Almost every financial service request begins with someone asking a price question. “What are your mortgage rates?” and “what are your car insurance rates” are the typical questions heard many times each hour at almost every financial institution in this country.
Unfortunately, our research shows that well over 90 percent of those rate shoppers receive the rate with no additional attempt to help them make a buying decision. It’s almost criminal!
Unless you’re in Texas, you’ll want to do anything BUT hang the perpetrator. (Yes, I know I’ll hear from my friends in Texas about this one.)
Your people WANT to do a good job. They just don’t know how. They need to understand what to do so they don’t cave into the rate shopper or passively declare your rate—essentially guaranteeing they’ll buy elsewhere UNLESS you get the business at a loss!
According to research, in the 7-step buying process that each buyer goes through when making a buying decision, the price decision is the fifth step. So, you’ll want to teach your people to get people going on the correct path to help them make a buying decision and help them understand that price is only one of many considerations…and it sure isn’t one that will allow you to win.
The first step is to break preoccupation with pricing and get the buyer understanding that there are many other points to consider.
Give me a few examples, you say. You got it.
A commercial lender could say: “Before we start talking about rate, I find that most business loans are not structured optimally, costing business owners more AND raising cash flow risks. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions to make sure I go get the best loan for your needs?”
An insurance agent could say: “Most people are underinsured in some areas and over insured in others, so they end up paying too much for what they don’t need. Could I ask you a few questions to make sure you don’t have uncovered risk or are wasting money?”
A mortgage lender can win out over competitors by saying: “Our rates are competitive but there are literally hundreds of loan feature combinations so making sure you structure the right loan for you is critical to getting the best value. Could I ask you a few questions to find out how we can get you the best mortgage for you?”
Bingo! The shopping has ended because they finally found a financial consultant who will help them make decisions.
The best sales people in every industry have scripted questions that they know work every time. When responding to the rate shopper, those questions MUST start with the “Breaking Preoccupation with Price” questions.
You wouldn’t consider not having your people follow a process for all your operational systems. Why would you risk not having your people educated and prepared to win customers to your organization AND earn ALL their business?