Making Lead Generation Simple With Scott Groves


Keeping a proper database of contacts, and turning those contacts into business is an art form all its own. Lead generation is an essential skill for any good sales person to master, and yet, many neglect to even put the lightest bit of effort in it. Scott Groves is a sales coach and lead generation master who’s been in the industry for 20 years. He and Jen Du Plessis break down what lead generation is, and why it’s so important for a growing business. Could this be the big break your business needs?

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If this is the first time, thanks for joining us. Welcome to the community and I hope that this is the beginning for you. If you have read for years, thank you so much for doing that. I appreciate it. A reminder, please pay it forward. Hand this out, get this information to your realtor friends, into your loan officer friends and your managers, title people. Everybody can win from this because it’s all about personal and professional growth. My guest is Scott Groves and he is the author of Lead Generation: 61 Days to Double Your Pay. He is an active producing loan officer. He and his team are on track to be doing $120 million in volume. He is also a coach. I love bringing coaches on because we are not in competition with one another, we are collaborators with one another. You’re going to be excited to learn his style and it’s different from my style. I find that we’re all attracted to different styles and whatever works for you in that giving, we all receive. Scott, welcome to our show.

Thank you. I appreciate you having me on. I know a lot of people that have had some false starts on the show. I know you’re coming up on several years and I’ve been following for a long time. Congratulations for making it that long because I know that is not easy in this industry.

It’s crazy. I got an email from iTunes saying I was ranked 1,267, which I thought was funny. Why would you email me for that?

It’s a big deal. There are hundreds of thousands of shows.

There are 785,000 shows. At least 126,700 are active. I had gotten the statistic about a month and a half ago that 126,000 were active. I got this thing that said, “You’re 1,267.” I figured I must be in the backend of it but top 1%. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what’s sad that only 126,000 are active. It’s been great and fun. I love giving. It’s not about me, it’s about you. Let’s talk about you and your business. You and I were talking. I was giving you a hard time that you broke the halfway mark for the tenure that I had in the business. You’ve been in the business for many years and you have a very successful team. Tell us how you grew your team? We all started this the same way we stumbled into this business. How did you grow a team to be at $120 million and what does it look like so that people that are reading can learn how your team is structured?

The first tip that I always give people is hire ahead of demand. I have found through the people that I coach and the way that our team has always worked out is a body in the mortgage industry is good for about 5 to 7 loans before we get tapped out. If you’re an individual producer and you’re buttressing up against that 5, 7 and 8 loans a month, it’s probably because you need some extra help. I don’t care if you hire somebody on the frontend, the backend, contract to close or the court calls it LP1 and LP2. The bottom line is you’ve got to invest in yourself and hire ahead of demand. I like to tell this funny story and I don’t expect anybody to get this dramatic. Coming out of 2009, I knew that I needed help because it was hard to piece together a deal coming out of the recession, but I was broke like everybody else.

The only asset I have is I was clinging onto my three-bedroom house here in LA for dear life. I found effectively an executive assistant who would work a few hours a day for room and board. I gave her a free room in my house. I told her she could eat any of my groceries, but I needed her to do a lot of the busy work that would free me up to do the lead generation. That was my first. I absolutely did not have money to hire ahead of demand. There’s always a way, some intern out there. That first person is that assistant, photocopier, marketing task doing the busy work. You and I both know Todd Duncan. He’s always joked in our coaching that I’ve done with him and be like, “Would you pay somebody $100 an hour to go to Target for you and run errands or photocopy?” I know that’s silly. Pretty much anything that you can hand off for $12, $15 and $20 an hour, just try to find that first person. That’s key.

From there, when you mentioned growing a big team, you’ve got to hire good people around you. A $100 million team for us, we’re very blessed by the size of loans in our market area. I’ve got a great business partner named Justin Bale and we’ve got effectively three people that work full-time on our business. We’re probably a little overstaffed to be quite honest, but that’s because I want to continue to run a coaching business on the side. We both have young children. He does a lot of property investing on the side. We’ve made the decision that neither of us want to be at full capacity because I want to be able to take time to do things like this.

