If you get a hundred leads a month but only close seven, there’s a problem. In this solo episode, host Jen Du Plessis talks about why you need to track conversions. Instead of looking for new business all the time, why not nurture the relationships you already have? The first thing you need to look at is your sales skills. You need to know how to present yourself to solve your clients’ problems. One way of improving your sales skills is to gather information about your ideal client. Do you want more practical tips? Listen to this episode and discover vital strategies on how to track conversions. Tune in!
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Practical Tips On How To Track Conversions And Make More Money
I am doing a Jen’s Jots for this episode. It’s been a while since I’ve done that. I want to share a little bit of insider information or private information to help you understand why you haven’t had a Jen’s Jots for a while. That is that a few months ago, my husband had a very bad medical situation and it’s taken us five months to get back to normal, and for me to be able to focus on giving some Jen’s Jots instead of doing interviews, which I love doing so. Either way is fine.
In this episode, I want to talk to you about conversions. I’ve got some information I want to share with you about tracking conversions. One of the things that I’ve always used is something called the Five S in converting. The first thing I want to share with you is when you are looking at changing your conversion ratios. The reason I am sharing this with you is because a lot of people have their binoculars on, always looking for new business. That’s fine that we need new business all the time.
I also talk a lot about your acres of diamonds. Look at what you already have so you can nurture the relationship and not neglect the relationship. You have both new businesses coming in and you have a business that you already have. Your alumni clients who come back to you. When it comes to conversion, one of the things that I’m going to recommend that you look at is what if you converted one more person a week or a month? How would that change your life? How would that change your financial or health picture if you didn’t have to work so much in trying to get more business?
Conversion ratios are key to moving your business forward exponentially without having to work any harder. Let’s take a deep dive into why are you not converting more of the people you’re talking to? I came up with these Five S. God help me that I’ll remember them. I should have written them down but I had someone rescheduled. I thought I’ll just use this time to do Jen’s Jot myself. That’s another little lesson there, when the white space opens up, fill it with something that is still good for you to do. Something you’ve been intending to do anyway.
The first one is your sales skills. If you’re not converting as many people as you’d like, the first thing is to look at your sales skills. Many of you have heard me say over and over that when we’re not selling, we’re serving, we’re edu-selling, but there is a sales aspect to it. You do have to sell yourself. How are your sales skills? I would look at how are my sales skills and why am I not converting as many people? Am I selling the steak and not the sizzle on the phone? If that’s your intent.
I’m an advocate of a very quick 5, 10-minute hopes and dreams call to gather information. Also, a discovery call or a strategy session to share with them the results of the tests that we have run by them filling out their application, their 1003, and then providing us with validation documentation. We do that strategy session or discovery meeting after we’ve done the hopes and dreams gathering information.There's a critical difference between working for the sake of working and working to win. Click To Tweet
In that five minutes, I’m not selling anything. I’m fact-gathering. When it comes to the strategy call or the discovery call, that’s not a sales call, it’s an edu-selling situation. All the best marketing in the world, the Facebook ads, the great flyers and graphics, and you wrapped your car so that everybody sees you. All of that means nothing if you can’t properly present and sell to your customer and your client exactly what you are about, what their needs are. Also, surprising and disrupting them by providing something they didn’t even ask for.
What are your sales skills? Are your sales skills the issue for why you’re not converting more clients? I would look closely at that. Number two, I would look at your service skills. What level of service are you providing? You all know, I don’t talk about being on-demand. I talk about being in demand. We’re still providing an excellent customer experience, but what are those service skills? Is it that you have so many voicemails that no one can leave you a voicemail because the inbox is full and you haven’t called anybody back? Has someone slipped through the cracks because you don’t have a system? What are your service levels? Are people feeling that you’re paying attention and they’re being served? I would look at that as well.
If you have team members who do your hopes and dreams when you’re not available and all of that, then we need to look at how they’re servicing the clients, their referral partners, and the vendors that you have. What are the service levels that they are providing? Have you laid out expectations properly in the management cycle that you’re setting expectations, inspecting expectations, providing positive feedback, and then resetting those expectations? That is the circle of management. It’s called the management cycle.
If you did not set them properly in the beginning or if you set them, but there were holes in their receiving of the expectations and they didn’t raise their hand and say, “I don’t understand something.” That’s where you reset. That’s how you could measure service skills. The next is system skills. How does your system look? Do you take referrals on the text and then forget about the texts? Do you take them on voicemail and forget about the voicemail or delete the voicemail, writing at someplace thinking you’ll remember? Do you write it on a napkin and shove it in your pocket?
