It’s Time to Stop Selling and Become a Trusted Advisor

Patricia Sherlock

 

Every salesperson knows that transactional selling is no longer relevant in today’s marketplace. With unlimited access to information online, prospects and customers conduct research on their own and don’t need someone to explain product features and benefits. However, this creates another issue for consumers that originators are uniquely positioned to solve. With so much information to sift through on the internet, it can be difficult for consumers to know what to believe and what to ignore. Originators can offer invaluable insights on which home loan product is the best match for the borrower and why.

Sales professionals who deliver expert advice that truly serves their customers will create life-long clients and referral business. A trusted advisor is the highest level of selling but not every originator has what it takes to pull this off.

If a salesperson’s solution is not the right one for a consumer or referral source, it is unlikely that he or she will get a second chance. This is especially challenging for 100% commission-based originators when their livelihood is dependent on closed transactions.

Selling Has Changed

It’s no secret that originators’ sales models have not evolved with the consumer’s home-buying journey. Most borrowers reach out to sales professionals when they are much further along in the process than in years past. If originators don’t have a compelling social selling presence with customer testimonials, they will not be in the selling game.

Even sales training companies have not kept up with the science of buying and how consumers make decisions. Whether it’s “Always Be Closing” or “SPIN Selling,” these sales training mantras are obsolete in a world where the power dynamic has permanently shifted to the buyer.

Becoming a Trusted Advisor

There are three guiding principles originators must master if they want to step into the role of “trusted advisor” for customers and referral sources. They are:

  1. It’s Not About You! Salespeople have been led to believe that they should be like Alec Baldwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross or they will not succeed. Salespeople who adopt this model think the sale is all about them and view customers as “marks” to be exploited. The reality is that successful selling is a partnership between the buyer and the seller where the customer is the star and the originator plays a supporting role.

 

  1. Know Your Customer. Many originators operate a one-size-fits-all business model. Similarly, they believe that everyone is a potential customer and that the wider they prospect, the more successful they will be. Unfortunately, the truth is that marketing to the masses is ineffective, time-consuming and costly. A better approach is to target a particular audience and then super-service them. As the saying goes, “there are riches in niches.”

 

  1. Make Prospecting a Priority. Building meaningful relationships with prospects and referral sources takes time. Becoming a trusted advisor requires consistent, high-quality interactions with potential borrowers that present the salesperson as authentic and trustworthy.

 

Today, originators have access to a wealth of marketing tools that make it easy to share their knowledge and enhance their credibility in their local market. Conducting online webinars, live-stream events and podcasts are just a few of the ways sales professionals can raise their visibility and establish themselves as industry experts.

As the market shifts from refinance volume to purchase money, right now is a great time to review your selling model and become a trusted advisor.

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