The View from the Other Side of the Desk:
Please Address my Needs
By Roger Ellerton Phd, ISP, CMC, Renewal Technologies Inc. www.renewal.ca
Originally published at www.mpamagazine.com.au, August 2013 and www.insurancebusinessonline.com.au, September 2013.
The first publication referred to Mortgage Brokers (as does the following article). The second publication referred to Insurance Brokers. Other than that the text is the same and relevant to any situation where you would like another person(s) to buy your product, service or idea. That is, anywhere two or more people interact, especially interactions within your family or at work.
This article may not be republished without written permission from Roger Ellerton/Renewal Technologies Inc. If you republish this article without permission, you will be in violation of copyright law and sent an invoice. You may share this and other pages with your friends via facebook, twitter, google+, etc., simply use the buttons in the left hand margin. Or you can link directly to this page from your website or blog.
As a mortgage broker, you are constantly influencing others to accept you, your ideas, products or services.
Many people have difficulty influencing others because they tend to use the same strategies and emphasize the same needs and values with other people that they would like other people to use with them. Alternatively, they take the 'spray and pray' approach, hoping their clients will find something useful in the information provided.
Each of us has different needs and different strategies for buying. If we didn't then there would be only one type of mortgage with one rate. To be truly effective at influencing others, you need to view the situation from their perspective. That is, determine what is important to them and how they like to purchase.
I am not a mortgage broker and from my perspective, with my limited knowledge of your profession, all mortgage brokers are the same -- you have access to mortgages with various terms and rates. So it is really up to you to be the difference that makes the difference. Help me feel good about the process and allow me to buy the mortgage that I need rather than have you sell me a mortgage. How you interact with a potential client will have a significant impact on your success rate in closing mortgage deals and obtaining motivated referrals.
People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
- Maya Angelou
If you are a bus driver picking up passengers from the bus stop, you don't stop your bus a considerable distance away and yell to them, "Hey, over here." You drive your bus to where they are and help them get on board. Then you can take them somewhere else. It's the same for influencing people: meet them where they are -- their needs and values. Now you can help them discover new ideas and possibilities.
Determine Your Client's Needs and Values
Far too often, we think it's the product or service that people want to buy. In reality, however, people buy the benefit the product or service provides. If you are not certain on what is important to your client, you will not be able to clearly present your products, services or suggestions. Having an understanding of your client's needs and values can:
- Shorten the whole influence process.
- Provide a better understanding of how to present your offering.
- Lead to a better agreement for both parties -- may give you an opportunity to suggest something the other person forgot, did not think was possible or was out of their awareness.
- Create a firmer foundation on which to positively conclude this and future interactions.
Be the difference that makes the difference.
How do you become the difference that makes the difference? Begin by asking questions. Listen for what is important to your client and how they express what is important to them. More on this latter point in a subsequent article.
As you know, some clients come to you with their minds already made up, as to the best mortgage for them -- having obtained "expert" advice from their friends or an internet search. For example, your client may start by saying they would like a one year variable rate mortgage. Rather than telling them why their choice is not a good idea given the current financial climate or simply finding the best available rate, acknowledge their choice and explore the reason behind it. Once you have clearly identified the underlying need or value, you can raise the possibility that this need could be addressed in ways that provide additional benefits.
Even if a client comes in looking for the lowest possible interest rate, there is a need or value behind their decision that may be better addressed in a different manner.
For some people, you may have to ask lots of questions. For others, you may have to politely interrupt to ask questions to get them back on track.
A client's needs and values can be intangible, such as respect, or tangible, such as a monthly payment that is in line with their budget. Having an understanding of your client's specific needs and values will provide clarity on what truly is important to them and will help you recognize where you can compromise, suggest trade-offs or hold firm. Although not comprehensive, I have found that specifying your client's most important needs and values in terms of the acronym RIGHTS can stimulate your thought processes, encourage you to take a more concerted look at their needs and values and help you remember what is important for your client.
To begin, take a moment and for your typical client determine their RIGHTS. If you have more than one typical client, e.g. commercial vs. residential mortgage, do this exercise for each typical client. That is, identify at least one need or value that corresponds to each of the letters in RIGHTS. To get the most out of this exercise, you may wish to act as if you are a typical client and imagine you are talking to a mortgage broker. Possible suggestions are:
- R -- reputation, (minimize their) risk, reduce (costs), respect (for their view point -- you don't have to agree with them, just respect they have a different perspective), responsive (to their needs).
- I -- information (on rates or how to better handle their financial resources), investment (alternatives).
- G -- guarantee (interest rate for a specific period of time), green (environmental e.g. electronic rather than paper documents).
- H -- health (reduced stress), helpful (broker), (feels respected and) heard.
- T -- (convenient meeting) time, time (to closing, amortization), timely (response to requests).
- S -- safety (affordable monthly payments), save (money), satisfaction (with process and results).
Assessing your clients' needs using the acronym RIGHTS can help you understand their point of view. For each client, identify at least one key need or value for each letter that is most important to your client. By doing this, you can build up a quick profile of that client.
The more RIGHTS you satisfy, through the way you interact with your client and the mortgage package you arrange, increases your closing success rate and provides more motivated referrals.
In the next article, we explore how to present your offering in a way that is motivating for your client.
Author: Roger Ellerton is a certified NLP trainer, certified management consultant and the founder and managing partner of Renewal Technologies. The above article is based on his book Win-Win Influence: How to Enhance Your Personal and Business Relationships.
Copyright © 2013, 2016 Renewal Technologies Inc. All rights reserved.