How do you start conversations with agents? Do you use the opportunity to tell them about your great service and products? Chances are you want to connect with the agent and give them information as quickly as possible, but you are overlooking where the attention should be focused…on the agent.
Like most of us, agents love to talk about themselves. It’s not unusual to get a little panic stricken when initiating a conversation and fall back on some kind of scripted conversation about ourselves or meaningless chit-chat and when you finally discuss business they use the proverbial, “I’m happy with my lender!”.
Only 1 in 50 Loan Officers Can Pass this Quiz. Can You?
Making conversation for many loan officers is challenging but you can take the pressure off and engage the agent if you simply ask them questions about themselves and their business.
There are three simple questions you can use to get conversation started and research potential business, all at the same time. Basically, these three questions let you hone in on the agent’s business need and allow you to form follow up questions that cement your service quality in the agent’s mind.
With a few simple questions, you research how you can achieve “value-added” service.
1. Business Achievement and Goals
The first question is simple and direct, but one of the most telling questions because it begins the conversation by getting the agent to talk about their business.
This question may seem simple, but it’s actually a loaded question because it allows you to:
- Get the conversation started;
- Give them a time parameter that establishes urgency while making your question clear; your time parameter could be by months end, in the next six months, years end, etc.
- Lower the agent’s defenses; after all, who feels like there is a hidden agenda when they are merely talking about themselves?
- Explore their niche and goals; find out what they hope to achieve and what strategies they will use to meet those goals.
2. Obstacles and Challenges
The next question segues to finding how you can be of service to the agent. This question is the heart of your conversation. Without being overt, you are able to uncover how you can be of assistance, simply by asking:
Instead of presenting the agent with a laundry list of ways you can help them, (and losing their attention half way through), this question helps you to narrow your focus to show your value added service.
You have one goal with this question: to differentiate yourself from your competition. With this question you discover opportunities in which you can be of assistance.
3. What Can You Do to Help
Instead of immediately jumping into the conversation with your solution to all their problems, this question gives the agent an opportunity to tell you how they’d like you to assist them. You’ll experience fewer objections and less resistance because they are already visualizing you as part of the solution to their problems.
Not every agent will immediately give an answer to the question. This question may just be an excellent opportunity for you to work with the agent on uncovering solutions, or brainstorming ideas.
This final question also helps you determine how open-minded an agent is and how willing he or she is to working with you in the future. It’s the opening gambit for establishing a cooperative relationship.
Just like any relationship, you have to use some basic principles to “court” the other party. Asking these three simple questions can uncover information, allow you to target your marketing, and establish a relationship – all in one conversation.