Successful prospecting is the key to success for loan officers. Your pipeline has to stay full if you want your business to grow — or even if you just want to maintain your current production. Particularly in the current market, you can’t afford to make any mistakes. So, this week I wanted to cover some of the top prospecting mistakes that LOs make, and why it’s important not to make them. Here’s what I came up with:
Going in Cold
I know the common jargon is ‘cold calling’, but that doesn’t mean you should go in without any preparation whatsoever; and it’s not just calls — in every situation when you have the opportunity to engage with a prospect, preparation is crucial. Going in completely cold puts you at a disadvantage, and there’s higher probability that you’ll lose your prospect’s interest. Conversely, when you take the time to research your prospect’s demographic including the common questions and concerns of that group, and then you take time to understand their individual needs, you give yourself the opportunity to make a real impression. For instance, if you recognize that common concerns for millennials revolve around debt and financing, you know that those are topics to address early on in conversations with millennial prospects. A cursory google search before any meeting with someone new will often give you enough information to form a quick connection and earn trust faster. The more you learn about your prospects, the better you can customize the conversation.
Sometimes LOs hold back on following up because they feel like they’re being pushy. Other times, they don’t have a strategy in place, so they’re never entirely sure where they are in the follow-up process. Whatever the reason, not following up with your prospects is a mistake that can cost you significant business. Persistent doesn’t mean pushy; and when you have a strategy in place and are organized in your efforts, you can make sure that you don’t cross the line into pushiness. Truth be told, following up fully demonstrates to your prospects that you’re engaged and ready to help them. More info about improving follow-up messages, here.
Making It About YOU
When you’re prospecting, you have to tell your prospects what you have to offer — this is essential information that will help them make a decision. However, when loan officers make what they’re offering the primary focus of the conversation, they miss out on a major opportunity. When talking with your prospects, take advantage of your ability to show your willingness to personalize the process, your commitment to understanding their unique needs, and your determination to make your clients feel like a priority and make the decision that will benefit them best for years to come. Ask questions to better understand what they’re hoping to get from the process and where they need the most support. When you direct the focus away from you and onto your prospects, you give them a glimpse of how they will be treated as clients.
If you’re only investing time into prospecting when business is slow, your results are going to be inconsistent too. This will create a start/stop effect in your pipeline that can keep you from being able to grow. Instead, LOs need to be consistent in their prospecting. Whether business is at an all-time high, an all-time low, or anyplace in between, prospecting still needs to be high priority. That consistency will pave the way for actual growth.
Good luck and let me know how any of these tips may have helped you!
If you’re a loan officer, sales manager, or branch manager considering new opportunities, don’t hesitate to get in touch.