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Loan Officers—Improve Your Follow-Up Strategy

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Communication is a fundamental part of a loan officer’s job, and an important communication area that many loan officers seek to improve is their follow-up strategy. Whether it’s reaching out to an interested prospect, reminding a client to get you time-sensitive information, or checking in on a past client, these messages, when handled correctly, can help to ensure long-term success. They keep your pipeline flowing smoothly with new clients coming in, current clients moving through the loan process smoothly, and past clients sending you referrals and coming back to you in the future. Here are some ideas to consider if you want to improve your follow-up strategy:

Create a Schedule

Loan officers have dozens of tasks to accomplish on any given day. Whether it’s paperwork, sending and replying to emails, meeting with clients, or working on marketing, there’s always something that needs to be done. This means that if you want to strengthen your follow-up strategy, you’ll need to block-off some time to do it. The amount of time you’ll need to dedicate to following-up with prospects, clients, and past clients will dictate where it will fit into your schedule. What’s important is that it’s in your schedule. Following up doesn’t always take top priority, and often gets bumped down the priority list in favor of more pressing matters. By designating a specific window of time in your day for it, you’ll ensure that it doesn’t get overlooked. It will also mean that your follow-up calls and emails get your full attention and focus, making your messages more effective than if you’re being pulled in twenty different directions.

Be Creative

If you want to improve your follow-up response rate, you’ll need to invest some thought into your approach. “I’m just following up” is a pretty dull line and doesn’t perform particularly well. If you’re emailing, you’ll want to include something specific in the subject line to get your recipient’s attention. Using the word ‘quick’ (or something similar) to show your message won’t take up much of the reader’s time, can increase the chances of your email being opened and read. In your message, whether you call or email, be succinct. Show that you value your prospect or client’s time by keeping your message short and to the point. Let them know right away why you’re reaching out, and emphasize offering solutions as opposed to needing their business.

Personalize Your Messages

If the goal is to build stronger relationships and make your messages stand out, you’ll want to make sure they feel personal. A generic follow-up message is much less likely to get a reply. Including something referencing a past conversation or their specific situation will show that you’re invested. Addressing the concerns, questions, and challenges of that prospect or client will remind them why they need your services and why you are particularly qualified to assist. Making prospects and clients feel like a top priority is essential to delivering a top-notch client experience. By personalizing your follow-up messages, you’ll make clients feel valued and understood, leading to more successful relationships and more successful closings.

Use a CRM

With so many prospects, clients, and past clients to keep up with, creating personalized messages can be challenging. As I mentioned, loan officers have many other things to do apart from following up, so these messages can’t take up a sizable portion of their day. To maximize your time and send messages that are both personal and efficient, you should be using a CRM. To utilize your CRM to its fullest potential, you’ll need to keep it up to date and make useful notes for each client and prospect. When you keep this system organized, you’ll set yourself up for greater success in all your follow-up efforts.

Prioritize Better

To ensure you’re not spending too much time on your follow-ups, you should create a system to prioritize prospects and clients, so you know where to direct your efforts in the time you have available. By tagging warm prospects who seem ready to get started and clients who may need a push to keep momentum going, you’ll make sure that the time you do dedicate to following up is spent in the smartest way possible. Those top-priority contacts will get more-personalized messages, while prospects at the bottom of your list may receive something less time-consuming.

 

By improving their follow-up strategy, loan officers can build and maintain a steady flow of clients. Successful follow-ups with prospects lead directly to new clients, successful follow-ups with clients lead directly to more closings, and successful follow-ups with past clients lead directly to repeat business and future referrals.

 

Don Riggs

VP – Retail Market Leader

NMLS 132702

303.249.8274

Don.riggs@cardinalfinancial.com