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Forward on reverse: Medicaid rule change to boost demand for reverse mortgages

National Mortgage Professional
Aug 20, 2008

Reaching the decision makerJeff Barrsales tips, motivation, training I have tried many ways over the years to reach the decision maker. It takes a lot of effort to make the right contacts and effectively make sales. Too often, efforts are made with the wrong contact person. The following are pointers for salespeople. This applies to seasoned professionals or those just embarking on their new career: •Listen to cues that a company may give you. Make sure you are directing yourself to the right person. •Never meet a stranger, and remember that your mission as a salesperson is to find a way to diplomatically and professionally meet the decision maker. •Not all sales tactics work, so be prepared to try more than once to get the attention of the necessary party. I once delivered a giant cookie to the client with his logo on it. It also asked the client to give me a call. My boss said that he turned out not to be a gimmick guy. •A few years ago, while working at a mortgage company, we tried to warm the hearts of the agents with the 10/10/10 method. For 10 weeks, we delivered 10 gifts to 10 new real estate agents. The gifts they received became progressively nicer from a pen to a letter opener. The strategy produced few measurable results but many new gifts for the agents. We did get their attention for about 30 seconds when we were able to see them. •Being persistent does pay off. While working for a bank, I called on a guy who was never there. I left 10 business cards over a period of four weeks. He finally returned my calls and we developed a strong relationship and sales with his three stores. •Through civic organizations, I have been able to meet many people. This allows me to find a common bond with many decision makers. As a result, I am able to build a relationship that have nurtured into business deals. It takes time and patience. •Many times, executives can be reached after hours. Try to call at odd times and not the first thing in the morning or before they leave. I have broken the ice with a letter or some prior communication before calling as well. •Distinguish yourself from others. Clearly explain the benefit of doing business with you and your company. Do not be just any salesperson. •If you do not know the subject's answers, find them out and follow up in a timely fashion. •Develop a relationship with the gatekeeper if you are calling on the subject face to face. The secretary or assistant can make or break your ability to see or contact the key person you are looking for. •Remember, you may only get one chance to speak to the decision maker, so be prepared at all times for the opportunity when it may strike. It is imperative to do your due diligence via the Internet or any legitimate means for timely and objective data. •Follow the news and read about the posture of the business community in your area. People like to be stroked for their accomplishments. Drop them a note and offer them your congratulations. Soft selling often works. I have 25 years of sales experience, selling to numerous industries. I have sold top executives to middle management. Your style and demeanor may be different in the sales process when approaching the decision maker. Persistence has paid off for me. For example, many years ago, I worked five entire years to land a top account for my company. Please remember to be professional even if your prospect is not. You cannot sell every deal, so do not expect to. Maintain a good and honest reputation for the products you market and service. Gain the knowledge you need to present the product in the easiest manner for the customer to gain maximum benefit. Customer service always matters before and after you have reached the decision maker. Your sales, commission and company's profits are counting on it. Jeff Barr is a competent toastmaster and speaker in Louisville, Ky., an adjunct professor of communications at the University of Louisville and a mortgage loan officer. He can be reached at (502) 777-9555 or e-mail at
Aug 20, 2008
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