Many believe that crunching numbers is the most important skill for a loan officer. While, of course, it’s important that loan officers are good with numbers, when it comes to selling, there’s something else in the driver’s seat. We’re talking about emotion. Although you may be able to provide the information necessary to inform prospects, ultimately their decision to do business with you is more a result of how they feel. Being able to read and respond to emotion is one of the most crucial sales skills. Though many people do research and weigh their options logically, their end decisions often come down to whether or not they connected emotionally to you and your services. So, how do you form these emotional connections with prospects and clients? Read on for some tips on how to utilize an emotional approach to make the sale:
Introduce yourself in a compelling way
During your first introduction or cold call with a prospect, start off on the right foot by introducing yourself in a way that helps them feel they’re getting to know you. Numbers and stats alone won’t create the connection you need, even if they’re helpful information. Instead, sharing a goal like “taking the stress out of home-buying” is often more effective. The first step is gaining the trust of your prospect so that they believe what you have to say about your services and become a client.
Tell a story
One way to reach the emotions of potential clients is to share a story with them. Start by sharing something positive, like why you became a loan officer or chose to work in the mortgage industry. You could also share a positive account of a past client that they may relate to. The idea is that, rather than just telling them what you do, using stories can make you more memorable and relatable.
Ask qualifying questions
There are two basic types of emotional selling — one is positive selling, and the other is negative selling. Positive selling focuses on explaining all of the good things that can come out of using your services, while negative selling focuses on the issues your client has and how your services are the best solution for those.
Before you determine the best way to sell, you should figure out what kind of prospect you have by asking some questions. These qualifying questions aren’t overly personal, but generally elicit emotional responses and give you a clue as to how your prospect is motivated. Asking more positive questions first is advised, like “how long have you been looking to buy a home?” and “what kinds of things would you like to see come out of your loan-borrowing experience?”. If they go into a more negatively-motivated direction, such as explaining a problem they’ve had in their home-buying or loan-borrowing experience, you’ll know that negative selling may work best. Otherwise, selling in a way that frames your services as having a positive impact on them is often effective. By figuring out what your prospect is focused on, you have a better shot at making the emotional connection necessary for them to choose you and trust you when it comes to closing the deal.
Share insights, not just information
Take the data and calculations you want to give prospects and share insights about what they all mean. By giving wisdom gained from the data, your prospects will better be able to digest the information and make informed decisions. They’ll also build trust in you and confidence in your services if you demonstrate that you have their best interests at heart.
Listen intently and actively
This is essential for all sales positions. Being a great listener means you’re more likely to be able to identify the best ways to appeal to individual prospects. LOs who listen to their prospects’ needs and concerns are also more likely to gain their trust. Try to be an active listener who asks good questions and responds in a personalized manner. Take notes so that you recall the important things clients have shared and can reference them in later conversations.
As much as clients value making logical, informed decisions, they are still emotional creatures. Once we’ve considered the facts and weighed the information at hand, we often make our final decisions based on what feels right. It’s not about manipulating clients’ emotions, but appealing to them. Give clients the information they need to make an informed decisions, but do it in a way that evokes some emotion, and you’ll be on your way to closing the deal.