Two business, our right-hand guy who takes a lot of the application upfront and does a lot of the warm fuzzy stuff, a contract to close expert who’s making sure every deal closes on time. Then a full-time marketing executive assistant, go out to open houses and be our wingman and take out flyers. We’ve got five people doing about twenty loans a month for $120 million a year. Probably a little overstaffed, either Justin or myself want to take a step back. We could probably do it.

Lead Generation: 61 Days to Double Your Pay

That’s why you’re both half right there. I was very much overstaffed too because it allowed me to do coaching and allowed me to do investing. I was doing both of those as I was exiting. One of the things that we wanted to talk about is lead generation. There are so many aspects of what we do in lending and in real estate as entrepreneurs. For those that are reading that aren’t in this space, we have many jobs. The lead generation, the follow-up, the fulfillment part, and then the nurturing of the relationship to make sure, the social media, we have all these pieces. We’re going to focus on lead generation. That is one thing. I always give the realtors a hard time. The best-wrapped car that looks cool driving down the road means nothing if you’re not generating leads for your business because that is the lifeline of your business. I know you have in your book, 61 Days to Double Your Pay. What type of activities are you talking about in those 61 days? Would you prefer to talk about maybe two or three different points about lead generation that you feel everyone needs to know?

It’s a great topic to jump off on. Shameless plug for the book, Lead Generate: 61 Days to Double Your Pay. The key is when I give talks, workshops or you and I have been at some place where we’re giving keynotes together, I always have people stand up if they’re married or they’ve got a boyfriend, girlfriend, significant other. More or less everybody stands up. I say, “If this story has ever happened to you, I want you to sit down. Your husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend comes home and says, ‘Billy from work or Susie, my college roommate or my cousin Jose, they bought a house. We’ve got to go over there and check it out.’ You’re sitting there saying like, ‘Why didn’t I get a shot at the loan?’” Everybody sits down because it’s happened to all of us. I usually start my keynote saying, “You’re not even famous enough with the person you sleep with. It’s all of their referrals.” You get some big laugh from the crowd. What’s dangerous is in our modern age of social media, people think they have to be everywhere in order to attract business. When the reality is to make that first $200,000, $250,000 of sustainable income in the mortgage business or the real estate business, you only need to be famous with 50 people and pick those 50 people however you like.

If somebody wants a worksheet on this, they can shoot me an email and I’ll send it over to them. It’s from your spouse to your accountant, to your financial advisor, to the lawyer you can trust. All of those people plus our normal realtors and referral sources. If you’re famous with 50 people, when it’s time to talk about a mortgage or real estate, they know, “You’ve got to call my girl, Jen. You’ve got to call my guy, Scott.” If that’s the case, if you’re top of mind with 50 people, you will hit that first $200,000 $250,000 of sustainable income. From there, it’s a matter of adding on strategically some relationships of people who you want to work with. What I talked about a lot in the book, double down on the relationships that are working because there’s not a $99 Instagram ad or a $999 Facebook funnel that’s going to make loans rain from the sky. That’s not the way it works. You and I are never going to beat rocket mortgage trying to go consumer direct because we don’t have a $200 million marketing budget. We’ve got to double down on those people in our sphere. That’s a lot about what we talked about in the book.

Brian Stevens talks about this a lot too. He’s another person in our industry who talks about this. The benefit that we have, especially in this environment is that rocket mortgage can’t do the relationship like we can. We can’t do their budget but they can’t do the relationship. That’s to our advantage. We need to take advantage of that sooner rather than later. Get our claws in people. It’s interesting that you say 50. I’m going to give you a preface a little bit of this. My business, $100 million a year with 22. I didn’t work with 50. I want to talk about how someone would get to 50 or pull back off 50? I imagine, looking back on my career, we all needed everybody. We went out and had thousands of people and I definitely had thousands of people in my database, but I only worked with 22. I got to the point that those 22 were required to give me two or more quality referrals a month or more to be in my good graces. What that meant was that I would bend over backwards for them. I’d be available on weekends to a certain extent. I would do a lot of things for them that I would never, ever do for anybody else. Are you talking about 50 people that you’re famous with that drip business in? Later, you go into more sustainable relationships. Tell me about the type of business that’s coming from those 50 people.

