As loan officers, we’re relationship people. But with everyone working from and staying at home, we need to sharpen our virtual selling skills to ensure we’re remaining as effective as possible.
In the current environment, we’re being thrown into virtual selling headfirst, and many of us may not have any experience in selling virtually. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of my top 9 tips to virtual selling so you don’t miss a beat when you transition to a home office setup.
1. Be Visual
In a virtual selling environment, you may suddenly feel like you have limited opportunities for face-to-face interactions. I’m here to tell you that you have many more opportunities to put you face in front of borrowers than you may think. Here are a few ways to do so:
- Have a current photo of yourself in your email signature
- Use video tools like Videolicious and Bomb Bomb to send personalized video messages
- Ensure your photo is included on all your social media channels and NMLS listing
2. Write Subject Lines for Your Emails
If, like me, you’re guilty of leaving subject lines blank, it’s time to ditch that habit and start filling in your subject lines. With email now acting as a primary communication channel between you and your borrowers and prospects, subject lines are crucial. Customers are more likely to open and respond to emails with specific subject lines, meaning you can keep the conversation going.
3. Do Admin Tasks in the Morning
Have you ever heard the phrase “eat your frogs first”? It just means get your most unpleasant or difficult tasks out of the way first, and for many of us, that means admin tasks.
While you’re working from home, try knocking out all your administrative stuff before the rest of your family gets up so you can complete it quickly and quietly.
4. Be Persistent
With most of your customers working from home with new distractions, you may not get through on the first or second call. Being persistent will be key to landing new customers and closing deals.
5. Set Call-Back Times
The benefit of meeting people in person is that you know when you’re going to see and talk to them. In a world of all phone and virtual meetings, there’s a chance you may not catch then and start playing phone tag.
Many of us make the mistake of leaving a voicemail with customers and saying, “call me back when you get the chance.” This not only lacks a sense of urgency but also a sense of obligation. Instead, say, “call me back today at this time” or “text me to tell me when a good time is to reach you.”
6. Review the Customer’s File Before You Call
Before you call any customer or prospect, you need to review their file in your CRM. You want to know what you’ve already discussed with them, what follow up items you or they needed to do, and where you want to go from there. Reviewing your file will make the most of their and your time.
7. Plan the Call
Yes, you need to review your customer’s file, but you should also plan for what you want to talk about with them. Here’s a pneumonic to help you remember what you should cover – SVP.
- S for Substance – what are the main points you want to get across
- V for Value-add – what information do you bring to the table that will improve your changes of working with that prospect or helping your customer
- P for Personal – you spend a lot of time getting to know your customer, so inject a bit of yourself into the conversation to make the relationship feel like a two-way street
8. Insert Your Passion into Your Work
This relates to the P in Step 7. Injecting some of your passions and personality into what you do on a daily basis not only helps you be more memorable with customers; it also helps build a better relationship with them. It gives customers another connection point beyond doing business with you.
9. Have a Pervasive Online Presence
As an LO, being on social media is about more than posting about your weekend activities. Being on social media means that you’re findable when they Google you. It allows them to connect with you beyond a transaction because they can learn more about you on a personal level.
Being on social media also allows you to stay connected and have more information to use in unexpected ways. For example, if you’re friends with a customer on social media, instead of writing Happy Birthday on their Facebook wall along with everyone else, give them a call or send them a video message to pass along the message.
Have a tip for selling virtually that’s worked really well for you that you want to pass along? Leave it in the comment section below!