Lead Generation & Conversion
Effective First Prospecting Call
First Prospecting Call is the first phone call you make to the prospect.
Customer trust Customer experience Customer loyaltyMarket awareness
Business process overview
Lead conversion – sales process
• Perceived value
The foundation of the rest of the sales process.
Separate from the rest
“Oh no, another mortgage broker!”
Don’t act like the typical mortgage brokers and do the unexpected.
Give your prospects reasons to listen to what you will say next.
Most brokers say You would say
“How are you?!” “Did I catch a bad time there?”
“We understand customer’s needs.” “Really I have no idea what concerns you the
most when shopping for a mortgage. Can you
tell me a little more about that?”
“We can save you a lot of time and money.” “Well I’m kind of confused, can you help me
understand why that’s important to you?”
“We have hundreds of loan products and can
always find a solution for you.”
“Your situation is individual, so I’ll only
recommend a solution if it is in your best
First Prospecting Call
In most cases, you will make the first contact with the prospect by a phone call, no matter
you are responding to a lead or following up a referral.
You need an approach that sets you apart from the rest and engages with the prospects
Also it is necessary that the whole conversation to be completely scripted out to give you the
full control of the conversation.
Why you need a sales script
• You are prepared.
• You sound better.
• You are in control
• You are perceived as professional.
• You will convert more leads
How to create and use a sales script
• Structured in stages and modules
• Completed script out every modules
• Personalisation – write it as you talk
• Strictly follow the structure, but be flexible to use each modules.
• Practise. practise and practise
Have a clear goal for the first prospecting call
Secure the next client interview meeting
6 Steps for an effective first prospecting call
• Get quick permission from the prospect
• Give a brief explanation of the call
• Qualifying the prospect
• Identify their main concern/problem
• Align your VP to the prospect’s concern
• Set appointment for the next meeting
Step 1. Get a quick permission from the prospect
Typical mortgage broker would open the conversation like, enthusiastically:
“Hey John, this is Dennis from xxxx calling. How are you today?!”
“Hi John, Dennis Mei calling. Did I catch you in the middle of something there?”
In a low key, calm and mellow tone.
Step 2. Give a brief explanation of the call
Just one short and brief sentence about yourself and call
“I am a mortgage broker. Your friend David asked me to give you a call and help
you to get a home loan.”
“I am a mortgage broker. I saw you made an enquiry for home loans and would d
like to have a quick chat with you to see if we have a fit here.”
Step 3. Qualify the prospects
• Give a brief business insight to demonstrate that you are a professional and expert.
• Ask questions about their requirement and financial position. – Keep it short
• Take notes
• You then make a quick judgement whether it is a potential deal or not.
“Now John, do you mind sharing with me what made you looking for a mortgage this time?”
Step 3. Qualify the prospects
• Inject some questions about their previous experience with finance, banks and brokers.
“John, you have a mortgage with XXXX Bank, how you find them?”
“Did you get that loan through a broker? When was the last time that broker contacted you
and reviewed your mortgage?”
Step 3. Qualify the prospects
• Make conclusion if they are qualified or not.
• Most brokers will typically make promise to get the best loan. But you need to do it
“Now John, from what you’ve told me, we may be able to help you. However your
situation is individual and unique, like all other borrowers, we will need more information
and paperwork to fully assess your requirement.
We do have access to almost all loan products in the market, however I don’t want to
promise the world here. I’ll only recommend the loans what do you the best. How does it
Step 4. Identify the main concern
• In order to create value to the prospects other than loan product itself, you must find the
concern and problem that mean to them the most.
“Right now, I’m seeing most borrowers are very confused by banks’ lending policies, most of
them are hidden, such as minimum living expenses and assessment rate. They are not
transparent and don’t make sense in most cases. I call them Ghost Policy. Many borrowers,
before coming to me, had spent days, if not weeks, trying to get a loan by themselves, only
found later the application being rejected because of those Ghost Policies.
Does it sound familiar for you?
Now John, I don’t have idea what concerns you the most in shopping for a home loan. Could
you please tell me a little about it?”
Step 5. Align your VP with prospects’ concern
• Tie up your value proposition to their concern.
• Try to quantify the value / benefit of your offer
“Now John, you said you felt difficult and time consuming to shop around the loans by
yourself. If I will reach the market and get the best possible for you and then manage
the whole application process for you, how much time would you think it would save
“Couple of days? It is a good guess. Most of customers reckon it will save them around
3 to 5 days of time. You can spend these 3 days in better places rather than looking for
Step 5. Align your VP with prospects’ concern
You can then go further to raise the bar further:
“From what I see from my customers, most brokers/lenders can’t care less about their customers, once the
loan is settled. They are basically left alone.
