Mortgage Leads, Where to Begin

If you are considering investing your hard-earned money with a mortgage lead company, or you are switching lead companies because you have gone through the pain of seeing your money go down the drain, here is a good place to begin.

Before you take that leap of faith with a lead company, take a step back and reexamine exactly what it is you are looking for from a lead company.

You should be looking for the exact same thing that you would expect from any other reputable company that you deal with. And that would be good quality service.

Before you invest your money, research the company, most of the research can be done right there on their website. Read the FAQs, read about their return policy, read about how they acquire their leads, etc.

Once you have read all there is to read about their company, give them a call and speak with someone in their customer service department. Ask as many questions you feel to be appropriate, and verify everything you have read with them.

You should be able to get a good read on the company from the customer service representative about what their company has to offer. And make sure their answers to your questions are matching up to what their site implies.

Lead generation will be something you definitely want to research. It is crucial for you to find out where exactly the lead companies obtain their leads from.

Do they own and operate their own sites to obtain their leads? Or are they buying their leads from other lead companies and recycling them?

Remember, as with just about everything else, the better the quality of the product, the better your chances of success with it. The same holds true for mortgage leads.

Also, consider the pricing that is involved. Make sure you compare companies, and will you be getting what you paid for? You don’t want to be spending twenty-five dollars on a lead that has already been sold five to seven times.

Check out their return policy. Is it fair? Will they refund your money if the contact information is bad? Will they return your lead if the person on the lead is not responding to your calls? Will they return your lead if the customer says something to the effect of, “ I took care of that month ago.”

There is a lot to consider, so before you invest your hard-earned money, take the time to do your research.

One more thing . . .

Before investing, call the lead company to make sure someone answers the phone, if you have to leave a message, make sure they return your call. Then, e-mail them and make sure you get a response, if not move on. If they are unresponsive now, you can bet they will be unresponsive when you have an issue with the lead.

You have worked very hard for your money, so before you invest it with a lead company, make sure you do enough research where you know that whatever company you decide to go with, you will be getting the best return on your investment. Good luck.

This article may be reproduced by anyone at any time, as long as the author’s name and reference links are kept intact and active.

Make Me Feel Important

Imagine this…everybody walking the universe with a piece of tape across their forehead saying “Make me feel important “. This is the essence of sales and providing outrageous customer service. It’s also the essence of building a great company and attracting all-star talent.

Think about when you were provided a service or sold something. Doesn’t it feel good when the service was provided in a quick, timely, efficient, and friendly manner? It feels so good that you will go back and buy more (even if you don’t need anything) because you want to be around that feeling.

The following is a great example from one of my clients:

Paige had two wristwatches that needed to be fixed. Walking into the jewelry store she remembers thinking and assuming that something will get accomplished but probably only halfway, and this would most likely be a process where she would have to keep calling or coming back.

To her amazement, she was greeted with a smile and open arms, and the owner immediately confirmed to her “ no worries “that both watches would be ready within a week and that she will call her personally when ready. Paige noticed in those few minutes that the owner was able to identify immediately what needed to be done. The owner even went as far as to call the manufacturer directly to confirm that she could get from them what was needed.

Paige remembered how she felt as she left. She felt like skipping! She was astonished that this kind of service still existed. It completely changed her attitude and her day. She was now smiling, and she felt fulfilled and also felt important! All this happened in a matter of minutes.

This experience completely changed Paige’s attitude and demeanor for the day.
– She felt valued!
– She was recognized from a previous visit.
– She sensed immediate hope.
– She was understood.
– She certainly felt important.
– She felt powerful because the process unexpectedly met her expectations in minimal time.

The above mentioned are called people’s universal needs. This is what professional selling and customer service are. You are meeting people’s universal needs. It’s so easy but often overlooked. Try it for a day…to everyone you come across…try making them feel important and see what happens!

Authors’ Note:
Paul Sember, President of Coach SEM, Inc. is an executive coach, motivator, and speaker, and uses a state of the art teleconference system to effectively work with executives and their teams around the world in creating a sales-centric culture, providing outrageous customer service, and attracting and keeping all-star talent. Paul can be reached at 480-342-8990, E-mail, or visit his website at

IT Sales: What is Your Unique Offering?