How are your systems? Every single client should go through the system the same way. Why do I know this? This is what happens at fast-food restaurants. It happens in every place that we get served. It doesn’t matter if it’s a grocery store that you have comfort with. I don’t know on the West Coast, but there’s Kroger, King Soopers and Safeway. On the East Coast, there’s Publix, Piggly Wiggly, Harris Teeter and Giant. Going to those grocery stores, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, Walmart, Nordstrom, no matter where you go, there’s a familiarity because there is a system in place. What does your system look like?
What Makes A Bad Lead?
We’ve talked about your sales skills, your service skills, your system skills. Now let’s talk about your source skills. Sometimes the conversion is low because of the source. Where did the referral come from? One of the things that I can’t stand in our industry is when someone says, “I get bad leads. It was a bad referral.” No referral or lead is bad but sometimes it’s not ready to be plucked from the bind. If it’s an apple and it’s not quite ripe yet we pull it off of that vine too soon, or someone pulls it off and hands it to us too soon.
We take it on as loan officers. We put it on the conveyor belt of our process. We blow dry it and try to put sun on it. We breathe heavily on it hoping that by the time it gets to closing, it is finally ripe. We’re forcing it to be ripe. What makes that a “bad lead” is that we allowed for it to be put on the conveyor belt before it was ripe. If someone pulls and plucks something that isn’t ripe and hands it to you, don’t put it on the conveyor belt. Say, “Yes. Thank you. This is going to be great. It’s just not ready yet. It’s not ready to go into the process.” You can set it aside and let it ripen.
We’ve all done that where it’s not quite ripe so we put it on a window sill. We put it in our kitchen or we put it in the fridge to ripen. We put it on the counter depending on what it is. We let it ripen and then we take action on it. It’s not a bad apple. It’s not a bad tomato. It just needs time to ripen before we can utilize it. Often we are so angst and excited about getting referrals that we’ll throw it onto that crazy conveyor belt called the loan process. We lose sleep and we aren’t servicing our clients properly. That’s one source issue.
Another source you’ve all heard me talk about is the story of Savannah, who was a real estate agent I was working with at Century 21. I’m so excited I was tracking, but I wasn’t tracking properly that I tracked 67 referrals in a year. I thought, “She’s my advocate. She’s my A-plus. She’s one of my apostles. I’ll do anything for her. I’ll work long hours.”
She did ask me, “Jen, can you put together a spreadsheet for all these referrals I’ve given you so that we can communicate?” “Yeah, I got that.” I had this stoplight. It’s red, yellow and green. Red is dead. Yellow is they’re on hold and they’re looking. Green is it’s in process or it has a pre-approval. It’s moving forward. I had this thing. I started looking at it and all of it was red. That is because I had made phone calls to these clients and said, “Savannah asked me to give you a call.” They’d say, “Who?” “Savannah over at Century 21.” “Huh?”
They would never call me back or they would call me back and I would say, “Savannah said that you were interested in this property.” They’d say, “My credit is terrible. I don’t have a job.” She wasn’t filtering them enough and getting them to me. Could they have all been good? Sure, but they weren’t ready to talk to me. They were so unripe. She hadn’t even pulled them off the tree. They’re just hanging on the tree and she’s saying, “Go in there. See if you can do anything with the things that are hanging in the tree.” That’s how bad it was. I realized that’s not going to work. I had to come to Jen meeting with her and said, “Savannah, in the last year, I have 67 referrals with zero closings.” I was all about tracking, just not tracking all the way. I was getting so involved in the tracking that I didn’t see the forest for the trees.
I said, “This isn’t going to work. What do you say to them when you’re referring?” She said, “I just say, ‘Call my lender, Jen.’” I said, “When they call me and if I ever get the chance to talk with them, I say, ‘Let’s talk about your credit, your income and your assets.’ They say they don’t have credit. Their credit is bad. They don’t have a job or they have no money. Those are the three things. What if you said, ‘Call my lender, Jen. She’s going to ask you about credit, assets and income.’ Let them tell you no. You keep them on the tree. You keep watching them and working with them. I’ll help you with some of that as far as the credit restoration goes, but let’s not pull them off the tree yet. Let’s wait.” What I was concerned about is that she was thinking I’m not capable of solving or converting when in fact, I didn’t even have the opportunity because most of them didn’t return my call.Make sure that people know what your specialty is. Click To Tweet
What happened next is crickets. I started going, “She’s mad at me. My apostle is mad at me,” but she was a false apostle. There wasn’t business happening. I said to her in our come to Jen meeting was, “How are you getting all these leads?” She said, “I sit at open houses for other realtors and I sit on desk duty in my office.” I had failed to ask her all that. Now I know it’s like getting online leads where you have to sift through 1,000 of them but that’s not how my practice worked. It is also not how her practice work. She did not want it to work that way but it was working that way.