To be clear, there’s no wrong answer. It would be arrogant of me to tell everybody across the nation that they know how to do their business. I’m super jealous of loan officer friends of mine or people who I coach who are in Plano, Texas or areas where realtors have to close multiple deals a month to make a living. I’m in Los Angeles, California. The upside is the price and the loans are higher. The downside is that a realtor can close five or six deals a year and make $100,000, $200,000, which means for me, there are more relationships to manage. Out of those 50, maybe only 20 or 25 are going to be giving you sustainable referrals on a monthly basis. My number one referral source in 2016 lost his partner and he decided, “Life is too short. I’m going to close the deal, make money, go on vacation for three months. Close a deal and go on vacation for two months.” Another one of my top referral sources got pregnant and decided to stay home with the child for a couple of years. Another top referral source got married to a gentleman who was a general contractor and they decided to back off a real estate and start a flipping job and a renovation.

A wife who wants to have a funnel.

We’ve got to have those bench players and I agree with you. If you’ve got ten or twenty solid referral sources, then you’re killing it. The other 20 or 30 could be bench players. I will say along those lines that I don’t enter every relationship for it to be a usury relationship. If there’s somebody I’m giving money to, they better help put money back in my pocket. What I mean by that is if I’m paying my accountant $5,000 a year to do my books and file my taxes, there better be some referrals coming back the other way. It’s the same with my financial planner and my insurance agent. That’s the expectation that I set. I’m also friends with these people and I have long-term relationships with them, but they know like, “My business is predicated somewhat on you also returning the favor.” That’s where we maybe get that first ten or fifteen people that we want to be famous with. These people in our lives who are having financial conversations with other individuals, they have to know. “When it’s time to buy, sell or refinance a home, Scott should be the first person I talk to and the first person that my clients talk to.” That makes life so much easier for us because then we’re not reinventing the wheel every week trying to look for the next deal.

If I feel your pocket, I want you to feel mine. Tell us how, if someone’s reading this they’re going, “I don’t know if I could tell my accountant that. I don’t know if I could tell somebody or my dentist.” I got an Invisalign and I got to take it off finally. I did tell him. I’m actually testing in his office because he’s so big on customer experience. I’m coming in and teaching and I traded but I said, “If you’ll clean my teeth when I’m done with this and you’ll do a nice brightening, I will come in and teach a two-hour class.” I hate scripts, but I do believe in catchphrases. Help someone bridge that gap and broach that conversation with someone.

If you’re somebody who have been in a business relationship for a while and you’re either not getting all of their deals or they hand out three business cards or it’s somebody who you’ve been referring business to forever and you’ve never got a referral back. If the relationship is mature and you’re going to have this conversation and it’s going to be a tough conversation, you’ve got to go do it in person. Go schedule coffee. What I like to do, and I’m stealing this directly from the book, Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. It’s a phenomenal book. Anybody in sales has to read it. Chris Voss was an FBI Hostage negotiator. When he left the FBI, he figured out that like, “All these same skills work in business.” What I would do is work on crafting questions where the answer is a no. If you give the person on the other line or in front of you the opportunity to say no, they’re going to feel like they’ve taken control of the conversation and you’re going to get a much more honest answer. This shows up all the time when people call. If I call somebody and I say, “Jen, did I catch you at a good time?” You’re immediately going to say, “No, it’s not a good time. I’m busy. I’ve got a show.” The conversation dies. If I say, “Jen, did I catch you at a bad time?” It’s very rare that somebody will say yes because people want to say no. They want to take command of the situation.

What most people have been used to doing because of telemarketers is, “Did I catch you at a good time?” “Yes, it’s fine. What’s going on?” “Do you like clean water?” “Yes.” “Do you want clean water for future generations?” “Yes.” “Can you donate $9 to the clean water fund?” “No. Thank you. Don’t ever call me again.” We’ve been tricked into this wall. If you get people to get enough fake yeses, then maybe you’ll get the yes they want. When I call somebody, I say, “Did I catch you at a bad time?” At one of these coffee conversations, I will say, “Is there any reason why I wouldn’t get a referral from you in the next week or month or year, whatever timeframe you want to pick?” Versus you’ve bought this person coffee. They’re in this reciprocal nature where they would say yes to anything, but it will be a fake yes. If I say, “Am I getting a referral from you?” “Yes, Scott, you’re my favorite. No problem.” We all know it’s fake. We all know it’s BS. If you say, “Is there any reason I wouldn’t get a referral from you?” They’re either going to say, “No, I owe you a referral, Scott. Let me find somebody that needs to refinance.”