What benefits you can give your clients that will be different from the average Joe Consultant? In this article, you’ll learn some ways to differentiate yourself from your competition to increase IT Sales.

XYZ Consulting: A Case Study

XYZ Consulting moved into a new location in a 27-story building full of high-end firms. There are a number of other such buildings within a two-minute walk. They asked me if they should play up the close proximity?

Positively yes! They can effectively own that neighborhood. What is their unique benefit? They are right there. They can get things done better, faster, and cheaper than anyone else who is not right there.

Sell Your Unique Benefit

Sell service agreements and lead up with a response time guarantee. When you’re right there, you can afford to make bold promises like you’ll be onsite within 60 minutes of a server-down emergency during regular business hours. You can even back that up by offering something like $100 off your bill that month if you’re even a minute late.

If you have enough clients in that area and your staff is located right there, too, it’s almost as if you’re working on a corporate campus. Obviously, there’s no travel time involved. Staff utilization rates should easily increase by 10 to 30 percent. There will be no hassle with driving, traffic, or parking.

IT Sales Case Study: How To Identify These Businesses

What should XYZ do to identify these local businesses? Do a survey. Mail something out to every owner or CEO in the building and in the neighboring buildings. You might even bribe them that if they return the survey, you’ll give them a gift certificate for a dozen bagels at the coffee shop across the street.

IT Sales: The Survey

The survey should have really basic questions like:

o How many PCs do you have?
o How many employees do you have?
o How do you get your IT support today?
o What do you like and dislike about it?
o What’s your number one business challenge today?
o What’s your number one IT challenge?

It’s really a response vehicle. You’re getting people to tell you not only what they want, but you’re basically going to get people who are at least marginally interested.

This should produce a very good response rate and canvassing should be a breeze. It should be as simple as hanging out in the local coffee shop and getting to know the regulars and the people that are in and out of those offices all the time.

IT Sales: Get To Know The People Who Know Everyone

Befriend the local shoe repairperson, the person who’s delivering Chinese, pizza or the deli, the mail carrier, the UPS and the FedEx driver. Get to know everyone so you can gradually network yourself into all the offices in the area. These people are already in and out of these offices all the time, and they can often point you in the right direction as to who to call on for IT sales.

The Bottom Line about IT Sales

If you really want to sell based on your guarantee and your proximity, brand everything around it.

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IT Marketing: Benefits Focused Sales Letter

No matter what niche you’re in, you should write a benefits-focused sales letter. In this article, you’ll learn how this letter can improve your IT marketing.

Your high school English teacher probably told you that when you’re writing a business letter, keep it nice and short and sweet. Put that advice away. (Your high school English teacher probably never sold anything besides his or her daughter’s Girl Scout cookies!)

Long Sales Letters Should Be Used:

When you’re looking to build urgency…
When you’re looking to stir up the pot…
When you’re looking to get people to take action…
When you’re looking to take them through the pain of what happens when they don’t do things the right way with data security…
When you’re looking to take them through the joy and elation of making their staff so much more productive…
When you’re looking at explaining to prospects the benefits of being able to grow their company 150% to 200% without adding much more in terms of staff…

These are the kinds of things that are best conveyed in long sales copy IT marketing letters. Don’t be afraid to do them!

Write to Your Prospect’s “Points of Pain”

If you don’t have a lot of expertise in writing sales letters, you may want to hire an advertising or marketing consultant or a freelance copywriter, who can do them for you. Whether you write it yourself or outsource it, you must know your prospects’ hot buttons. And you must know the main points of pain for your particular niche.

Offer Something for Free

To generate demand with IT marketing, you may just need to send out a letter with your business card and offer some kind of bribe like a free one-hour needs assessment. Just make sure you have a deadline and limit the freebie to the “first ___ local businesses that respond”.

If you’re coming across as the IT expert for a niche industry, your IT marketing letters and calls should be a lot more welcomed. Your knowledge will be conveyed in the headline, and throughout the entire letter. You’re offering something that’s totally, completely relevant and most professionals will be open to hearing you.

Be sure your letter talks about work that you’ve done for other firms like theirs (think testimonials) and how you can help them. The general trends and problems of the industry will really hit home with the person that you’re targeting.