Work To Win
All these crickets, I thought she was mad at me. I called her and I said, “What’s going on? Are you mad at me?” She said, “No, I’m just doing filtering as you asked me.” That’s what we did. In the next year, I don’t remember all the numbers but I think I got 7 referrals and we closed 5. I increased my conversion ratio. I reduced my time spent working and not winning. There is a real key difference between working for the sake of working and working to win. That’s what we were doing. We were working to win.
I want you to look at your sources. Are you number 3? Are you number 2? Are you loan officer number 1, 2 or 3? Realtors, if you’re reading to this because many do, the same thing for you. Are you option 1, 2 or 3? Are people providing you with referrals that you think are referrals and it should be worked on now before they’re ready to go into the process? That’s fine if they are but you want to put them in a different category. Perhaps leads for now and not referrals because we don’t want to count somebody who we don’t have a shot at.
For those of you who like baseball, it’s the difference between being on deck and being at-bat. If you’re on deck and someone else is at-bat, and they get three outs in an inning, then you never even got a shot. You’ve never gotten at-bat to even attempt to do 1st, 2nd, 3rd or home run. That’s what I consider to lead. I didn’t even get an at-bat. They didn’t call me back. I didn’t even have a chance to talk to them. That is not counted in my conversion ratios anymore because it wasn’t ready. It was too soon for it to be put on the conveyor belt or I didn’t even get an at-bat.
We’ve talked about sales skills. We’ve talked about service skills, system skills and source skills. Especially, it’s the perfect time of the year for you to look at your sources and say, “Are these the right sources or are they just handing me bones?” That will reduce your conversion ratio and how they refer you. What do they say? How do you want to be introduced instead of, “I’ve got this mortgage girl.” I want to be introduced as a certified mortgage planner and these are my niches. “These are her niches and her specialties. Give her a call because of that.”
Last but not least is your style skill. What do I mean by that? What is it about you that makes you unique and different? As I mentioned, some of that is niches. “There is riches in niches. Niche to get rich.” You’ve heard before. As you’re reading this, it is so important that you market your niches so that people can remember. That doesn’t mean you don’t do everything else. Otherwise, you’re selling everything to no one and getting nothing. If you’re selling to niches or marketing to niches, then people will remember you for those reasons, especially when we’re talking about realtors.
Realtors, those of you that are reading, this list of 1, 2 and 3. First of all, it’s not a law. It’s what has become the norm. It’s like 6%. It’s not a rule. What is important in that particular instance is that rather than giving three names saying, “Lender 1 is my favorite lender. These are their niches, specialties or expertise. Here’s lender 2 and their specialties, and lender 3 and their specialties. I’m going to give you the list but I want you to call lender 3 because lender 3 specializes in exactly what you’re trying to do.”
Rather than just sending to three people and having always maybe get the business if they have service levels that are good, or the second person calling and they nabbed the business because the first wasn’t available, and never getting to number 3. This is both sides, lenders and realtors. You might be missing out on opportunities to have a smoother transaction because lender 3 has a specialty in new construction, renovation loans, reverse mortgages, FHA or VA, jumbo loans in this market or whatever it is. You missed it because you referred them to number 1 who’s your number 1, and struggled to get the loan done.
Your style is hugely important in making sure that people know what is my specialty. When we think of Starbucks, we think of coffee. That’s what we think about. They don’t advertise their cute little pops or little doughnut pops. They don’t advertise their egg white thing, whatever it is they have. They don’t advertise their yogurt. They advertise coffee, but they sell all the other items. Once people come in, then we share and say, “Maybe this is a better option than this,” even though it was delivered because of the specialty.
We have to make sure that we are spotlighting and highlighting what makes us special. There’s some tracking that needs to be done with this as well. When a lead comes in, we have the option to delete it because it’s not needed. There is no communication or move it to digital. One of the first things that I look at is, have I had a conversation with them? If there is no conversation with them, I look to, is this a lead or is this a source issue? If this is a lead, then who is my source? I’m making sure that my source is there to make sure that I’m tracking, how come it’s not converting and how come there’s no conversation, first and foremost?
Why hasn’t the person called me back? Have I been sold properly? Did I not call them back fast enough? What are the circumstances around that? You want to track it. I got a lead. I didn’t talk to them. Now, they’re just a lead. Someone came in. I didn’t get a chance to talk to them. Now, they’re a lead. Number two, who’s the source? I’ve got to track who the source is. How many times does someone call? I never get to talk to them. I never get that at-bat. It’s always from that same source. That’s one way to look at it.