If they say yes, they’re going to say yes and give you the objection so at least you know. They’ll say, “Yes, Scott, the reason you don’t get any referrals from me is because my sister is actually a lender and it’s awkward. God forbid, I sent business outside of the family. I’d never hear the end of it at Thanksgiving.” At least I know the right answer and then I can choose to continue that relationship. If you’re going to have this conversation, read the book, Never Split the Difference. Craft questions that had a strategic no answer where it’s a no that you want to hear.

What's dangerous in the modern age of social media is that people think they have to be everywhere in order to attract business. Click To Tweet

I wanted to go back rather than go forward because it starts with tracking because if you’re getting business from people, duck on it. You have to start tracking. If you don’t track, you don’t even know who you’re getting business from or who you’re not getting business from. As a result of that, you don’t know who you need to approach and have this conversation with.

Going back to that conversation about the referral partner of mine who lost his partner and travels a lot more. I love talking to the guy. We’re both boxing fans. We like gossiping about what’s going on in the real estate industry. In my mind, he was sending me a bunch of business. When we got to the end of the year and I was doing my quarterly reviews, I’m like, “I haven’t got a referral from this guy in months.” Because I had the tracking, it allowed me to go have the adult conversation with this realtor and say, “Is it you? Is it me? Did I screw something up? Has the market changed? Are you only doing listings?” A couple of things happened. One, we had an adult conversation, which was always nice. Two, he recognized something in his business that was changing that vacation was more important than closing deals if you want to live a little. Number three, it did allow him the opportunity to honestly tell to me what was going on in his business and then we could adjust and now we’re back on track and I’m getting referrals from him again. The tracking is key. You have to know where your business is coming from mathematically and not anecdotally because we’ll talk ourselves as loan officers into all crazy stuff.

Especially having the meeting. I do something a little different in the questioning but in the questioning, we tend to leave these meetings. Show up, throw up, leave the meeting saying, “That went great, we’re going to work together,” and then crickets. We don’t ask that question that gets them to start talking. For me, the question at the end is, “What are your thoughts?” They can say, “You’re great but I’ve got to be honest with you. My daughter’s a lender.” At least I know. Better than I know than wonder. We don’t want to hear that. We tried to superficially scooch past it and assume that everything’s going to go good. We say, “Short-term gain for long-term pain.”

Being famous for your 50. You want to be figuring out who these 50 people are that are in your circle. We’ll call it your sphere of influence. We’ll go back to the old starting out days for everybody. Go to that sphere of influence. Who are you giving money to? Therefore, having that adult conversation and ask for them to do the same for you and you’re suggesting framing the questions so there’s a no response so that they can feel they have more control. Also take a look at the book if you need more help on it. One way to do it is to push your thumb on them and say, “I’m expecting some stuff because you’ve expected from me.” What are some other tips that you’re giving to people on how to get more leads to be able to double their income?

It’s interesting that you mentioned the situation where you don’t throw up information. Maybe you ask great questions and you have a great relationship and you’re like, “I crushed it. I walk out of that meeting.” You forget to follow up with them. A month later, you see them closing a deal and celebrating at the Dodger game with your arch-nemesis on Facebook. This stuff happens all the time. What we coach our people to do, and I know you do the same and it doesn’t even matter what the follow-up process is, but you have to have a follow-up process. I’ve got a little plastic box from the container store in my car. As soon as I leave the meeting, I’m writing a thank you card. I’m sending a text letting them know who I am, here’s my virtual business card. I come right back to the office and I put them on my little call tracker for the upcoming weeks. In our group, we try to make 50 calls every week to buyers, realtors, listing agents and referrals.

It’s nothing. If you’re reading this and you’re saying 50 calls, it’s ten a day. Something I call first and ten, do it again every day. 

I get it. Cold calling is miserable, but these don’t have to be cold calls. They can be warm calls, they can be calls to the listing agent. They can be calls for the last 30 people you had coffee with.

