Categories
Coaching Lead Management

3 Tips to Optimize Your Mortgage Leads Today

Traditional mortgage lead nurturing has had its time, but it’s time to look toward the future of strategic lead optimization. The modern Loan Officer no longer wants to only nurture his or her current leads, they want to scale their business and crush their goals.

We’ve compiled a few tips that will guide you in ramping up your lead optimization.

Know when it’s time to reassign.

There is no harm in lead reassignment. In fact, according to ProPair, 28% of all closed loans originate from reassigned leads. Team leaders should be aware of their team members’ unique skills and feel empowered to make changes in the lead assignment when needed. Loan Officers themselves can sound the bell when its time for a change of leads, too.

Even the most talented Loan Officers need a mix-up every once in a while to avoid sitting on stale leads too long. As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” The same idea can and should be applied to leads.

Consider the client’s journey.

Avoid the mistake of dropping the ball after the initial outreach. Each stage of the client’s journey is important and they are sure to notice if you aren’t bringing the same authentic touch to the follow-up as you are in the initial communication.

Analyze what processes are working best for your clients from the moment you first reach out to the time they sign a deal (and beyond). Anticipate any roadblocks and get ahead of them to make your client’s ride a breeze.

Put it all together.

Once you’ve nailed reassigning leads and mapping out the client’s journey, you’re headed in the right direction to scale your business and optimize your leads. A critical last step is finding the flow that works for you, your team, and your clients. It takes a true combination of reassigning leads and doing so at the right time in the customer’s journey. Take a thoughtful approach to these changes and make sure you have a solid plan in place. Then, get your team’s input. It will take the whole team to take lead optimization to the next level.

Categories
Coaching Lead Management

73% of Marketers Believe This One Thing Will Make You Money

When you think of social media, Facebook may come to mind first. Facebook is a top player but remember that it’s not the only player in an ever-changing game. Once you’ve decided to have a role on social media, work on mastering one channel at a time. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of being on different social media channels and create a plan to excel at the ones that are important to your business and your clients.

73% of marketers believe that social media marketing has been “very effective” for their business.

(Buffer, 2019)

Which channels work for your business?

Do your research and figure out where your potential clients are spending their time on social media. It may not be the newest craze like Tik Tok, but you don’t have to be leading the trends to make a difference in your business. Try to strike a balance between stepping out of your comfort zone and jumping into a channel that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Do research on your industry to see how it’s finding success with social media. For example, a recent study conducted by the National Association of Realtors found that 99% of millennials (and 90% of baby boomers) begin their home search online (as opposed to in-person referrals). Furthermore, based on the previously noted NAR study, Facebook (97%), LinkedIn (59%), and Instagram (39%) are most realtors’ top picks (Sprout Social).

Opt for low-cost or free first.

The beauty of social media is that it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg (but it certainly can if you ramp up on advertisements). We recommend investigating your unpaid options first before dipping into the investment of ads. For example, if you’re starting with a leader like Facebook, begin by inviting all of your friends to like your business page. This is an easy, free way to get attention to your page. Once they get to the page, add a call to action that makes them click to your website or leave a review if they’ve worked with you before.

At this stage, make sure that you are taking advantage of all of a platform’s features. For instance, creating stories or hashtags can play a huge role in your brand’s social media presence.

Make a competition out of it!

If you’re looking to grab more eyes on social media, look no further than an old-fashioned incentive. “Enter to Win” competitions are a genius, low-cost way to get eyes on your pages. Offer customers a chance to win a prize for tagging a friend on your Instagram post or retweeting your tweet. Clients will enjoy playing along and who knows, you might make a lifelong client where you didn’t expect it.

Do more than repost.

Show your clients that follow you on social media that you can do more than reposting what other professionals are sharing. Challenge yourself to take 15 minutes every Monday morning to write a thoughtful post on LinkedIn or share a photo on Pinterest. Better yet, create a simple content calendar to keep you on track. Be yourself in your posts as your clients will notice the authenticity of the message.

Once you’ve shared your original post, make it a habit to stick around and participate in other conversations. Commenting on, liking, and sharing other colleagues’ content will show that you are well-versed on the platform and eager to make connections.

Categories
Coaching Lead Management

Managing a Team? Here’s How to Maximize Your Lead Management

Whether you manage a team of two or twenty, you’ll want to keep these tips top of mind when you’re utilizing team members to manage leads.

A well-oiled machine begins with proper training.