Does is sound familiar with you?
You said your previous broker rarely contacted you after the loan was done.
Now, I do things differently. For each customer we have a system to track their loan’s performance. Whenever
necessary I will get back to you to review your loan and see if I can help you to better it. For your loan of
$600,000, if I get the rate reduced by 0.20%, do you know how much you will save every year?”
“Yes, you’re right, it will be $1,200 a year. Image what you can do with this extra $1,200. How about 5 years?”
• Explain what will happen next
• Find out the decision making process
• Offer prospects with two options to choose
“Now John, moving forward, I will go back and do some research and home work. Do
you mind emailing me some paperwork, such as the latest pay slips so that I can make
the assessment accurately? When can you do it?
It’s great, thank you. I can finish my assessment by Thursday if you email me the pay
slips by Tuesday. We will have another meeting after that.
By the way, I’d like to have your partner involved in that conversation, as she may have
different questions. How does it sound?”
Step 6. Set appointment for the next meeting
Step 6. Set appointment for the next meeting
I have time for Friday afternoon or Monday evening at the moment. Which time fits you well?
Monday evening, it sounds good. How amount 7:30 so that you will have enough time to finish
the dinner. I will call you.
The meeting usually will last around 40 to 60 minutes. Does it sound good for you?
Okay, I’ll send you an email confirming our meeting for Monday evening and the paperwork I
need by Tuesday.
Now John, before we finish, do you have other questions for me?
Okay, John, You have my number, please just give me a call if you have any questions in the
meantime. It’s great to talking with you, John. Talk to you Monday. Bye.”
I’ve been doing my business as mortgage broker for more than 10 years and one of the most common questions I get is “How can I get prospect interested in my service?” That’s an interesting and valid question and Yes, I do have the answer. So today I’ve chosen 5 key thins you can start doing right now that will make a spectacular improvement to your prosecting call conversion rate. If you follow these steps, I promise you, I promise you that you will become the killer of prospect converter. So stay tuned.
Hello and welcome to XXXX. So today we’re going to look at how to become ….
No matter how you get a lead, introduction from a friend or client, referral from a real estate agent, enquiry from social media or online marketing, 9 times of 10 you will make a phone call to them to establish a contact.
This is the first prospecting call.
From the sales process perspective, I can’t stress more for the importance of the first prospecting call.
Let’s take a quick look at the typical business process model in our business.
A typical business process for mortgage broking business has four stages, they are lead generation, Lead conversion, solution implementation which is basically the loan application process, then post-settlement activity which we aim to achieve two goals, keep the loan book and generate introductions feeding back to lead generation.
If we have the processes in place and nail down the strategies in each of these stages, there is no reason that we can’t make a killing as a mortgage broker, in fact for any business especially in consulting space.
Now let’s take the look at lead conversion process and see why the first prospecting call is so important.
Lead conversion process is basically a sales process. It is a step by step process in which we move the prospects, or leads, from initial enquiry to a loan borrowers with us.
It is typically consisted of 4 stages, initial contact, which leads to client interview. After that we put together a loan solution to present to the customer and finally have the customer to agree on our solution to proceed. That is the close of the sales.
The whole process, especially for new prospects, is a trust and value building process.
What we sell in our business is uniform cross the market. We don’t have exclusiveness in any loans we sell. So why borrowers choose you, not me, is purely because they perceive more trust and value in you, as a person, in their journey of buying home, investing or managing the mortgage.
The level of trust and perceived value in you is
this first prospecting call is the most important one in the rapport and trust building with the prospects and eventually determines whether you will convert the prospects or leads to a loan application, as importantly, if not more importantly, the relationship between the clients.
We all came to understand how the salespeople work. By the way, no matter how we say about us, deep down, we are salespeople.
When the prospects shopping online for home loans and making enquiries, they will receive phone calls from different mortgage brokers trying selling mortgage to them.
It is guaranteed that you are not the first, nor the last mortgage broker calling that prospect.
After listening to the pretty much same sales pitches, what will be the response of the prospect when you start to talk the same way
“oh no another mortgage broker!”
They will simply put you in the same basket of other brokers who tried to sell.
The problem here is that mortgage brokers, and all salespeople, tend to be rather predictable and as result, prospects generally are in charge.
They recognize your approaches and have developed effective ways to deal with those approaches.
Which means you will face an invisible wall between you and the prospect. How can you get your message through with such a wall?