Annual reviews, birthdays, anniversaries and people you should be calling. For me, it’s called dot. We never leave a meeting and say, “Period, there I had the meeting, done.” We don’t say, “They want me to sponsor broker open and done,” which I never do. “I did the broker open, done.” It doesn’t work that way. What’s next? How do we move our businesses forward together? Give us some ideas on exactly what you’re saying. You’re going to call them in the next week or so, but where do you get to the point where you’re starting to enrich that relationship by not only having it deep but having it go wide by the activities that you’re doing?

I’ve seen the math for our coaching clients, for your coaching clients, for Todd Duncan’s coaching clients, it’s effectively, you’re going to make ten calls to set four coffee appointments. Three of them might show up, one or two of them are going to give you a lead. We all know how it goes as lenders is that those first couples of leads can be challenging. One of those leads might close in a transaction that has the opportunity to build you the relationship. Taking a step back, we all know those first few leads you’re going to get are the garbage ones that five other lenders haven’t been able to do. Either you figure out how to solve the problem and close them in 24 hours or you wash your hands of it and say, “There’s a reason the other lender couldn’t come up with it. This one’s not for me. Thanks so much for the referral. I’m looking forward to working on the next one.”

I want to share a statistic that came out on that very point, which is 67% of people will work with the first person they talk to. First of all, you better know, are you number one, number two or number three in the pecking order? If you’re not number one, then you’re going to have to be more responsive to that particular client to get your claws in them faster.

Lead Generation: If you’re working people and you’re generating revenue for them, you should also expect referrals to come your way as well.

A text message that makes the client feel special upfront, I have found is a great way. I stole this from a friend of mine, Christy Solar, who’s a rock star down in Louisiana. You should interview her. You two would get along really well. She says, “I take my applications from about 11:00 AM until 1:30, 2:00 while I’m sitting at my desk.” The way that I do that is by reminding the client and the realtor how much I care about them. Even if I get the referral when I’m on the road at 6:00 headed to the basketball game, I’ll say, “This is Christy. Looking forward to helping you get into your first home. I want to make sure that I’m completely present for our conversation. How about we schedule a time tomorrow at 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM, does that work for you?” She’s blocking out her calendar in a manner which she wants to work, but she’s doing it in a way that makes the client feel super special and taken care of. She knows that if she’s the first call, she better get back to him right away or she’s going to lose that deal. She also doesn’t want to be a slave to working at 9:00 at night. That’s how she’s bridged that gap of scheduling people when she wants them.

I love that because that’s a skill that I teach that I use all the time. I’m ready to walk into a meeting. It doesn’t matter what the meeting is, “Would it be okay if I called you between 4:00 and 6:00 when I’m in front of my computer and I can dedicate 100% of my time and attention to serving you?” I can repeat that 30 times. I’ve repeated that many times in my life. The great thing about that is that you’re saying that you’re busy, you’re not on-demand, you’re in demand. I’m about ready to walk into an appointment which says, “She works with other people.” If I’m ready to walk into an appointment, “Can I call you between 4:00 and 6:00?” Why 4:00 and 6:00, 3:00 and 5:00, 2:00 and whatever? Why that time frame? As loan officers, we’re excited about giving them customer service. “Call I call you at 3:15?” What happens at 3:15 is that the appraisal came in low. We’re freaking out. We put this under stress on ourselves because we told them 3:15. If I have that latitude to say between 3:00 and 5:00 or 4:00 and 6:00, when I’m in front of my computer and I can dedicate 100% of my time and attention to serving you, it’s amazing because I’ve never had someone say, “No, I don’t want you to dedicate your time to serve me. I want you to be distracted.”

“Can you take the call right now when you’re in the Guns and Roses concert?” “Sure. That’s going to work out well for both of us.”

If you like my husband who’s in the mortgage business and he puts it in his pocket on a napkin and then forgets about it when I wash it. You look unprofessional when you do that. It does say something that says, “I want to be present. I want to help you with what you’re doing.” I was smiling while you were saying that because that’s such a great skill and we’re angst about, “I’ve got to get back to him.” Yes, you do, but let’s do it in a way that puts you in demand and not on demand so that you’re not everybody’s beck and call guy and beck and call girl.

