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Debbie Rosen nabs NHEMA chair

Jun 23, 2005

Selling mortgages is not rocket science: Cold calling for dummies 101Dave Hershmancold calling, sales, relationship development, contact list Sales 101. We have been taught again and again that the key to being successful in sales is the development of relationships. If this is true, then why do sales trainers and sales managers spend so much time trying to teach cold calling skills? Some believe that we are proving our mettle by demonstrating an ability to "beat the streets." There is another way to describe this professional practice--stupidity. Why is cold calling stupid? Simply stated, if we have to utilize our most precious resource--time--in an effort to meet people for the first time over and over again, we will be running on a treadmill for the rest of our lives. As a matter of fact, the practice of cold calling may be a major factor as to why the profession of sales is a revolving door. If you look at sales personnel in almost every field, there is a major issue with turnover. If cold calling is not the way to succeed in sales, what is the alternative? Call people you know! Ask yourself before you pick up the phone to cold call, "Have I contacted every one I know in order to achieve my sales goals?" We believe that most people have at least 300 personal contacts within the following groups: •Personal--friends, relatives, neighbors •Associations--religious organizations, civic associations, the PTA •Previous customers--from present job or a previous place of employment •Previous prospects--contacts you were not able to sell in the past •Co-workers--from present job or a previous place of employment •Professionals--doctors, CPA's, attorneys •Vendors--those who call on your industry and/or your targets I challenge you to sit down at a computer and come up with a personal contact list using this format. I believe that when you have finished a thorough exercise, the estimation of 300 contacts will be conservative. If you previously did not have a working database, you just started one. If you did have a working database, you have made it stronger. However, the question remains--if you have 300 or more personal contacts, why would you call someone you do not know in order to sell? One common response to this question is that you do not want to sell those you know. This response represents a type of call reluctance and needs to be dealt with at a different time. Many assume that their personal contacts will automatically refer them business when it is available. This is a very false assumption. Your contacts do not sit around and think about who does what and act accordingly. They usually act under the "path of least resistance theory." This means that the person who contacted them most recently is likely to be the conduit for new business. The way to interfere with this process is to develop close relationships. Yes, sales really is about relationships! Top producers in every field of sales obtain the majority of their business from referrals. Their greatest source of referrals is those with whom they have developed a close relationship--especially previous customers. If you have not kept in touch with those you have served in the past, you will probably start the sales process from scratch every time you have to make another sale. Talk about a treadmill! Next time, we will take a closer look at these personal contacts. Whether you are selling real estate, mortgages, or insurance, the concept will work. If you are not getting enough personal referrals and you are wasting time cold calling, then we suggest you pay close attention to future issues of The Mortgage Press. We just might help stop cold calling for dummies... Dave Hershman is a leading author and a top speaker for the mortgage industry, and is a partner of LendingProfessional.com. His newsletters are used by Mortgage Brokers to provide value to previous customers, financial planners, Realtors, and more. For newsletter samples, call (800) 581?5678, or visit on the Web at www.hershmangroup.com.
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