Ensure that each team member who is handling your leads knows their role and the expectations of them. Don’t assume that team members feel comfortable right away in a new Conversation Software (like Bonzo). Instead, set them up for success by creating training for them to participate in. Maybe you host the training yourself or you utilize a customer support team to take over. Either way, you’ll be glad that you took the time to get your team up to speed.

At Bonzo, we recommend setting up a personalized training session with a Happiness Advisor. The Happiness Advisor will show your team the ins and outs of the platform and make sure no feature goes unknown.

Implement a system.

Creating a flow for your incoming leads will give you the peace of mind that they are taken care of. Consider starting with assigning team members to leads based on their skill set or knowledge. For example, if one team member is fantastic with converting cold leads, send the leads their way! If another team member has a knack for working with brand new clients, assign them over. Rest assured that as the Team Lead you’ll have full access to these conversations so you can provide constructive feedback to your team.

Once the leads are assigned, ensure that your team knows how to follow up with leads that respond. Consider using Bonzo’s Quick Replies feature to not only make follow-up time-efficient but also consistent across the board.

Customize outreach.

Each outgoing message should be personalized to the team member who it’s coming from. Make sure you cross your T’s and dot your I’s in this step. Set up customized email signatures, senders, names used in sequences, and even custom videos.

Pro tip: Have your team create videos introducing themselves and plug those videos into the first day of outreach for new clients.

Follow-up and listen.

Once your team members have spent some time creating conversations, check-in with them to see how it’s going. Celebrate big and small wins, and see if there are any pain points in the current flow. Let your team members tell you what’s working and what isn’t. Remember, you can always ask for custom build-outs for your team.

At Bonzo, the sky is the limit. Conversation Software should be built for teams, so let us know what your team needs to be successful.

Categories
Coaching Lead Management

3 Secrets to Effective Calendar Management

As the saying goes, time is money. It may be October, but there’s no better time to set a resolution to manage your calendar more efficiently.

These insider tips will help you reduce your no-show meetings, separate your personal and professional life, and set aside some much needed time for yourself. Ironically, in the essence of time, we’ve narrowed it down for you to just these 3 essential tips.

1. Reduce no-shows.

No shows slow everyone down. We recommend sending your clients not 1 but 2 reminders prior to your meeting in order to reduce no-shows. At 24 hours out, you’ll not only want to remind them of the meeting, but you’ll also want the client to have any information they may need time to review beforehand. Include any links, presentations, or articles you think may be helpful. Send the second reminder an hour or so before the appointment. This second reminder can be casual. Shooting them a text saying, “Looking forward to chatting with you in about an hour” will do the trick.

Pro-tip: Find a method that works for you to automate these reminders.

2. Separate your calendars.

Go ahead and create that second calendar. There are more demands today outside of the workspace than ever. Create a second calendar for your personal life and use it similarly. You can now add everything from doctor appointments to soccer practices and beyond. Several calendar systems allow you to link these calendars so you’ll never double book a client meeting with your hair cut. This will also keep your contacts separate but consistent by allowing your assistant to book a touch base and your partner to book a date night with you.

3. Schedule with yourself.

Avoid the frustration of not being able to find time to actually do your work. Set aside time with yourself the same way you would with a client or colleague. Filling every day with back to back meetings will leave you feeling overwhelmed and overworked. Bonzo gives you ample ways to skip on the late-night work sessions and simplify your schedule. For instance, you can now sync your Calendly account with Bonzo. When someone books a meeting with you, they will automatically be pulled out of the campaign sequence and receive an automated confirmation message from you! This kind of integration will free up some time in your day where you were previously confirming appointments and manually managing your database.

Categories
Coaching Lead Management

Why More Integrations Mean More Money

Nowadays it seems like you can connect every aspect of your life, especially your digital life. Don’t let your fear of not knowing how to set integrations up deter you from being as connected as you need to be. The simple fact is that the more connected your systems are, the more time and leads you’ll have. Like anything worth having, setting up integrations takes initial start-up time. Invest this time, do the work, and you’ll thank yourself at the end of the day.

“Now, where did I save that list again…?”

If you dread managing client lists and excel sheets, lead integrations are the perfect solution for you. Using a system like Zapier to automatically pull your leads into a CRM or Conversation Software will save you the hassle of organizing lists and keeping track of where you saved them. Everything from client name, email, phone number, and more will automatically be pulled over in a matter of seconds. Pull in your leads from top names in the industry like Facebook, Zillow, HomeBot, and many more. Then, sit back and watch your leads come in. We like to call this working smarter, not harder.

Convenience is your middle name.