You have to do something different to make yourself different from the rest.
The key to keep the prospect interested in what you will say is always put them on focus.
They’ve heard too much we we we from mortgage brokers.
If you lower yourself and sincerely care about their concerns and problem, they will open up and talk. Once they start talking, you know this call is off to the race.
In the left of the table, these are most broker say to the prospects.
Do they sound familiar to you?
In the right are what you should say. Can you see the difference from the perspective of the listeners? They are placed in the centre. They are obliged to talk and answer your questions.
You get the idea, be different.
Now how does it apply in the first prospecting calls.
Do you know how long it takes a prospect to decide whether they want to stay on the phone with you or get off? The data shows us that it’s around seven seconds and then after those first 7 second, they will continue to ask themselves if they want to eject until they ae engaged.
Now this means that you need an approach to start the conversation that will both separate you from the hordes of the salesperson out there and engage your prospects immediately
So whether you’re making a cold call, responding to a lead or following up a referral. if it is the first time that you get on the phone with this person, you need an approach that sets you apart and engages.
And just as importantly it needs to be completely scripted out so you never ramble or fumble around.
Now you may think why I need a script. I don’t want to read a script like a machine.
Why do you need a script?
Let me ask one question. When Brad Pitt is contracted for a movie, what will he receive? A book of script. What will he do? Read, practise and memorise the script and then produce it as the director requires.
If Brad Pitt needs script, what about us?
Here are some benefit of using a sales script.
First of all, you are prepared. Usually you only have couple of minutes to build a rapport with the prospects. A sales script will help you to grab their attention, qualify them and build interest without prolonged and directionless wishy washy chat.
Because you are prepared, you will sound more polished and calm, which makes you more confident
If you follow the sales script, it will be you lead the conversation. Taking control is most important when talking to the prospect.
A well planned sales script, especially on how to deal with objections, will make you more professional. People respect and put trust in professionals, especially when dealing with finance.
If you achieve all the above, the ultimate benefit is you will convert more leads, write loans and make more money.
Use sales script as a blue print.
Do you know how long it takes a prospect to decide whether they want to stay on the phone with you or get off? The data shows us that it’s around seven seconds and then after those first 7 second, they will continue to ask themselves if they want to eject until they are engaged.
Now this means that you need an approach to start the conversation that will both separate you from the hordes of the competitors out there and engage your prospects immediately
So whether you’re responding to a lead or following up a referral. if it is the first time that you get on the phone with this person, you need an approach that sets you apart and engages.
It is the human nature that people will put up a wall around them first when a total stranger approaches them, especially by a phone call. So it is our job to lower this wall and make then open up to us.
Now lets have a look at how we can make an effective first prospecting call that converts more leads.
Firstly, you must be very clear what you want to achieve for the first prospecting call. It is not about discussing how much they can borrow, not about the best interest rate you can offer, rather to secure the next client interview meeting.
We’ll discuss later on how to handle the situation when the prospect asked the questions about borrowing capacity or interest rates.
Remember you must take control over the conversation.
An effective first prospecting call can be structured into 6 steps.
First of all, get permission from the prospect for you to continue to talk, then make a quick explanation about yourself.
You will then qualify the prospect to make sure it is a potential customer. This is stage when you let them talk and identify the biggest concern and problem they have.
After that you need to tie up their concern with your value proposition and establish the perceived value in their mind.
If you can accomplish the goal of these steps, you will have no problem to secure an appointment for the next client interview.
Such a phone call usually does last more than 10 minutes. A sales script will help you control the flow of the conversation.
Remember the key word: Pattern Interrupt
Now is where we get into the actual words.
Most brokers, when they make the fist phone call, they will usually say :
“Hey John, this is Dennis Calling from How are you today.”
We know what that person will think. “Oh, no, another mortgage broker!”. And they are now thinking about an excuse to put off the call.
Data shows that it takes only 7 seconds for a prospect to decide whether they want to put off the call or continue to talk with you. After that, they will continuesly evaluate if they want to stop the conversation. So keep them engaged in the conversation is very important.
Now it’s the time to flip this completely.
Instead, You would try opening with something like this Hi John, Dennis from xxx calling. Did I catch in the middle of something there?
Now notice my tonality and the unpolished nature of my voice that I didn’t hey is this a good time, but instead I said did I catch you in the middle of something
The prospect is not going to expect this and will be forced to think about what to say next.
This is a really important piece.
After getting the permission to continue, now it’s time to very briefly introduce yourself and the reason of the call. Just one short sentence.
