Fast forward to today though, and that’s no longer the case. “We have fewer leads, but we want the same volume,” says Friend. So how do you get there? Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency—across your leads, loan officers, and management.
With the right technology to boost contact rates and the right scripts to drive conversions, home loan industry sales teams can overcome obstacles to production and deliver results. Lenders can close more loans.
This message was at the heart of the conversation between Friend and Convoso CEO Nima Hakimi. During their webinar discussion, Hakimi and Friend covered:
– The causes of call flagging and block and what you can do about it
– Best practices for getting your prospects on the phone
– What to include in your mortgage sales scripts
Watch the video and read the recap below.
The Causes of Call Blocking and Flagging
With fewer leads in the hopper, you need to make the most of the ones you have. But increases in call blocking and flagging can stand in the way of that.
But why aren’t your calls getting through in the first place? According to Nima Hakimi, there’s no single reason that your calls aren’t reaching customers. Instead, it’s a mix of these factors causing a jump in blocked and flagged calls:
“The carriers themselves have taken matters into their own hands. They’re now deciding whether a call will go through or not go through,” Hakimi said.
Call blocking apps
Third-party apps like Robokiller, Nomorobo, and others are making it easier than ever to block numbers.
Even without third-party apps, consumers have been empowered to block calls with the click of a button on their phone. They can also report numbers to online databases.
This new set of standards is aimed at eliminating caller ID spoofing. Hakimi detailed how, as of June 2021, “carriers and service providers will have to sign the call and give [it] a rating to basically verify that the person making the call is in fact the person behind the caller ID.” While it’s not necessarily a way to block calls, ensuring that your calls receive a high rating can help you avoid being blocked.
Solutions to Avoid Call Blocking and Flagging
How do you lower the likelihood that your calls are blocked or flagged? The panelists discussed a few caller ID reputation management best practices to avoid blocking and flagging, and get your leads on the phone.
Implement Smarter Outreach Strategies
How you try to reach your customers is the biggest piece of the puzzle. And, according to Hakimi, mortgage industry call centers need to ditch outdated contact strategies. “Dialing your leads to death is no longer a working strategy. You want to call a lead maybe a total of 6 or 7 times within a certain amount of time, maybe within a week, and then rest it and try back in 30 days [or more].”
Josh Friend echoed that sentiment: “Calling a single lead or number 10, 11, 12, or 13 times isn’t fruitful to begin with…There’s not a lot of conversion happening there.” In addition to more strategic dialing, sales teams should also use omnichannel solutions. Both panelists said that mixing in an automated workflow of SMS and email outreach alongside your dialing can keep your call count low and boost your contact rate.
Manage Caller IDs (DIDs) Based on Call Volume and Geography
“Even if you’re only dialing [leads] a certain number of times, you still have to manage your DIDs…based on call volume and geography,” Hakimi says. “What that means is, you need to use a certain number of DIDs, your dialer should have the ability to automatically balance the number of calls made per DID within a certain geography.”
“In the past you would just use the same number to make calls across the board.” Today, however, “if you make 1000 calls in one day for that number, you will get flagged. That’s just the bottom line today. That’s how it works now.”
Present Your Identity in a Thoughtful Way
Emerging solutions like Verified Calls by Google add transparency to outbound calling. Show customers your company name, logo, and reason for calling each time you reach out to a lead with an Android device. This can greatly boost your chances of getting a prospect on the phone, says Hakimi. “When you get the call, [you know] that you should pick it up, because it’s somebody that you want to get a call from.”
Best Practices to Increase Contact Rates for Mortgage Lenders
Beating call blocking and flagging is only part of the battle. Hakimi and Friend also discussed best practices, techniques, and technology solutions that can help improve contact rates and lead generation for mortgage sales teams.
Real Time Reporting
Monitor loan officer performance in real time and unlock new efficiencies. For example, Hakimi said that robust reporting capabilities can help you identify where in your call cadence that the contact rate begins to drop.
Tier 1 Carrier
Using a predictive dialer that employs only top-tier carriers will ensure that your calls are successfully connected wherever you call. Friend said that teams using so-called “mom-and-pop dialers” are overlooking the real cost of using low-quality carriers: “They’re not running on good telcos, so it’s cheaper, but then [calls] don’t get delivered as much and the quality is not there.”
Answering Machine Detection (AMD)
Having the ability to quickly and accurately detect what is actually a human versus a voicemail can put time—and money—back in your pocket. Speaking on Convoso’s gold standard answering machine detection, Hakimi said, “We have studied hundreds of millions of calls, and we continue to do so to tweak [and improve our] voicemail detection so that we’re not bombarding the salesperson with a ton of voicemails, which can kill [their] momentum.”
How to Maximize Your Mortgage Sales Script to Drive Production
Once you get leads on the line, loan officers need to have a winning mortgage sales script they can count on. Dynamic call center scripting software can guide successful, streamlined conversations. But what should a winning mortgage sales scripts include?
Personalize Your Sales Script to Win
“You need to have a slightly different pitch and call flow to handle leads of different types,” says Josh Friend. “You need to train your people how to start a call based on a lead’s source.” On a dialer like Convoso, this lead source data can be used to create a personalized sales pitch.
Hakimi added, “[Leads are] coming from different places, with different offers and different messages. If you’re not tailoring your script according to that, you’re going to lose a lot of those consumers’ interest right away….We can customize the script based on the source of the lead…You have to customize that conversation and message and script based on where they’re coming from if you want to maximize sales and conversions.”
Prep Your Reps to Handle Objections
In the mortgage industry, you’re bound to run into some of the same customer objections over and over again. Josh Friend noted common hangups like aversion to closing costs and starting over with a fresh 30-year loan period. “If you don’t have a way to handle objections [built into your scripts] then that’s where that conversation is going to end.”
Include simple, effective rebuttals to common objections within your dynamic scripts. As Friend said, giving your staff the ability to handle these issues in real time will deliver the highest level of success.
Ask the Right Questions and Build Relationships
Friend put it perfectly when talking about cold calling and establishing a rapport with your mortgage leads: “If you’re in the lending business, you have a unique picture into someone’s life like no one else does.” Your scripts should put all this insightful CRM data to use.
Information on your leads can help your agents ask the right questions. Make sure your mortgage sales script includes questions that help you understand what’s motivating your customer. Knowing the answers to these questions can go a long way.
As both of our speakers noted, loan officers who can quickly build relationships will be more successful:
Nima Hakimi: “People buy from people, right? You can have [an excellent] product or service, but you have got to be able to connect from one human to another and really be able to relate to each other and build that trust. From there, a lot of things become easier.”
Josh Friend: “People do business with people they like. I always say, consumers, they’re not calling around shopping for a rate, they’re calling around shopping for a loan officer.”
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