The Bottom Line on IT Marketing Sales Letters

Don’t forget, the goal with this IT marketing project should be to move your prospect onto the next logical step which is more often than not an in-depth billable IT audit. You’re moving them from “free” to “fee” your “proving ground” project.

If you’re in sales – STOP SELLING!

As conflicting a statement as it may seem many would be wise to subscribe to this advice. If you are a salesperson, you are in one of the toughest professions out there. It has been said less than 1% of the population has what it takes to be successful in sales. Those are not great odds. But many of us are attracted to the sales arena. We are the modern-day gladiators who face daily challenges, survive, and often thrive. We like helping people; we enjoy the competitive nature and recognition that comes with being successful at what we do.

So how do some men and women rise to the top while so many others only dream about success?

Many of the top sales professionals I know have been fortunate to have had a mentor somewhere along the way who shared nuggets of golden advice. Many years ago my Regional Sales Manager made a statement one day that offended me. It also changed my life.

He said, “Clayton you’re a good salesperson, but you could be a great salesperson.” As one of the top salespeople in the region, my ego was bruised. I went away mad that he would say such a thing. I considered myself a dedicated student of selling, I had been on many sales courses and my results were very good.

His statement rolled around in my head for the balance of the day and that night. I needed to understand his thinking. The next morning, I worked up some courage, not really sure what I would hear, and went into his office to ask him what he meant with his comment the day before.

He asked me to sit and began by telling me how pleased he was that I was on his team, and explained he believed his role was to get the best out of people. I told him I felt a bit insulted, I considered myself better than just good at sales. He reassured me I was, but if I wanted to be a great salesperson I had to listen carefully to some advice. I still remember as if it were yesterday, at 9 am on a Friday morning he said two words that stunned me, “Stop selling.” I was dumbfounded, stop selling? He went on to explain, “Your job is not to sell anything. Your job is to help your customer make an informed purchasing decision.”

Well, he had to repeat the statement two times before the light bulb began to come on for me. Of course, he was absolutely right. I needed to move from being a gladiator ready to do battle, to becoming a trusted advisor. My responsibility was to bring subject matter expertise to the table and help the potential purchaser understand the pros and cons of their decision. It is their money, it is their decision. Had I done everything I could to help them make an informed one?

Over the years I have shared this nugget with many “good” salespeople. I smile as I watch their reaction when I suggest they can improve their sales if they STOP SELLING. If you practice this philosophy today I commend you. Should you adopt it going forward, I wish you much personal success.

How To Motivate People To Buy

What motivates the people who visit any website to buy?

This is the one question that every Internet Marketer is seeking the answer to. If you know how to motivate people to buy, then you can increase your sales and your conversion rate. And wouldn’t that be good for your profit and your business?

So what motivates people to buy?

It is often said that you should give people what they need because that is what they are going to buy. That may well have been the case once but sadly today society has changed and people no longer buy what they need.

Instead, they buy what they want and what they crave – hence people struggling to put food on the table, but have a 42” plasma TV, satellite system, and a bottle of Jack Daniels!

You need to pitch your product not as something they need, but as something they absolutely must have; make it so they crave your product and absolutely must get their hands on it.

People also buy because they want to get pleasure from what they buy. Someone doesn’t walk into a car dealership and buy a top-of-the-range Mercedes because they need it; a Skoda or Toyota would have done the job just as well.

They buy the Mercedes because they want the pleasure that goes with it. Whether this is the comfort of the car, the joy of all the gadgets, or the fact that it is a status symbol – they drive a Mercedes! Whatever their reason it will be because they have associated pleasure with owning a Mercedes and so they buy one when they could have saved tens of thousands of dollars and bought a cheaper car!

Another reason people buy is that they want to avoid pain. Volvo is one of the best-selling cars in Europe. Why? They are not the prettiest of cars, nor that expensive, nor are they of the perceived class of a Jaguar, BMW, or Mercedes.

Volvo’s sell well because people want to avoid the pain associated with car accidents. Volvo’s are some of the safest cars on the market and as such appeal to people who want to protect their family and passengers.

