December 2, 2019
Welcome to the Arch MI Podcast, featuring our Senior Customer Trainer, Blaine Rada.
Arch Mortgage Insurance Company, or Arch MI, is a leading provider of mortgage insurance (MI) in the United States. Our competitive pricing tool, Arch MI RateStar®, is the leading risk-based pricing platform in the industry, providing rates based on a thorough
understanding of the underlying risk.
00:35 - Welcome to the Arch MI Podcast! Our host, Blaine Rada, wants this podcast to be a way for him to share some useful lessons and perspective he’s gained through his 30 years of experience in the mortgage industry. His aim is to help you differentiate yourself from the competition when the market has so many varied choices for customers and clients to choose from. Blaine also describes himself as a “high content” presenter, which means there is a lot of information for you to digest and think on!
2:30 - As these podcasts tend to have a sales focus to them, Blaine likes to start off by sharing his world view on sales, which is: Selling is not about getting the sale. Rather, the focus of selling should be on establishing if you are the best fit for your customer’s needs.
3:30 - Today’s topic is on the sales process, or sales conversation, as Blaine likes to call it. This process has several sequential steps, although there is no exact formula to sales - it’s a highly personalized approach. The first step is building rapport between yourself and your potential client where a connection is established through similarities and shared experiences.
4:45 - The next logical step in the sales conversation is asking good questions and listening to your potential customer’s needs so you can figure out how you can offer them a solution that works. And there are so many other steps to take in this process, but today, Blaine is really going to focus on two techniques that appear at the end of the sales process.
5:10 - “I honestly think that many salespeople are pathetic.” Man, that sounds mean - but why? Blaine says he feels pity for salespeople because sales is a difficult field and many people are inexperienced and undertrained. The skills he wants to share in this episode can lead to a change if you’re in sales; it just takes some practice until you can master the technique.
6:25 - These two critical skills are closing and follow-up. Let’s focus on closing first - what is it, really? The close is simply asking if someone is interested in doing business with you. If you’ve done all other parts of the sales conversation correctly, fully understand what your customer is looking for and needs, and you know you have a solution that fits them, why wouldn’t you ask to close the deal? The worst they might say is “No.” Don’t hesitate to close on the deal if you’ve done the work and the timing is appropriate.
8:18 - There are two ways that closing is misused and gets a bad rap. First, some salespeople never ask to do business with a potential customer; there is no invitation to take the next step. Closing can’t be done well if it’s not attempted in the first place! Fear of rejection can definitely hamper an ask, but it’s more a problem of timing.
9:53 - The second problem is that closing is asked for too much. There’s an expression known in sales as ABC - Always Be Closing. Blaine’s view of this is that it’s generally an unwelcome and disliked sales tactic because it feels like pressure or coercion, and it doesn’t resonate with Blaine’s approach to sales as a whole.
10:50 - Blaine shares a personal experience with a salesperson who was constantly trying to close on a deal for a new construction house, where the pressure of making a sale created stress and an unpleasant experience for Blaine and his wife. The timing was absolutely not right to close on that sale.
14:46 - If it’s not the right time to close, what then? This leads us to the second skill of follow-up. Blaine explains that every interaction with a potential customer should lead to a next step, even when the sale is done and closed! Offering to follow up and check in with clients to see how they’re doing is a simple service to provide, but can keep that relationship alive, create expectations of what the next steps are, and leave a client with a good impression of you.
18:14 - The follow-up is really key and can often be challenging to adhere to. Blaine shares another personal experience of buying a car, where the lack of follow up from a salesperson made him choose a different dealership that provided more attentive communication and tailored service after their first interaction.
23:12 - Let’s recap on some key takeaways from today! If you want to be a top sales professional, then focus on the art of closing and follow-up, which happen towards the end of a sales conversation. Also, don’t hesitate to ask people for their business. If you’ve put in the work to show people you have a solution that meets their needs and you feel you can be of value to someone, go ahead and ask to do business with them! (Don’t follow the sales ABCs).
24:30 - Finally, make sure that every interaction ends with a next step. Follow up, follow through, and honor your commitments.
2444 - Call to action time! First, take a step. Try implementing one of these tips and techniques into your business practice. Second, tell a friend about this podcast. Knowledge is power, so let’s share it and grow our profession. Third, talk to us at Arch MI about how we can be of service to you, your needs and ideas, or any feedback you have about this podcast!