Selling mortgages is not rocket science: Never give up; never surrender!Dave HershmanMortgage originations,leads In the first part of this series, "A call you cannot afford to miss" (February 2004 edition of The Mortgage Press), I introduced an essential follow-up call for anyone who has made a sale. In this segment, we will focus on the second follow-up call. This call occurs earlier in the process, at a time when we will not be making a sale. I am referring to a call made to a previous prospect. More specifically, a prospect whom we have lost (for lack of a better word). How many times have you heard a salesperson say that they lost a deal? Obviously, you cannot lose something that you never owned. Okay, back to the point. We believe that seven to 10 days after the prospect has decided to purchase from someone else, you must make a follow-up call. At this point, the call is more than essential--even mandatory. What do you say in this call? For one thing, you won't be asking, "Have you changed your mind, yet?" Rather, you can begin the conversation by telling the prospect that you were thinking about them and were wondering if everything was going well regarding their pursuit: How is your goal of refinancing your home to consolidate your debts coming along? Secondly, make sure the inquiry does not come off as self-serving. Make it clear that you are available to help them if they have any questions, even though you may not be handling their transaction. This will set the stage for their response. If they tell you things are going great, congratulate them, but remind them again that even though you are not doing business together, you would like to be remain available as a resource for them. Leave the door open for a future relationship--the prospect you never closed may wind-up being your best future referral source. On the other hand, if they say things are not going well, then offer a helping hand. You may not have called to talk them out of their decision, but you do know that anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of customers are going to be disenchanted with their selected brokerage, especially if they were reeled in by unrealistic promises. If one out of three are disenchanted, and you can convert half of these, you are recovering a sale one out of six times. By exiting the sales process too quickly, you are wasting the precious resources--time, money and energy--that you used to produce this prospect. The other five calls are not a waste of resources, either, especially if you can position yourself for future referrals. It is quite ludicrous for us to focus on speaking to new prospects if we never finish the process with the others we have produced. Of course, if you have too much business, you can waste these opportunities, but most salespeople rarely find themselves in that position. Calling your customers after closing and contacting prospects after losing them takes discipline. Take some time away from pursuing that next conquest, and take the critical step of planning to make these important calls. Take out your calendar and schedule them; unless you turn them into a recurring habit, the calls will not happen. And just don't start with the new ones. Many brokers will not be comfortable calling previous customers and prospects they should have called three months ago. It is Martin Luther King Jr. who said, "It is never too late to do what is right." Do not let call reluctance keep you from increasing your level of income, and moving off the treadmill of sales and onto a solid foundation of success. Dave Hershman is a leading author and a top speaker for the mortgage industry with eight books and several hundred articles to his credit. He is also head of the OriginationPro Mortgage School. For more articles by Dave Hershman, free marketing materials and a schedule of events, visit www.originationpro.com. He may be contacted by phone at (703) 222-6456 or by e-mail at [email protected].