When the mortgage lead comes in from your website, will your sales team be equipped to respond to it as quickly as possible? In under five minutes?
Remember, internet mortgage leads are not referrals — they are not friends and family leads who will wait for you. These leads are strangers looking for the best deal in the shortest amount of time.
All of this is key to designing a sales process that ensures every lead is contacted immediately and that none are ignored.
By using this ready-to-use mortgage leads sale process, you can create an organized system for your sales team that will convert more leads into more appointments and eventually closed deals.
Some essential elements for success as you design your sales process include:
- Be responsive
- Be human
- Be service-minded
- Be consistent
- Always follow-through
- Frequency is your friend
- Never give up – there are no dead leads
Let’s use these principles to put together a proven sales process for working internet mortgage leads.
Get a Move on the Lead and Make Contact Quickly
Your initial response to an internet mortgage lead is critical —“speed to lead” is a mantra you often hear in the lead generation business.
There are a few reasons being the first to respond to an internet lead is critical.
First, you are always competing with internet customers.
If you are working mortgage leads generated from a website — yours or a lead gen site — you can guarantee that yours is not the only web form they filled out. Generally, but not always, sales will go to the first responder.
Second, responsiveness is one of the most important psychological factors in building trust and rapport with a new customer. The fact that you responded to their lead right away shows you have taken an interest and initiative in helping the lead.
Third, and most importantly, customers that use the internet are often quickly overwhelmed. If you don’t respond right away, they may forget they even filled out the form on your site.
Here’s a tip: if you can’t call your prospective lead immediately, create an auto-responding email or drip campaign to get your lead in your email database right away to make first contact.
Consider using a specialized CRM like Bonzo or Verse.io that is specialized in this sort of automated outreach and conversation to improve your efficiency and conversion rates.
Bonzo considers itself a “conversation software” not a CRM because it uses a personalized touch to automate the email follow-up process.
Verse similarly is a lead conversion platform that uses automated follow-ups to make sure no potential leads fall through the cracks.
Classify and Rank Each Lead Quickly
Depending on where you work, you may already have lead scoring methodologies in place for your leads coming in.
While it’s true that you should respond to a lead in under five minutes (if possible), certain leads are more promising than others, and some leads simply just aren’t going to work out, no matter what.
In order to simplify the lead scoring process, you can design your lead path questionnaire ahead of time to ask for the most crucial pieces of information you’re looking for. If there’s a credit score range that you simply can’t work with, add that info to your form so you can quickly weed out leads that will waste your time.
There’s a fine line between asking too much information in your online forms and scaring off leads, and not asking for enough information and leaving your sales team blind, so determine the most important pieces of information you need to extract from your lead.
Getting an Appointment
Make scheduling appointments a primary objective of your sales automation.
Traditionally, mortgage appointments were done only in person, at the loan officer’s office. But today, appointments are largely remote, over the phone, Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom meetings.
Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for your lead to make an appointment. Once you’ve made the appointment, your odds of closing the deal significantly increase.
A few free online appointment calendar services we recommend using include:
Calendly – Set your availability and let your leads pick a time that works for them. Automated emails send reminders to make sure your lead doesn’t forget their appointment.
Setmore – Integrate your appointment calendar with your website and sales CRM, and send out automated emails. Easily lets leads pick a time that works for them.
Picktime – Another great free calendar appointment setting platform that more or less does what Calendly and Setmore do.
Working Unresponsive Leads
Leads never die, we just stop marketing to them.
There are many reasons why a lead can become unresponsive, so don’t automatically assume it’s because they don’t like or trust you.
Sometimes a person’s needs or life situation changes.
The prospective buyer was once ready to buy a home, but now they’re not. Maybe because they lost their job or they’re expecting a child. In this case, don’t forget about them and stop reaching out. When they are ready to buy a home again, they’ll remember you from before and will want to work with you.
Perhaps the prospective lead is just too overwhelmed or unsure of how to proceed in the mortgage process. A gentle and friendly reminder email or call could be just what they needed to get out of their rut, and you’re the person who can help them.
New and exciting leads quickly become aged leads, leads that are older than 30 days. Once a lead has become aged, most salespeople don’t even bother contacting the lead, and this is a mistake because it can take the normal person months to figure out their mortgage process.
Key lesson: Don’t give up and get discouraged from unresponsive leads!
Killing the Competition by Providing Outstanding Customer Service
Customers are more willing to work with companies that offer them better customer service. So do what you can to “out-nice” the competition.
Research and know who your competitors are. Understand their weakness and set up “trap doors” by highlighting the services you will give your customers that your competition will fail at.
Give your prospective leads star service and make them feel important. Provide concierge service, give them your personal cell phone number, or offer a free appraisal process with your home offer expertise.
Providing outstanding customer service not only gets more customers but also retains customers longer and is your key to gaining those valuable referrals.
Keeping the Deal Moving, Always
Always focus on leading your prospective buyer further down their sales journey. Focus on foreshadowing the next steps during every call and give a brief summary at the end of each call with clear actions your buyer will need to take.
Make it simple for your prospective lead to take those next steps. Follow up after every call with an email summarizing the call and giving a clear call to action for them to take the next step.
Don’t be shy about sending reminder emails, either. While it’s true you can send too many emails, salespeople often don’t send enough emails to reach their goals.
As we mentioned before, consider using a CRM that can make this follow-up process easy and consistent.
Using a CRM will make this process much more scalable, particularly if you’re working with a large volume of leads. Can you imagine manually trying to keep track of hundreds or thousands of interactions? We can’t either, so use a CRM!
Long-Term Nurturing — Using Content Marketing to Keep Leads Warm
It often takes many points of contact to close the deal, but guess what? You don’t have to personally make contact in order to engage your lead.
Add them to an ongoing email marketing campaign that will send them regular emails and helpful blog posts to keep them in the loop.
Think long-term to create a long-lasting email marketing campaign that will consistently engage your leads for months or years to come until they’re finally ready to reach out again.
Use an RSS to email platform to make lead nurturing extremely easy.
Every time you publish content to your blog, everybody on your email list gets a valuable, content-rich email, which will increase traffic to your website, improve SEO, and generate more leads.
Remember, content marketing is more than just blogs. It can be cheat sheets, infographics, YouTube videos, surveys, eBooks, or even podcasts. There’s no shortage of content ideas you can create to fill your emails with to provide a steady stream of emails in your leads’ inboxes.
We recommend using MailChimp or ActiveCampaign to set up a long-term email marketing campaign.
Long-Term Nurturing for Aged or Cold Leads
There are no dead leads, only aged leads as we mentioned before, and aged leads still potentially hold a lot of value. So don’t forget about these leads!
However, do not put cold or dead leads into MailChimp or ActiveCampaign, this strategy is only for inbound opt-in active leads.
If you want to run an aged lead email strategy you need to run a more complex drip email campaign. For these aged lead campaigns use services like QuickMail or MailShake, set up a separate dedicated email domain, and be slow, patient, and personal in your outreach — 10 emails/day at most.
I won’t go into this here, but you can check out these links for more insight:
Next Steps: Lead Generation for Your Mortgage Company
Kaleidico is a lead generation agency with over 15 years of experience generating leads for mortgage lenders and law firms.
Are you a mortgage lender, sales director, or loan officer looking for help generating leads for your business? Email Bill Rice at bill.rice@kaleidico to get help implementing these strategies. Schedule a discovery session with our agency and team at Kaleidico.