That is important and what you’re teaching is important, Jen, because when I was single and could walk out of a movie to take a loan application and look like the hero at 9:00 on Friday night, that’s cool. My wife is not going to put up with that. If I walk out of a dinner date on 7:30 on Friday night and disrespect my wife to continue to be the person I was in my twenties as a loan originator, that doesn’t apply as our life evolves and we have a wife or kids or other responsibilities.

It’s good if you can learn it now, instead of having to retrain all of your referral partners. I know new people and it doesn’t matter the age, just new people in the business are so angst about getting the business that they’re jumping through hoops. If you can learn that from the very beginning, then you can set a tone for your clients. It doesn’t mean that you’re not serving them. It means that you’re taking the reins and doing it on your terms. I love that you’re saying get to the texts, get back to them as quickly as you can. I want to ask about leads one more time. How else can we get more leads? I’m going to move on to something else that we didn’t plan to do.

I’m going to flip to a random page in the book. This book is all about getting you different tips and 30 of them will be a throw-away, twenty of them you’ll be like, “I already do some of that.” Ten of them be like, “That’s good.” Day 44 is Blue Ocean Strategy. It’s the idea of finding a new place to get business. I’ll give you a quick example. A friend of mine who’s my insurance agent, when he started his State Farm agency, they say, “The only way to do business is to buy leads off the internet, lowest common denominator, auto policies and you build from there, but you’ve got to do 100 low-cost auto policies a month.” He said, “That sounds like the Seventh Circle of Hell. I’m going to go ahead and find a different way to do it.” He started finding other avenues. What he did is he went to every luxury car dealership in Los Angeles, and I’m talking about $150,000 to $250,000 cars and said, “We have the best rates in the auto insurance industry for high-end luxury car owners for people that also are homeowners or business owners. If you get somebody who’s freaking out about buying this car, because they’ll spend the $2,000 a month on the Lamborghini, but they don’t want to spend $600 a month on insurance, have them give me a call, I’ll talk them off the ledge and I’ll help you close the deal.”

What he’s getting is more affluent clients with a higher policy amount who aren’t going to ditch him over $12 a month. These people also happen to be homeowners. They happen to be business owners, they happen to need life insurance. All of these things that funnel into his business and that was a Blue Ocean Strategy for him. Nobody’s walking into the Rolls-Royce dealership saying, “I do auto insurance. How can I help you close more deals?” Not that there’s a direct translation to the mortgage business, but if you find yourself calling the same 30 realtors in your small town and you can’t get traction, try insurance agents. Try a car dealer.

I was at Washington Mutual for several years before they decided to implode. One of my best referral sources was a pool cleaner because I had helped him out with some account issues at some point when I was a teller many years ago and he remembered me. The pool cleaner always knows when somebody’s getting ready to renovate their pool, renovate their house, put in new hardscape. I must’ve got hundreds of referrals from him for home equity line of credit, which turned into refinances, which turned into purchase loans.

Which turn more referrals if you’re nurturing your database.

When you work with people, you always have to have a follow-up process. Click To Tweet

I haven’t been great at that. I’m going to be honest. I need to coach on that, Jen.

How much business did you leave on the table during this refi boom?

At least $100,000.

I love that you went to your book because my books are like that too. You go to it and there’s two-and-a-half pages of something to do. It’s so much easier to read. Only 3% of people read books after high school, which is why podcasts are so great because you’re not reading it, you’re listening to it. In your book, you go through 61 Days to Double Your Pay. Let’s talk about that and conversion. You’re in a position where you haven’t had as many leads. You go through 61 days of this and all of a sudden you’ve got all these leads and new problems happen.

You better have a good spreadsheet or good CRM. I don’t care which one, but Spreadsheet, Google Sheet, some way of tracking or except the fact that you have to get good at a CRM, you have to do that. It’s like not nurturing the database well enough. I probably left $1 million on the table over the first fifteen years because I didn’t have a great database or a great CRM. In the Facebook groups that you and I are both in, all the ones on Facebook with the big lenders. It’s the topic all the time. What CRM is the best? What CRM do you use? Who has a CRM tool? I don’t give a crap. Pick one and use it.

