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Answer Screening Questions with a Question

APR 3, 2014 9:55am ET
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The most common question that loan officers get day in and day out is "What is your interest rate?" That one question alone is the way clients eliminate you from your competition! 

However, after the interest rate question, there are also other questions that they ask to eliminate you.

Here's the one thing about selling yourself and your mortgage products—you need to find out what they are thinking, why they are asking you the question, what they really want by answering a question with a question.

I've created a list of commonly asked questions along with questions to ask before giving clients a definitive answer. You can't "sell" unless you know what their objections are to buying from you. 

•         The customer asks: What is your interest rate? Your response is: What interest rate would you be happy with?

•         The customer asks: How long will it take to get me pre-approved? Your response is: How quickly do you need to be pre-approved?

•         The customer asks: How much money do we need for a down payment and closing costs? Your response is: How much do you have allocated towards the purchase of a home?

•         The customer asks: I'm already pre-approved at another mortgage company. Your response is: Then what's the reason that you are calling me? 

•         The customer asks: Can I pay my own taxes and insurance? Your response is: What is the reason you'd like to pay your own taxes and insurance? (Alternative: How much money are you planning towards the down payment?)

•         The customer asks: If rates go down, can I get a lower rate? Your response is: If rates increase, will you pay the higher rate? 

•         The customer asks: What are your closing costs? Your response is: How much money have you allocated towards closing costs? 

•         The customer asks: What is your minimum credit score? Your response is: What is your credit score? (Alternative: What type of loan program are you interested in?)

•         The customer asks: How fast can you close my loan? Your response is: How quickly do you need to close?

•         The customer asks: Why should I do business with your company versus my bank? Your response is: What has your bank offered you in the way of loan programs, down payment, interest rate and closing costs? 

•         The customer asks: How can I avoid paying mortgage insurance, without putting 20% down? Your response is: What's the reason you want to avoid mortgage insurance?

•         The customer asks: How do you get paid? Your response is: Is there a reason you are asking me that question?

•         The customer asks: Are you going to sell my loan after closing? Your response is: Is that a concern to you?

Comments (12)
These are some really smug responses and if I was talked to like this I would hang up on the loan officer.
Posted by | Thursday, April 03 2014 at 2:13PM ET
I exceeds smug and straddles rude !
Posted by | Thursday, April 03 2014 at 2:27PM ET
I have been in this business 30 years and I would encourage more of a dialogue with the customer as to what IS important to them and why. Overcoming objections is critical and I have found that asking questions like you have done here is key but, carefully and with their interest in consideration before my own build trust. This is the key to starting any relationship.
Posted by | Thursday, April 03 2014 at 2:36PM ET
These answers are similar to a car salesperson, so irritating when you ask a question such as, how much is this car? And the salesperson replies, what can you afford? What do you want your payments to be? Zero, how about zero?!! Don't follow every honest question with a question.
Posted by | Thursday, April 03 2014 at 4:24PM ET
Your replies are argumentative. Seriously is that the best you can come up with?
Posted by | Friday, April 04 2014 at 8:13AM ET
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