Be The Expert! tagged:

Be The Expert!

Posted by in Brian's Blog

I got asked this question as a pre-cursor to the time management call that I did a few weeks back and it was never answered on the call but it brings up a great point about sales…

“Brian, I have a lot of referrals coming in from clients that I have worked with for years yet I still feel like I am at their beck and call trying to shop the best deal for them, how do I get to that next level where I am not a glorified shopping service?”

It is a fantastic question and brings up a most important point that few people seem to grasp, especially in commercial.  You MUST qualify the prospect first to see if you can even get them a loan.  I know you residential guys assume that the Dr. calling you with the perfect credit buying that important building near your office is a cream puff guy and has a lot of options, and you may even feel lucky that he would grace you with a phone call.  I can’t tell you how many times I hear something like this, “Brian, I got this deal from a chamber event, this guy is mega-strong and already has tons of options but is letting me quote it as a favor”.  Or, “brian, this guy is the richest man in Bedrock and I only have a chance at this deal because my cousin married his daughter”.  Or some semblance of this general thought process-“the client is great, I am lucky to have a shot, etc”.  You HAVE ALREADY LOST THE DEAL!

Count on it.  If you have this attitude in a commercial transaction you will never close that transaction.  NO DEAL IS A SLAM DUNK IN COMMERCIAL ANYMORE.  There are tons of doable deals, but to have a closing you need 3 things: a good deal, a capable lender willing to fund the deal, and a humble borrower willing to work with the lender.  If you have a good deal, and you take it to a real lender that can fund it, but the borrower is still shopping, or he feels like the lender is lucky to get his business, or he feels like we should just approve it without having to get returns, etc. then you will NEVER close that loan.  Something will come up, borrower will tick off the lender with a comment, he will drag getting paperwork in and we will miss the contract closing date, something.  The key to getting the client in the door, AND yourself in the mode of expert, is to SCREEN OUT THE BORROWER AT THE INITIAL CONTACT.  When that client first contacts you, tells you he is Dr. Smith and is buying this building for this or that, the first-I mean the very first thing you should do is ask a question.  Pull out your simple loan proposal summary sheet and ask him, “what type of property?  Investor or owner occupied?, etc.”  The person asking the questions is the expert, the person answering the questions is NOT the expert.  If that client tells you the property they are buying and asks YOU what your rates are and what your fees are, etc. then HE is the expert and of course you are relegated to a glorified shopping service.  When you go to the Dr. with a pain, HE is asking the questions, “where is the pain”.  It is the same with this.

Listen, it is highly likely that ANY client you talk to in commercial has already been denied once.  The first place a person goes for a commercial loan is the bank they do their business banking with.  If they are letting you, a broker, have a “shot” at the deal know that their local bank has either denied them or they are dragging their feet or something.  You have a responsibility to ask the questions and screen that client out.  Otherwise you end up running around like crazy on a deal that you may not even be able to close-that would be a colossal waste of time.  The key to establishing yourself as an expert, the key to converting more deals, the key to better time management, the key to more commercial closings, can be found in simply qualifying that client HARD at time of application.  I don’t care if it is Bill Gates calling you, you need to qualify him.  Otherwise-YOU lose.


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