How to make or kill a deal at your first point of contact! Before you delve into too much of the technical stuff like Blended Rates, Effective Rates with MI or how to effectively communicate with a bank rep, we need to realize we're really in the people business. Being the most wiz-bang-mortgage-techie person in the world isn't going to pay you a dime if you can't connect with a customer who wants to do business with you. A wise friend of mine is a marketing guru and public speaker. Years ago he happened to stop by my office just as the phone rang. Normally, I wouldn't interrupt a meeting to take a call but this was a customer and my friend was a social visit. I noticed my friend started jotting down some notes which I didn't think much of since I was focused on my customer... or so I thought. After the call ended he asked me, "Mind if I share with you some observations?" I agreed and here's what he said: ? The call was 3 minutes and 12 seconds long. ? I interrupted my customer on 3 occasions that my marketing friend was able to detect from the other side of my desk? which sends a message to the customer what they have to say isn't important. ? I clearly sounded hurried on the call... which sends a message to the customer what they have to say isn't important. ? The customer had a problem I didn't have an answer to at the moment. I gave a broad wishy-washy time frame of when I'd have an answer for them and didn't offer to give them an update if my response was going to take longer than anticipated... which sends a message to the customer... (you get it by now). ? The ugly list goes on? I was mortified. I never had anybody analyze my phone technique (or lack there of) before. I was unconsciously alienating the very people who are trying to pay me. THE SOLUTION The solution: about $40. Yep, I went to Radio Shack and bought an inexpensive mini cassette recorder (before the days of cheap digital recorders) and started recording my half of my phone conversations. I was amazed! Everything my friend told me about my phone technique was true. I cut people off without knowing it. I sounded hurried (even if I wasn't in a hurry)... the list goes on. If you don't like listening to your own voice, you're going to have to get over that. That?s the equivalent of a surgeon saying they don?t like having to deal with scalpels. Our voice and how we present ourselves are the primary tools our customers judge us on! YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO YOURSELF... even though you may not like what you hear. That's how we learn and grow. This lesson made a huge impact on my ability to effectively communicate with my customers. In no time, I noticed I was able to get more business talking to the same number of customers? all of this with a lot fewer headaches. With today's technology, you can buy a small portable digital recorder (or computer adapter) that plugs right into your phone so you can record both sides of your conversations. Some recorders can even record a call from your cell! Prices range from about $60 to $170. Even if you only spend $30 for a cheap recorder that you can only record half the conversation, like I did, the lessons learned are priceless. One place I found you can buy them on the web is: http://www.dynametric.com Hal Hoodwin is a 17 year veteran of the mortgage industry. He has extensive experience in both the retail and wholesale side of the business. Hoodwin is also the Director and an Instructor for MortgageBootCamp.net. For more information on this subject you may contact Hal Hoodwin, Director of MortgageBootCamp.net at Hal@MortgageBootCamp.net or call 877-684-2668.