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Paula Parisot's
Blog Column
photo of Paula Parisot


February 3, 2006

How to Improve Internet Lead Conversions

Internet leads require a warm-up period before conversion rates improve, according to a mortgage industry sales and marketing consultant who says lenders should do some "incubation," including phone and email campaigns.

Steven Kropper recently told listeners at Executive Podcast that the industry has found its way back to purchase lending. He advised lenders to abandon direct mail marketing and focus on warming up Web leads.

"Forget direct mail," said Kropper, a Mortgage Bankers Association Loan Production Committee member. "You are going to end up spending about five thousand bucks per closed loan ... You can't go out there and buy a list of people who are in the business to buy a house, unless you are scraping the MLS and there are some regulatory problems there."

Lead providers like Eleadz and Leadbot.com have stated conversion rates ranging from two to eight percent, as reported on MortgageDaily.com. Kropper said these single digit conversion rates have left a gap that can be filled with a few "incubation" techniques.

read the rest of Paula's story at MortgageDaily.com
(subscription required)

You, You, You

We all know, or should know by now that success in sales starts with the customer. It's all about the customer, for the customer and due to the customer. So, what should your conversations with your prospects be about? Your customer. Remember, everyone's favorite subject is their self and their favorite word is their name.

Laura Laaman, sales trainer and columnist for BizJournals, reminds salespeople that the main focus of any sales presentation needs to be on the customer and how your involvement with them will improve their business, not on YOU.

"Weak communicators suffer from the dreadful disease called 'I-it is,'" Laaman says. "Symptoms include beginning sentences with 'I and the speaker making himself the focus of conversations, rather than others."

read story from Biz Journals .

Tell It to Sell It

The more your sales pitch sounds like a story, the better your results can be, according to some sales trainers. When statistics and industry jargon start spewing out of your mouth you can be sure you will lose the full attention of your prospects, which can cost you the sale.

Michelle Nichols, sales trainer, speaker, and columnist for BusinessWeek shares her ideas of storytelling for effective presentations and how to fit it into your pitch.

Nichols points out that people remember stories better than a pitch full of information and telling a story of how another company has prospered at the hands of your products is just adding proof to the pudding.

read story from Business Week .

February 2, 2006

Suit Up and Coach

If you are in sales management, you would do well to consider yourself a "coach." As motivational and sales coach Michael Angelo Caruso has said, the word "boss" or even "manager" has a negative connotation. If the person in this position is thought of as a coach, it's easier for the sales rep. to be part of a team.

Jack Keough, editor of Industrial Distribution, shares with readers the ideas leading sales book authors and executives have on how to "coach" salespeople through the sales process, what works, what doesn't and what your salespeople expect of you.

If you are in need of a good sales "coach," forward this to your "boss."

read story from Industrial Distribution .

Value Negotiations

Compromising your product's price compromises its value. When asked if you can lower the price you need to build the value, in turn, giving in to the customer that wants more for their money. If you drop the price, essentially the customer will think you overcharged them in the first place.

Sales author and trainer Jeffrey Gitomer shares with readers of the Snohomish County Business Journal the importance of value selling and some ideas on how to overcome price objections.

When it comes down to the price issue, Gitomer says, "It is time to turn the price struggle into a win for both you and your customer. Stop the price wrestling, and turn the match into negotiating the value."

read story from the Snohomish County Business Journal .

January 31, 2006

Questions and Answers

Answering your customer's questions the correct way can help lead the conversation and in some cases, get your control back. Feeding questions back to your customers can help you understand what information they are really looking for before you say too much.

Sales trainer Doug Smith shares with readers at Focus Publications the importance of asking good questions when engaging a prospect.

Smith also addresses time management issues and how to prioritize your time to make the most of your workday.

"The first step is to place sales calls as a priority, not an afterthought," Smith says. “So many times, mortgage salespeople put office activities first and sales activities last on their agenda or to-do list."

read "Answer with a Question" at Focus Publications .

read "How to Get Out of the Office" at Focus Publications .

January 30, 2006

Can Selling be taught?

A research study that set out to find what type of sales training was the most profound has revealed some interesting insight as to what makes a salesperson successful. In fact, the study said that training could only improve selling ability by 20 percent.

Peter Gilbert, managing director for a sales and marketing research company, shares with readers at BizCommunity.com the results of a study began in 2003.

Gilbert points out that salespeople share a certain skills and attributes that might explain why some people exceed in sales and others don't. These include: personal customer relationship management, an understanding of the customer's business, and the ability to solve any problems that might arise.

read story from Biz Community .

Selling Your Words

The rules of writing a sales letter are quite similar to the rules of engaging a prospect. Grab their attention, speak in basic terms, show them how your product benefits them, and then give them proof.

Ernest Nicastro, marketing consultant shares with readers at BusinessKnowHow the secrets of a great sales letter that gets results.

The five deadly mistakes that salespeople commit when writing a sales letter include: not personalizing the content, not making it as interesting as it is long, not making it easy to read, not holding their attention, and not offering proof that your product is what you say it is.

Nicastro advises salespeople to tell a story to capture their attention and give them what they need to believe in you and your products.

"Stories sell, in person and on paper," Nicastro says. "They sell because they offer the prospect believable and credible proof that your product or service will do what you say it will do."

read story from Mailing Know-How .

AppExchange Goes Live
Salesforce.com, which says its customers and partners were not put off by the recent network outage, went live Tuesday with AppExchange, an eBay-type site for business applications.
read story from developer pipeline .

Problems at Salesforce.com
On Dec. 20, Salesforce.com suffered a nearly 5 hour outage -- topping a list of issues facing the CRM, or customer relationship management, software firm.
read story from e-week news .

Salesman Calls Customer'Scumbag'
A two-minute voice message left by a salesman for a window and siding company offers sales people a perfect example of how to fail in selling.
read story from wis10 news .

Big Texas Closer

The biggest mortgage sales person in Texas, who does business in a not-so-big town, says niche programs have played a lead role in her success.

Phebe Ellis of PrimeWest Mortgage Corp. was recently named the Top Producer of the Texas Mortgage Bankers Association for her volume of $27.9 million in the first three quarters of the year.

TMBA honored the PrimeWest senior vice president at the 55th Annual Educational Seminar and Marketplace it recently held in Dallas. Ellis closed about $2 million and $5 million more than the second and third top-producing individuals, respectively.

Ellis attributed her success to "working for a great company and having an excellent team": the processor, closers and underwriters who help her on a daily basis.Additionally, the award, "displayed proudly, ... has definitely helped" at the office and with referrals, she indicated.

read full story at MortgageDaily.com
(subscription required)

Paula Parisot reports news and reviews sales books for MortgageDaily.com.

articles by Paula Parisot

Email Paula at: PaulaParisot@CloserBlog.com

News By: MortgageDaily.com

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