I briefly mentioned that the first contact with your client should be a relationship building experience. You should be getting to know your client, and your client should be getting to understand that you care about him/her.
With that being said, we have to remember that relationships aren't built on standardized questions from a blank paper (or Calyx Point 1003). Relationships and trust between two individuals are built with the sharing of emotion. Dictionary.com defines a relationship as, "an emotional or other connection between people".
So, how can you stand apart from Joe LoanOfficer who is looking to make a quick buck on these "borrowers"? Simple...ask the right emotionally attached questions in order to establish a caring relationship, and always build toward closing questions.
For a refinance for debt consolidation, instead of asking how much they are looking to pay off and be done with that part, dive into the subject a little deeper. Try asking:
- About each individual debt that they want to consolidate (what school was the student loan used at, what was the credit card used for - vacation, etc)
- What kind of credit cards are they? (if applicable...Visa, MasterCard, etc)
- How high is the interest on each of those debts?
- How much money are you paying out per month?
- How much of that money that you are paying is actually going towards the balance?
- If you didn't pay these off with the refinance, when do you think you could be free of these debts?
All of these questions build to an emotionally-tied closing question prior to filling out the entire application. And, guess what...you just got the liabilities section of the 1003 filled out.
Here's an example of how you can close this topic: "I definitely understand where you are coming from, Mr. Smith. I can see how consolidating that high interest credit card debt is going to relieve quite a bit of stress from your life, and make your life a lot easier with regard to your monthly financials. Along with that, paying off your car loan to make that an added tax deduction is going to be a nice benefit as well. I'm sure you are looking forward to the day of not making those payments anymore and having that extra tax deduction, right"?
Simple questions can lead into some of the most emotionally driven conversations for these clients. The bottom line is to keep driving home benefit and try your best to tie emotion to every question that you ask. Lastly, make sure that your questions are building toward an overall buying sign....a "YES" at the end of a simple closed-ended question.
I will come back to this example in later posts when I will touch on the sales aspect of the process. Each of those questions plays a key role in the proposals, so they definitely hold a huge role in a debt consolidation refinance.
-Andy Scherer (Loan Officer Trainer)