ziglar’s VP of sales.
So what does this quote really mean and how does it affect our interactions with a potential client? In a nutshell we can’t expect a commitment that eventually advances through the process of closing unless we are on the same page with the prospect. If our deliverables are not in alignment, they will simply tune us out. To drive home this concept Bryan had the audience conduct a short exercise.
I have restructured this activity just a bit to adjust for the written format version.
To begin with, indicate the three products/services you provide to your prospects:
Now list out the three things your prospects want or need from you:
Let’s compare answers. Were all three a match? Were there some inconsistencies?
At the event I attended there were a significant number of participants with disparity among their results. Disparity explains the mixed messaging a prospect may be receiving from your company. What happens when there is confusion? Indecision at best. At worst, rejection.
Now lets bring some alignment into the picture.
If you are unsure of why your existing customer chose to work with you, the best way to find out is to ask them. This will provide a global viewpoint.
To gain a more granular perspective I recommend taking a proactive approach before picking up the phone to conduct the interview and/or schedule a meeting. Follow these steps:
1. Find out who your mortgage customer is–social media and websites are excellent resources. They paint a picture as to:
2. Determine their level of motivation. You can do this by asking the person who referred them to you. who has vetted out this information. They know whether the prospect is ready to buy now, within 60 days or needs 4-6 months or longer. The response will have a direct affect on how you position the first step towards commitment.
3. Learn what their expectations are. This puts you in a position to:
4. Learn who your competitors are, and what they consider to be their unique selling propositions. This will enable you to set yourself apart from the pack.
The simple truth is “We have the lowest rates, the best underwriting, and the fastest turn times” does not necessarily speak to what drives your prospects’ decision-making process. The problem with focusing on these familiar standbys is they do not address the customer’s fear level, pain or selfish desires. Relying on these euphemisms trumps actual facts, and kills sales.
Take it from Brian and Zig. Get aligned and get ahead.
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