Everyone wants to know how to close more loans in their market. So, let me ask you, are you the hero, the villain or the guide in the story your clients and referral partners are telling themselves? If you’ve ever talked to rate shoppers, you’re clearly the villain in the story they’re telling themselves. What about a frustrated real estate agent? The key in all these scenarios is to become a better “StorySeller.” Here’s how it works:
1. Recognize that everyone you talk to is living in their own world.
If you want to know how to close more loans by being the financial expert, you need to realize that your clients and referral partners are the hero in their stories. Trying to sell them your solution without understanding the context of their story is like entering a movie 30 minutes late. If their life is the movie, the key to getting buy-in for your solution is to really understand the context of what’s going on in their life or business. As a loan officer, here are a few key questions to ask your referral partner to gain deeper understanding:
How did you get into this business?
The answer to this question gives you insight into the reason they do what they do, and how they see themselves in their story.
How did you become so successful?
The answer to this provides insight into how they’ve processed the experiences in their journey up until this point. You’ll discover if this person grateful or arrogant… do they see themselves as a solo act or team player?
What’s your #1 challenge right now?
The answer to this question tells you what their main priorities are at the present moment. You and your solution can’t become a priority to them unless you demonstrate how you fit within the context of their current priorities.
2. Think about your solutions as “magic weapons.”
Being a financial expert can mean you have something valuable to offer. The key is to position it in a way that makes sense to the other person. For example, here are a few “magic weapons” you can share with your referral partners if their #1 challenge is to calm their clients’ fears about buying a home in this uncertain environment:
Complimentary “Cash-Flow Check-up:”
Instead of offering a “pre-approval” letter that clients can literally get anywhere, have your referral partners position you as the #1 mortgage expert who does complimentary cash-flow checkups for people who are concerned about the economic challenges they are or may be facing. You can give your referral partners a script to use when referring you, and their reason for using the script is that it addresses their #1 challenge: calming clients’ fears about buying a home in this uncertain environment.
Buy vs. rent analysis:
People need to live somewhere. If someone doesn’t buy a home, it means they are paying money to rent a home. As a loan officer, by offering to compare the two options, you are effectively positioning yourself as a neutral third party who is simply sharing your findings so the client can make a more informed decision. As with your first “magic weapon,” the reason your referral partners will ask their clients to talk to you is to calm clients’ fears about buying a home in uncertain environments.
Private mortgage insurance or other loan product solutions:
Smart loan officers know that private mortgage insurance (PMI) helps people buy a home now instead of waiting. So why not position “waiting” as the villain or bad outcome in the story? For example, show clients how much money they lost by NOT buying a home 2 or 3 years ago. Then, ask them if they’re willing to lose that same amount of money again if they decide to wait another year or two. Show them how private mortgage insurance can help them avoid that loss.
3. Position yourself as the “trusted guide” in your client and referral partner’s journey.
Every good story has a trusted friend or guide who helps the hero get what he/she wants while avoiding the bad guys. Close more loans in your market by being that person for your borrowers and referral partners!
One of my favorite books is a memoir entitled Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. In his book, Phil tells a story about a trip he made to Vietnam where he met the general who single-handedly defeated the Japanese, the French, the Americans and the Chinese. He asked this general, “How did you do it?” The general thought about the question, and then he replied, “I was a professor of the jungle. A professor of the jungle.”
I was really struck by that story because it reminded me of today’s modern loan officer. If you’re a loan officer today, you’re coming up against competition that is 10x or even 100x your size, with access to many more resources than you have. So, how can you possibly win in this environment?
Well, I think the first step is to be like that Vietnamese general and become a professor of your jungle. Nobody should know this business, your market or your clients like you do. So if you can get to know the business a little bit better, if you can become a true market expert, and if you can free up your time to focus intensely on the needs of your clients and referral partners, then you can become a professor of your jungle and beat the competition. THAT is how you position yourself as a trusted guide in the modern mortgage journey. Become a professor of your jungle.
If interested in learning more, please watch this recorded webinar about Financial StorySelling where I’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to do this!
The opinions and insights expressed in this blog are solely those of its author, Gibran Nicholas, and do not necessarily represent the views of either Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation or any of its parent, affiliates, or subsidiaries (collectively, “MGIC”). Neither MGIC nor any of its officers, directors, employees or agents makes any representations or warranties of any kind regarding the soundness, reliability, accuracy or completeness of any opinion, insight, recommendation, data, or other information contained in this blog, or its suitability for any intended purpose.