It’s like the one that you use. If it’s simple as a spreadsheet, then just be a spreadsheet, do it. I’ve had situations in the past and I’m great at community and all that, but 30-some years and people slip through the cracks and they’ll call and say, “Jen, I want to let you we signed the contract. I’m sending it over.” I hung up the phone, “Thank you, God,” because I don’t know who they are. I don’t have them on my database. We’ve all had those, but you can’t leave your business to chance.

With the conversion, there are a couple of things and there are two very competing ideas and I have screwed this up many times. Please learn from my mess-ups and screw-ups and do this right. On one hand, you have to create a conveyor belt where for your own sanity, for the client experience and for the realtor experience, everything works the same. Whether that’s a checklist or a workflow or something digital, I don’t care what it is. That’s competing thought number one. Competing thought number two is the biggest purchase these people will ever make in their life. The only differentiator between us and Quicken and Rocket Mortgage is our customer service. You have to put people on the conveyor belt and never treat them like they’re on a conveyor belt. The year that I did the most business that I ever did, I probably ruined the most realtor relationships because it was very clear that the process was about me and how I do things. How this is going to work and how we’re going to get this deal to close? That year I got 95% of my docs out early, but it didn’t matter because I didn’t make it client and the realtor feel special. You’ve got to create a conveyor belt and making people feel like they’re super special.

I love that you said that because that’s one of the pinnacle pieces of my coaching, which is communication and it’s having the efficiency of a system, but the effectiveness to the consumer. It has to be efficient for you so that you can manage it. You can’t in the middle of the conveyor belt say, “Hold on the conveyor belt because I want to make cookies and deliver cookies to the client’s office at the approval.” It’s not efficient. Can you do that? Yes. Find a more efficient way. It needs to be effective so that they feel special. It’s not even customer service anymore. The word is dead. It’s called CX, Customer Experience. We’re all talking about. It’s how they feel after having worked with you because of your conveyor belt. It goes beyond the golden rule of, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” No, it’s the platinum rule of, “Do unto others as they want to have done onto them.” Building in, what is the best way for us to communicate? Is it via text? Is it phone? Is it email? Is it video? How do you want us to communicate? Being able to drop those little pieces into it, so they know you’ve heard them.

Another thing that either warn people or hopefully educate people is, what loan officers loved came plain about with consumers is one of our best opportunities. I will hear loan officers all the time complain about, “The client doesn’t get it. They don’t understand. They don’t know what’s expected of them. They don’t know how to go through the process.” If the client is ignorant, that means you get to set the expectation in their mind of what happens. Instead of telling them that, “Absolutely the appraisal will be back, it’ll be signed off and you can remove your contingency on Tuesday.” If they don’t know any different, say Thursday or Friday, who cares?

Let them know that we have to have it come back and it may not come back right.

Lead Generation: The best way to work is to set an expectation and over-deliver on that expectation

Set the expectation and then over-deliver on the expectation. I always think it’s hilarious when loan officers say, “My client doesn’t get this.” That’s the beauty. They don’t get it. If everybody got it, we would be out of a job. That’s where we will build relationships.

Anticipate their needs if you’ve been through a process yourself. This is God’s honest truth. My husband and I had been married for a couple of years. We’ve never had a fixed-rate mortgage. We’ve always had an adjustable-rate mortgage. The reason that we have is because if rates are high, we’re going to love the mortgage. If rates are low, we can refinance into a lower arm. It’s like a hair person. They have colors and they cut it and they do all these crazy things with it. Because I need to experience what my clients experience on a regular basis. If you’ve got a house and you’ve got a low fixed-rate loan, that’s wonderful. I’m not saying that you’re not saving money, but I’ll make up the money in the experience. I’m going to provide a client over what someone else might because they have a 30-year fixed. When I go through that experience, I’m like, “This is how I feel and this is when I feel it.” I can incorporate that in my perfect loan process. Go to them and say, “The reason I’m calling is that there are no updates. I want to know how are you doing and what are you losing sleepover? What’s on your mind? What are you worried about?” That simple phone call is what makes the difference between having the conveyor belt and making them feel like they’re in a conveyor belt.

