Trust building must continue throughout the entire sales process from the point-of-sale and the application process to the final closing.
Seniors respond to straight talk, especially as it pertains to their financial future. That's why trust building is key to the sales process. Surveys show that seniors count high integrity and the ability to deliver on promises as crucial attributes in a financial professional. Sure, the gleam of your website draws a slew of leads, but at the end of the day it's you who needs to prove to the client that you are the right person for the job.
Trust building starts by educating the client about the product and listening to their needs and goals. Once you've made recommendations and allowed them to express their thoughts on what they want to accomplish, you will have begun to cement the relationship and set them on the path to a program that fits their needs. But it doesn't stop there. Trust building must continue throughout the entire sales process from the point-of-sale and the application process to the final closing and after-sale contact and service.
What's the result of all this trust building? More closings of course, and more referrals than you can handle. Follow these helpful trust building techniques and you'll garner the confidence required to close the deal:
First things first: Be on time. Spider-Man never shows up late to save the day and neither should you. If for whatever reason you will be late, call.
Be prepared. Review the information you will share with them before arriving.
Look presentable: dress neatly and conservatively. The client expects the answer to their financial problems, not a vacuum salesman.
Be mindful of where you sit especially when meeting with a couple. While they may offer to seat you at the head of the table as a sign of respect, politely ask to sit on one side where you can see both the borrower and co-borrower. This will allow you to see the reactions of both without having to repeatedly turn your head left and right.
Pay close attention to tone and volume. Create a safe, comfortable space that is conducive to the sales process. Take the time to observe the client's mood, mannerisms, speech, etc. and modify your approach to best compliment the atmosphere. Don't rush to push yourself on the potential client.
Upon arriving, be courteous and friendly. Spend a few minutes talking and commenting on things that might be of interest to the client but don't go into your life story. Ask permission to move the discussion to a kitchen or dining room table if you not in a room that is conducive to presenting the information. Be open and respectful while steering the conversion in the direction of why you are there: to educate and inform them of the benefits of the program.
Keep it relaxed and fun but not so fun that you lose your client. If you've got Archie Bunker, stick to the information. This goes back to the warm-up. Feel out your client and make sure you know your stuff. A lack of knowledge can be sensed. If you are a student of the business, it will show and this will create less fear and anxiety with the client. Understanding the ins-and-outs of each package will also help you determine which programs best fit each client.
Don't assume the prospect needs and wants what you have to offer, rather let him or her come to that conclusion after hearing all the facts. Always get permission to move forward during the sales process. And if you sense they are not engaging, slow things down and recap.
Explain things completely and clearly. Go back over things (we learn by repetition) and don't be afraid to ask the client direct questions about potential objections. Address issues directly. Beating around the bush does not help you or the client in properly accessing their goals and desire to proceed further with the program.
Being a good salesperson involves listening more times than talking. Salespeople have been known to actually talk themselves out of a sale. Look for cues that they are not truly following you and be sensitive to their ability to take in information. Remember this is for their benefit not yours.
Occasionally stop and ask if they have any questions. Many times they will so don't pass up the opportunity to overcome a potential objection or solidify a selling point. Keep the prospect engaged and talking while actively listening to their needs. This will benefit both you and the client as you work toward the goal of their financial freedom.
A key to building trust with your clients is continued follow-up and it takes many different forms:
1. A quick call after the initial appointment to thank them whether or not an application was taken.
2. Call at the completion of their HUD counseling to see if there are any questions they have and remind them to send in the certificate promptly.
3. Always call with a status update and check to see if they have any questions or concerns. If you don't, somebody else might.
4. Call at the closing of the loan and if at all possible, attend your closings to cement the trust building process.
If the loan officer has adhered to the trust building techniques above he or she will enjoy more closings and there will be less chance of someone else swooping in and taking the client you have spent time and energy developing.
If the client feels that they can trust you they will be clients for life. They will always speak kindly of you and your services, which will lead to referrals. If you have earned the right, don't be afraid to ask for referrals.
The financial field is a competitive one. To be successful, you must stand out. Building trust with your clients will make you a super-hero in their eyes and word will spread. Then just watch what happens.