If it eventually goes to a conversation, then we can put it back into the referral mode. Now, it goes to a conversation. We have two options. Can we help them or we can’t help them. It’s not eligible. Their credit score is too low. They don’t have any income. They don’t have a job. They have to get a divorce. They have to get married. They have to sell their house or whatever the case may be.Make more money with what you already have. Click To Tweet
Track The Conversion
We treat them differently. We have to track that as well in our conversions. If we can help them, then that is considered a referral. We can now track the conversion. Now, I can help you. That’s considered a referral. I’ve moved from lead to referral. I need to sell them, have good service, have systems to track them and convert them to a pre-approval or to a refinance. It doesn’t stop there. Once we have the pre-approval, are we converting them to going under contract? Once we’ve gone under contract, are we converting them to close a business?
If they come in and they’re not eligible, then we need to track that as well and decide, are they going to be deleted because they’re never going to be eligible? Are they going to be digital where we will communicate with them for a while, and put them back into our system so that we can rotate them back into referral lead conversation until they get to the point they can go to referral versus you’re still waiting. We have to keep rotating that around. What happens if you can help and can’t convert them?
You have this referral because you can help them and your insets consider it a referral. We’re going on to the pre-approval. What if the competition jumps in and you’re not able to convert it? That becomes a sales issue. Why can’t you convert them? It could be a service issue because they were improperly sent to you thinking you could do construction loans. When in fact, you can’t do them. It could be that, but we are looking at, why wasn’t it converted? What were the reasons behind it? Those are the five reasons that we talked about. You can work on those reasons and those ideas on how to convert.
If you’re able to talk to someone and it’s not converted, then we need to make sure that we’re tracking that as well. There is a lot of tracking. My recommendation is you map this out. I get a name. Do I talk to them or do I not talk to them? There is a conversion to track. One becomes a lead. One becomes a referral. I get the chance to talk to them, now it’s a referral. Did I convert them or did I not convert them? Why didn’t I convert them? If you did convert them, did you convert them to contract? Did you convert them to close?
There are a lot of pieces here that you need to be tracking. The top producers in the country track everything. If you’re reading and you’re saying it’s too much work, then you’re going to work and not win. I’d rather have you work to win rather than work to have long hours of work. These Five S are something you want to be looking at for conversion ratios. Converting one more client a week or one more phone call a week. Going back to your source and saying, “How do you refer me? Do you know my niches?” Do you know your niches? What are the pattern and the system that we use every single time?
Make More Money With What You Already Have
Take a hard look at this because as I’ve said before, you’ve got acres of diamonds. You’ve had all these referrals and leads that come in but if they aren’t converting, they’re not brilliant. They’re getting stale, dirty and looking badly. What if you pick them up, start working with them and shining them up? You could make more money with what you already have. I’m not saying not to go out and look for new business. I’m saying that with just what you have, you could convert more if you look at these Five S and be able to close more business instantly if you just work on your conversions.
The difference between a 25% conversion ratio, meaning that for ten people I talk to, I can convert 2.5 versus an 85% conversion where I’ve talked to people and I convert 8.5 of them of every ten. That extra five closings per month is an extra 60 closings per year. Do you want to close more loans? Take a look at why you’re not converting rather than sifting through and not converting. That’s what’s important here. I find this in my coaching to where my clients will say, “I’m closing 7, 15, 20, 30, 50 loans a month.” That’s great. Those are the results. I want to see those but I want to know how many leads came in.
If you’re closing seven loans a month and you get 100 leads a month, there is a problem. It’s probably a source problem when it’s like that. If you’re closing 5, 7 loans a month and you get 10, that’s a pretty good closing ratio. If you’re getting 20, there is probably some sales or system in there that you could get another 3 or 4 a month.
I hope that this has helped you with conversions. We’re talking about converting the diamonds that you already have in your repertoire and/or looking at the new business that’s coming in, and figuring out a better way to serve them, to sell to them, to provide a system to make it scalable, to have a better source and to up-level you, so that people understand why they’re uniquely using you.
Thank you so much for joining us. If you’re brand new, thanks for joining. Welcome to the community. If you’ve been with us for a while, thanks for working out with me. Thanks for running with me. Thanks for driving down the road with me. I hear all these beautiful things. I want to remind you, scroll down on your phone and please put in a five-star rating and write a review. If everybody in this show wrote one review every time that you see this or one review a year, we would have all the reviews that we’re looking for.
Please write the reviews so that it gives me motivation. Have you ever heard that before where the actors on the stage, if people aren’t clapping or engaged, they don’t know if they’re serving people? I need to hear that. I need to know that I am serving you and that you’re loving this show and learning from this show. Please for God’s sake, write us a great review. Give us a five-star rating. As always, you can email me at Jen@JenDuPlessis.com and say, “I’d love to hear a topic like this, that and the other.” I’ll be happy to serve you in that manner too. If I don’t know how to do that, I will reach out to people I know to serve you. I look forward to seeing you next time on the show.