You know here is actually the point most mortgage brokers give a whole paragraph just jabbering going on in different directions.
But you will just give one very brief sentence about yourself.
Nothing magical, short and sweet but give enough context so they’re not confused and they at least know little bit about you.
Also you tell them how you get their number so they don’t feel intruded.
Now this is the time to qualify the prospect and see if it is a potential deal.
You can start the conversation like “Now John, please tell me a little about what you need for the mortgage?”
Always start from requirement first, because that’s what the prospect care about.
The key in this stage is listen and ask question. Keep prospect engaged.
When they start to talk, your call will off to the race.
After having heard all those information, you then can make a quick call if it is a potential deal.
If it is the case you will move to next step, identify main concern.
It is also the time to get some background information, their previous experience with banks and broker.
It will help you to identify the area you can improve and create value from their perspective.
We are planting the seeds here.
Now it is the time to make the conclusion whether or not they are a potential deal.
If the lead is qualified we will continue with our plan.
At this stage, what the most brokers will say to the prospects.
It’s great John, we can definitely help you. We have more than 30 lenders on our panel and leave it to me I will get the best rates for you. Blah blah.
That’s what the prospects expect to hear.
Remember Pattern Interrupt? You need to do a little different.
You can say.
Can you see the difference? You still focus on them, you don’t promise the lowest rate, you only offer the loan that is the best for them.
Most prospects or borrowers will only talk the loan they want, and the most brokers will just respond with they can do in product level, such as interest rate, repayment type etc.
However the loan product is only the tip top of the iceberg. Deep down, every borrower has their own problem and concerns that mean more important to them, other than just the product. It’s up to you to dig it out.
If you can find their biggest concern and you can address it and give them the solution to solve it, they will stay with you for a long time.
You can start here by positioning yourself as an expert and go-to person and then raise the question like this.
They may say, too time consuming to get the loan by themselves, need advice, don’t know what loan is best for them etc etc.
Once they start to talk concerns other than interest rates, you get them.
It’s the time to really show them that you understand their concern and will offer the exact what they need.
It’s also important that you need to try to put a price tag on your solution and service.
The price tag I mean here is not just about the dollar value. It can be in time, such as how many time they can save.
The value of services is mostly intangible and the people doesn’t necessary relate it to themselves, if something is intangible. However if you make it tangible, the people will look at it differently and link it to themselves. It will sink in their mind.
Remember it’s not about you. It’s about them.
So my approach might sound something like this
Remember, it is not what you say, rather it is what they tell you from their mouth.
When you say they can spend these days in better places, they are thinking about playing around with kids in the back of their mind.
Now this is the time you make yourself separate from your competitors, post settlement.
If you get the acknowledgement from the prospect, you know you’ve set yourself a long term relationship with this person.
Do you talk about the interest rate, no you don’t. You only talk about to reduce their rate and save money. Didn’t mention any specific rate.
You don’t want to make the customer interest rate focused. If they focus on interest rates, you become one of those brokers from their eyes. You are disposable.
Now you reach the last step, setting an appointment of next meeting. Congratulations, you’ve done well.
First thing you do here is to explain what will happen next so they know what to expect. Next find out who is involved in the decision making process and invite other party to the conversation. It is very important. Otherwise, you open up a possible that the prospect later come back to you that Hey Dennis, I like you what you said, but my wife found someone else. You must close this gap.
Then you will offer two options to choose the date/time for the appointment.
You can say something like these:
Now you are almost there to achieve your goal, that is to set a next client interview meeting.
“Now John, it looks that we can help you to get the loan you want. Before I can propose a solid solution proposal for you, I’d like to have another meeting with you where we will discuss some numbers in more details so that I can truly understand your situation and requirement. I will then do my research and negotiate the interest rates with the banks. How do you want to have this meeting, over the phone or we meet face to face?”
“It’s great, now, I am open on this Thursday after 3:00 pm or Friday 2pm, which time suits you better?”
“It’s great. Okay I’ll give you a call Friday 2pm. I will also send you an email to summarise this call and confirm our next meeting. Let me check your email. And my number is …. Please feel free to give me a call if you have any question.”
“Hi John, before we finish, is there any thing I can help with? No, It’s good. John, it’s great to talking to you, Thank you very much and talk to you soon. Bye”
Always offer 2 choices of appointment date/time for the prospects to choose. If both are not suitable, then offer different time. Don’t let them to make time.
Always email them back to confirm the appointment. The manner of communication is part of your personal branding. You need to stick to it.
Telling them you will email, gives them an expectation from you. It will increase the weight of you in their mind.