If you have the guts to ask somebody what they’re scared about and then the key is listen to the answer, that goes a long way. If you can articulate the question better than they can give you the answer, then they’ll assume you have the answer. If at the beginning of the process, at the beginning of your preapproval, at the beginning of going into contract, if you can say, “Tell me about the house you’re looking for and tell me what has you scared about buying a home?” They’ll immediately say, “Scott knows that I’m simultaneously excited about buying a house but scared out of my mind about whatever plugin X, Y, Z.” They’ll assume you have the answer and that you’re the right person to work with.

What other one tip can you give our audience about conversion?

As far as conversion, there’s nothing new in the mortgage industry, I’m sure I stole this from somebody. The moment that you get introduced to a client, start the official, “We’re going to buy a house together,” text message thread with you, the client and the realtor. What ends up happening is you’ve created this little circle of trust. Let’s say Jen’s the client and my friend, Bill, is the realtor. “Jen, this is Scott. I just wanted to start a text message thread with you, me and Bill. Sometimes you’re going to have questions that are better for the realtor Bill to answer. Sometimes you’re going to have questions that are better for me to answer. Do me a favor and rename this text message thread, Buying a Home, and we’ll both be here as a resource.” What happens is your chances of getting shocked go down dramatically because the realtor knows, you know, the client know, that we all know that we’re in this together and we’re working alongside each other for the goal of getting them into the house. When the goal is getting them into the house versus the goal of having the lowest interest rate, you cut down on the rate shopping by 50%. That’s my favorite conversion tool.

It’s funny because I’m not originating it more, I’ve done the thread, but I’ve never phrased it that way and rename the thread. Are you doing that by text or are you doing that to private messaging or instant messaging?

I’m doing that through text, it seems to go better that way.

I don’t know how to rename one, but I’ll have to figure that one out.

Apparently, Apple will let you do anything.

I’m always at the forefront of technology, so I’m going to go figure that one out. Thank you so much for everything. I love that you talked about leads and made it simple and I’m sure that people are going to want to grab your book. What is the best way for them to get a hold of your book?

With leads, one of the most important things is to have a good spreadsheet. Click To Tweet

Amazon is the easiest. There’s an Audible version. I would recommend getting the physical copy of the book because it’s nice to make notes, Lead Generate: 61 Days to Double your Pay.

It’s a soft copy. Mine’s a hard copy because I wanted it to be used. In fact, when we’re doing the publishing, I said, “Could you put a fake paperclip in it? Can I write notes in it and then you print it, like me write notes?” I go, “I love this.” It’s that kind of a book. I believe that’s what yours is too. It’s like taking these and saying, “That may not work for my business.” If you’re reading and you’re not in mortgages or real estate, but you can twist this and make it for your business. Get the hard copy. Don’t even bother getting Kindle because you buy Kindle and then you’ll have to get the hard copy anyway. If someone wants to call you and talk to you about lead generation, what is the best way for them to get in touch with you?

Email is the easiest, I still monitor email, which I don’t know why I do it because it’s a plethora of solicitations. Join Jen’s coaching and buy my book. It’s that compound effect thing. Do ten or twenty minutes of what Jen says. Read five minutes of my book. Do 30 minutes of your ten calls a day. We’re talking about an hour a day and your business will dramatically change things. If you can’t find an hour in your day, then you might be in the wrong business. Go make your calls.

I have five coaches because each of them has a place for my practice. I have a speaking coach. I have a funnel building coach. I have an investor coach for my investment properties. I have all these coaches and I love that you said the compound effect because just like in life, there’s not one CRM that’s going to fit everything you need. You’re going to have to pick and pull. If you think that lead generation is something that Scott can do for you, and then maybe something else I do what you already all know because I talk about it all the time. It’s about that compound effect. Get a little bit of everybody. That will help your business grow. Scott, I want to say thank you again for all your wisdom and all your great ideas and great takeaways so that people can take their business to the next level. We appreciate you reading.

Thank you so much.

We’ll catch you next time on Mortgage Lending Mastery. Go out and make it a great day.

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About Scott Graves


Scott Groves. Husband, Father, Loan Officer, Coach, Boxer, Movie Junkie, Lead Generation Machine. Over $1Billion in funded loans over the last 20 years and thousands of sale people coached.

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