These are three of the main ways that people are motivated to buy. If you can work out how to use this in your sales copy, your emails, your newsletter, and your website, then you can convert more visitors into paying customers.

Identify your target market and learn their pain – what problem are you solving for them with your product?

Understand this and your sales copy can become smoking hot and you can boost your conversion rate!

Garage Sales – Good For Everyone

Ah, the garage sale! That little slice of suburbia that ties communities together, brings friends and neighbours to your doorstep and helps your turn the cast off flotsam of bygone years into money in your pocket. These familiar scenes of summertime are a great way for people to buy the stuff they need at a fraction of the retail cost.

Similarly, garage sales are a great way to get rid of stuff that you no longer use or need. A garage sale is a favourite of collectors, bargain hunters, and the random passer-by with an idea of seeing what there is to buy at low, low prices. Having a garage sale can be fun or stressful, useful or counter-productive, profitable or costly.

There are many reasons for having a garage sale. Perhaps you want to sell all those unused “treasures” taking up space in your house. Perhaps it is to clean out the house prior to an imminent move. Perhaps you simply want to make a few extra dollars. Some people simply do it for an opportunity to meet the neighbours and do a little haggling. A garage sale is very useful at all these times and for all these reasons.

With a garage sale, you need to give the people what they want (reasonably decent stuff at cheap prices) to get what you want (floor space in your house). While the phrase “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure” is true, there is another fact that is equally true, and even more important.

Junk is Junk … and nobody will buy it…. usually.

You can always try to sell broken or non-working so they can be used as parts for repairing other things people may have at home. Just be honest about it and price it as a broken item. You’ll be surprised just what kinds of things people will buy.

People who go to a garage sale have many things they may be looking for. Some are just on the lookout for good stuff at great prices. A few will just be passing by and spot something they have always wanted but could not afford until they saw it at your sale. Some are dedicated garage-sales armed with maps of advertised garage sales, hunting for specific items or items they never knew they needed. Some will attend simply to meet the folks from down the block. Some will even attend your garage sale just to have items for their own garage sales. Whatever their reasons, you need to attract buyers who will see your items, like your prices, and walk away with the things they do actually want and need.

But setting up a garage sale properly and pricing your goods so that they sell fast and furious at a price you like…well those are topics for other articles.

Explode Your Sales With Good Communication

These are simple and effective methods to increase your sales. You may think that you know what your customer wants, but do you really? Instead of assuming that you know, why not listen to the customer and ask questions to find out what it is that they REALLY want.

1. Give your customers benefits, not features. Your customers don’t want to know the ins and outs immediately of your products, they want to know how it benefits them! Save the details of the product for a secondary page that’s NOT on your home page. You can give some main selling points, but keep the minor details off the home page and just list benefits.

For example, let’s say you’ve got a strategy to get your clients out of debt. Don’t tell them step-by-step how it works on the front page, be vague and leave the small print for another page. Instead tell them how they can imagine a life with riches and being debt free! That’s a benefit, not a feature!

2. Keep in communication with potential buyers. I read somewhere that it takes at least 7 views of your products to get interested parties to buy them. They’re obviously interested if they’ve gotten to your site and requested information, why not keep them informed about your news and updates to the site? You just may have a future customer.

It’s also a good practice to use a “bookmark this page” and “tell a friend about this page” tool so you can get potential buyers for the future. Even if they’re immediately not buying it doesn’t mean they won’t be back!

3. Encourage your site visitors to ask questions. Some people may think they’re bothering you or wasting your time to ask you a question. Extend your open arms to each and every surfer that comes into your site and encourage them to ask about your site!

However if you see the same question coming up over and over again, it will benefit you and the client both if you create a “Frequently Asked Questions” page. People usually want immediate answers to their questions and it saves you the tedious same responses over and over again.

4. Make the buying experience easier. Don’t ask for information that you don’t need. Instead, ask for the bare minimum information from the customer so they can “get in, and get out”. And then later on, you can send them a quick thank you note and a follow up to see how they liked your website.

Don’t make your customer jump through hoops to buy your products. They’ll only get frustrated and put it off for later – and later may never come!

By keeping these lines of communication open with your site visitors and potential customers, you’ll find you gain more trust and credibility with them and in turn, more sales!

