Last year when we surveyed closers and processors, we discovered that 45% are responsible for bringing in new business among a myriad of other job functions.
If you’re one of the many title professionals Closer, Processor, Paralegal, Escrow Officer, etc.) who is responsible for closings and also responsible for bringing more files to your company to close – that makes you a salesperson; even if it’s just a small part of your job.
The challenge is your expertise most likely lies in something like title clearance, coordination, or client support. This is appropriate since it’s your primary role, but being an effective salesperson requires a substantial and varied skill set. There’s a reason companies with a lot of resources have teams of people dedicated solely to sales.
If your organization does not have a designated sales team, it may feel like you’re at a slight disadvantage when it comes to your competition. However, you’re probably aware of some advantages, too. Here are some sales tips to help you maximize your strengths and advantages.
At PropLogix, we are lucky enough to have salespeople and account managers. Although they are not selling title insurance like you are, they do have many years of transferable sales knowledge between them. I tapped their knowledge to provide you 5 Helpful Sales Tips for Title Professionals Who Aren’t Salespeople:
- Always add value
- Offer education
- Be authentic
- Keep your word
- Focus on their needs
1. Always add value
This tip comes from Ben Goldberg, the Vice President of Corporate Development at PropLogix. He oversees our business development (sales) and account management teams. This is one principle that you may have heard before, even if you’re not familiar with modern sales strategy.
Value is pretty subjective so it’s important that you’re aware of your prospect’s goals and needs.
According to Hubspot, one great way to add value to your customers is to read about the industry and trends that impact your customers. Whether your customer is a lender, real estate agent, buyer, or seller, keeping up-to-date on what’s happening in their world is crucial to speaking their language and understanding the challenges they’re facing. You can go a step further and share information you think may be relevant to them. Here are some great sources to share with your prospects and customers on social media.
2. Forget the donuts, offer education
Everybody loves donuts (unless you’re dieting and then you’re probably just lying to yourself), but the happiness they bring is temporary, and most of that is thanks to the sugar high. As much as we all enjoy a baked good, you know what never gets stale or causes a blood sugar crash? The kind of knowledge that helps someone grow their business and satisfies requirements for continuing education.
Since most professionals in the real estate space are faced with the perennial requirement for continuing education credit, if you offer courses for real estate agents at a time or place that’s convenient for them (hello, webinars!); Realtors will take advantage of it. The best part is that you’re already the expert on many of the things they may not know about title insurance and this education causes a ripple effect. The more they know about title insurance and protecting their clients, the more likely they are to get more repeat business. Since you helped them (without asking for anything in return, this is the important part) you’ll probably come to mind in the future when they want to refer business.
This tip comes from Mandy Seckinger, a business development manager who decided a few years ago that she could make a big impact by branching into the education space for PropLogix. As a certified continuing education instructor, Mandy is approved by the Florida Bar and the Florida Department of Financial Services to give courses to Realtors, title agents, and real estate attorneys. She’s able to share important information about unrecorded debt and land surveys that not only helps those groups obtain necessary credits for their licenses but also makes them aware of the services and solution PropLogix offers. It’s a win-win for the prospective clients, PropLogix, as well as Mandy.
If you’re interested in offering continuing education courses for Realtors, Mandy has a 2-hour course, fill out this form or get in touch with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Be authentic
Most people can probably think back to a time (or many times) they’ve had an interaction with a salesperson who was obviously fake in an attempt to win their business.
Just because you’ve seen someone be pushy and over the top in an effort to win business doesn’t mean that’s the way you have to do it. In fact, being the opposite may just make you stand out. As a non-salesperson, you have an advantage here. No one sees you as a salesperson because you’re primarily a closer, escrow officer, real estate attorney, etc., which means a prospective client is unlikely to be wary of your motives from the outset.
As Chip mentions in the video, if he doesn’t know something about the service or product, he doesn’t pretend to know because people can see through that. There’s no shame in not knowing something, but there is shame in lying and potentially destroying trust between yourself and your clients or prospects. Another advantage for you non-salespeople is that you are the expert about the services you perform because you’re intimately involved in the closing process. Regardless, it’s always best to just be yourself. People like to work with people, and no one is perfect!
4. Keep your word
When it comes to your customers or prospects, if you say you’re going to do something, make it happen. Real estate transactions are fraught with tight deadlines and anxieties from every angle. If you’re serious about winning your customer’s trust, following through on the things you promise is paramount. If you say you’re going to be able to close on a certain day, or that you can make something happen, it’s a safe bet that you’ve set the expectation and will therefore “let them down” if you can’t.
Managing expectations of your customers is one of the toughest balancing acts. It’s not always possible to pull off a miracle so try to not to promise one. It’s as simple as that. Under promise and over deliver. In the event you can’t get around it, being communicative and transparent is the second best thing you can do.
5. Listen to & Focus on their needs
Pushy salespeople like to push, up-sell, and add on. If people could agree on one thing, it would be that none of us like a pushy salesperson. Your customers and prospects know when you’re trying to extract more value from them, selling them things they don’t want – because you’re prioritizing your own goals and quotas over what they actually need from you.
It’s tough to put your own agenda aside because you’ve got a business to keep afloat, but it really is a more productive strategy. After all, the best way to grow your business is to be the person that really listens to them. If you listen to what your customers are saying and make a point to understand the things that are important to them, you will find that they come back to you again and again.
The biggest theme with all these sales pointers is building trust. Trust is much easier lost than it is earned. From the moment a prospect notices your company online, or at an event, to working with you the first time, to making the choice to refer a deal you’re either gaining or losing that person’s trust. A real estate agent’s reputation is wrapped into their recommendation, so trust is one of the 7 Things a Realtor Looks for in a Title Company.
If you’re trying to grow your title company’s bottom line, it’s important to know the right metrics to do that. Check out our on-demand webinar with sales coach, Darryl Turner, to get the right formula for accelerating your title sales.