Ask the Expert: Dave Hershman goes to the phones

Making calls is great, but what do you say?

Ask the Expert: Dave Hershman goes to the phones

I read your answer to the loan officer that was told to make 30 calls. I liked your answer regarding quality vs. quantity. My problem is not making the calls. It is deciding what to say when I make the calls. What do you suggest? —Ben from Vermont

That is a great follow-up question. What good is making the calls if you don't know what to say. The first question I must ask is -- who are you calling? In this case I will assume you are calling referral sources (mostly real estate agents) and previous customers. Let us focus first on real estate agents.

I will start with what not to say. Questions such as "do you have a deal to refer to me?" or statements such as "I am a great loan officer!" will get you nowhere. They have heard these statements and questions before and you are inviting them not to take your call next time. So, what should you say?

Start with asking how they are doing and how their week/weekend was. What is their reading of the market and what are their challenges? Broad questions will get them talking and that is exactly what you want. You need to show an interest in their life. People want to talk about themselves. As you get into the conversation, that is where you will find opportunities to ask questions such as -- is there anything I can do to help? You are looking for an opportunity to follow. Yes, you want a prospect but that is not going to happen every call. But if you keep your eyes open, there will be opportunities. For example, perhaps they say they are having a problem getting someone off the fence. You can offer to pre-approve them which may get them moving. Be ready with offers that will help their business—at the right time in the conversation. —Dave

Dave Hershman has been the leading author and a top speaker for the industry for decades with six books authored and hundreds of articles published. His website is If you have a reaction to this commentary or another question you would like answered in this column? Email Dave directly at [email protected].