Don’t Shoot the Sales Team

Revenue is down. Sales are slowing. The CEO looks up from the business plan and realizes that the company won’t meet analysts’ expectations. Focusing on the organization’s sales leader, the stage is set for sacrificing a scapegoat.

Upon who else should the ax fall when the sales organization misses revenue targets? After all, aren’t sales and revenue the responsibility of the sales leader? The answer may be as easily forgotten as it is obvious.

To one degree or another everyone in an organization impacts the revenue-generating process. The strategic plan of the board of directors and the CEO provides the overall strategy for revenue generation. The marketing department provides crucial demographic and psychographic customer or client information on which the sales department relies in formulating industry and account strategies. Manufacturing, finance, legal, customer service, and all other departments facilitate or constrain the process of generating revenue, each in its own peculiar way.

The sales organization’s influence in the enterprise revenue generation is concentrated in the sales pipeline. Identifying bona fide sales opportunities, managing those opportunities through the sales pipeline until they produce revenue, and then managing customer or client relationships are the primary responsibilities of the sales and sales management teams. Rarely, if ever, does the sales organization control the resources of manufacturing, marketing, finance, legal, and customer service.

The picture most companies present to the world show the sales organization “out there,” in front of customers and clients and in front of the rest of the company’s departments. Even marketing, the first cousin of sales, is more often than not as disconnected from sales as are the other departments. The sales group leads the company charge, and the other departments take up rear support positions, providing tangible and intangible support.

Revenue generation is a cross-functional, company-wide process that involves every department and all employees in the organization. The CEO and the Board of Directors set corporate strategy and everyone else in the organization executes that strategy. We have never observed a situation where the sales organization is in disarray while all the other business segments are humming along with little or no friction. In those rare cases where the failure or underperformance of an enterprise’s revenue generation process lies within the sales organization, the appropriate sales executives, managers, and sales professionals should be held accountable and should suffer the requisite consequences. Before CEOs shoot their sales teams, however, they might want to take a critical look at the entire revenue generation process and how each business segment contributes to or detracts from the success of the process. Like America’s favorite psychologist, Dr. Phil would advise: Every department in an organization either contributes to the company’s revenue generation process or contaminates it.

Don’t Let Your Hot Leads Cool Off

Every day in sales and business is critical. That lead you receive today could very well be in the hands of your competition tomorrow. That is why I can’t stress enough the importance of taking full advantage of your leads once you receive them.

Leads are not meant to sit around pinned onto bulletin boards or placed in a tickler file. They are meant to be acted on. The thought process of the customer is to shop around for a product or service, so they have put the word on the street that they are on the market for a particular product.

If someone within your professional circle gives you a qualified lead, it is highly reasonable that the customer on this lead has made several people aware of their interests in a product or service. Which would mean that their name and phone number are being passed around in more than one professional circle.

The timing on a lead is so important, the moment you receive the lead, pick up the phone and make contact with that person.

By not acting on a lead, you have two things working against you. One, you are allowing for your competition to get the jump on you. And two, you are giving your potential customer an opportunity to seek out somebody else to provide them with the product or service they are looking for.

I once worked with a guy when I was in the banking industry. He belonged to a few networking groups, and when he received a lead at one of his weekly meetings, he would come back to the office, pin the lead onto his calendar and let it sit there for three to five days.

When he finally got around to calling the name on the lead, he always received the same response. The customers would inform him that they were no longer interested because they were working with someone else.

He would then hang up the phone and complain that he had the worst luck when it came to leads. I think the message here is clear. This is an example of what not to do with your leads. By letting a hot lead sit around and cool off, you are guaranteed to lose that customer.

Keep in mind, when someone gives you a lead, that someone is most likely giving your potential customer feedback. So that potential customers will have your name and know when the lead was given to you.

I don’t think your customer would appreciate a phone call three to five days after you have received their information. Even if they are still on the market for your product, you will not be off to a good start.

Leads were meant to be acted on. So the next time you receive one, don’t hesitate, stop what you are doing, and contact that person. Good luck. This article may be reproduced by anyone at any time, as long as the author’s name and reference links are kept intact and active.

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