When I tell people I’m in the process of buying a house, I receive mixed reactions. The positives of buying a home – more square footage, nicer neighborhood, more amenities, etc. – certainly outweigh the negatives. But I haven’t closed yet, so I’m up to my eyeballs in the negative, challenging parts. These past two weeks, I’ve had the “joy” of dealing with the mortgage company.
If you’ve ever bought a home, you know the mortgage company or bank is going to turn your financial life inside out in the most painstaking way. They want my driver’s license, social security number, childhood address, W-2’s, tax returns (aren’t my W-2’s part of those?), account statements, credit card statements, credit history, letters about numerous topics and more. If you haven’t bought a home, let me inform you that this company will ask for these things, but they will not ask for them all at once. It is almost never the same person asking. And they don’t come right out and tell you why they need them.
But what does a good conversation look like? What can happen when everyone is on the same page of understanding? Last week I asked my contact-of-the week why they needed documents X, Y, Z and when. She broke down the process for me in a simplified step by step manner. It turned out there wasn’t a rush to get these things done, and there were several steps left from their end, but I would be walked along with all the way. I appreciated her taking the time to describe the overall mortgage process so I knew where I was and where we are headed. It was beyond a relief to have someone with more expertise lay out the entire plan and take time to make sure I was onboard in the same manner.
My conversation with the mortgage company made me think of my own conversations with clients. Because I’m a person involved in massive, enterprise-wide training implementations on a daily basis, it’s easy for me to forget my clients aren’t. They may only make a purchase or head an implementation of this scale a few times in their career. I need to make sure my clients, especially clients recently brought on board, understand the big picture. They need to know which step we are on currently, and what the next steps will be. They need to feel that level of comfort that I feel now with my mortgage.
And the way to drive that comfort, the way to understand their pain, is to talk to them. Listen to their concerns, address them one at a time. Only 13% of customers believe a salesperson can understand their needs. Change up this statistic by driving an open, honest conversation about their wants, and see results that will leave both parties happy.