While some integrations can pull in leads directly, other integrations can earn you money in less direct ways. For example, Bonzo offers direct integration with Slack. Always on the go? Push a client’s data to yourself or a teammate in your go-to Slack channel.

Email integrations are another way to keep your outreach convenient (and consistent). Whether you have Google, Outlook, Yahoo, or any other email providers, look for a system that offers integration with these platforms.

Consider Your Time ROI.

We know that taking the time to set up integrations can feel overwhelming. Don’t let that feeling stop you from charging forward in the pursuit of more leads and a plumper paycheck. The initial time investment will be well worth it when your return looks like new leads pouring in faster than you can keep count of. Try to have patience with yourself and technology as you begin the set-up process. Utilize Customer Support teams on the platforms you are working with. For instance, if you’re working on pulling leads over from a Facebook ad to Bonzo, reach out to a Happiness Advisor and let them do the dirty work for you. Again, smarter, not harder is key!

Categories
Coaching Lead Management

What’s the difference between Conversation Software (Bonzo) and a CRM?

You can breathe a sigh of relief–you aren’t the only one who’s wondering what the difference is between Conversation Software (Bonzo) and a CRM. Although CRMs and Bonzo have similarities, it’s important to understand their differences and how they can take your business to new heights and give you back time in your day.

Conversation Creation > Data Organization

While Conversation Software like Bonzo offers data organization similar to CRMs, the main focus is creating meaningful conversations. Studies show that 70% of data goes bad or becomes obsolete in just a year. For this reason, the focus is shifted to creating relationships with leads and customers that will stand the test of time. Not only do users have the ability to make dynamic campaigns, but they can also easily insert a prospect’s personal information using Merge Tags. Conversation Software is perfect for users that want to make swift, worthwhile conversations with their potential clients.

User Simplicity

Another significant difference between Conversation Software and CRMs is user simplicity. CRMs tend to require manual data entry and organization. “Most CRM systems are complicated, and using them properly requires a lot of manual work on the sales team who usually don’t see equal value in return” (Hubspot). On the other hand, Conversation Software puts users’ ease of operation at the heart of what they do. For instance, Bonzo users can create a campaign in under 5 minutes, and on average, Bonzo gives users 8 hours per week back by eliminating follow-up and outreach.

Adoption Time

CRMs can cost users a lot of time in the initial set-up phase because they rely on a lot of manual input and organization. Conversation Software like Bonzo only requires an initial time investment of a one-hour Onboarding Session. On the Onboarding Session, users work with a Happiness Advisor to update their settings, create campaigns, and add prospects in. Plus, Bonzo has a new offering called the Conversationalist that will reply to leads, set appointments, and more!

Managing Growth

You’ll want to consider the scale of your business when selecting a Conversation Software or CRM. As previously mentioned, data can go obsolete in as little as a year’s time so it’s important to select a program that will not become as useless as the data it houses. Since conversations will never go out of style, neither will Conversation Software. Systems like Bonzo are rapidly updating as new outreach methods become available. Users can now quickly and efficiently put a video thumbnail in an email to introduce themselves. Likewise, Bonzo gives users the opportunity to utilize ringless voicemails to contact prospects.

Categories
Coaching Lead Management

5 Ways to Make an Impact in Conversation

Ready to win over the relationship with your client? Get there by deep diving on the conversations. Clients can be hounded with inauthentic outreach messages every day–separate yourself from the rest and create an impact on your next conversation by following these tips.

1. Use Video

Allow your clients to put a face to a name by showing them yours! Get vulnerable and put yourself out there on video. Introduction videos are a fantastic way for clients to get to know more about you when they haven’t had a chance to meet you in person yet. At Bonzo, we recommend adding a video thumbnail to your emails to boost engagement. Stats say that a video thumbnail can improve subscriber engagement by almost 41% when it’s included in an email (Backlinko). 

2. Ask about THEM

Ensure that your meeting has not turned into a monologue. Ask the client about themselves and make it personal. Try to push beyond the basic, “How’s your day going so far?” or “What’s the weather like for you?”. While these are safe options, they are not personal and show a lack of authentic interest. Instead, “How did you become a [job title]?” or “What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?” are just a few examples that will inspire a deeper conversation.

3. Stop selling and start engaging

While selling is important, try putting it on the back burner initially. Creating organic conversations with clients will allow them to open up to you more and lean into who you are and your why. Try a humanistic approach by sharing a photo of your family or your dog in his Halloween costume. The client will begin to separate you from other stereotypical sales associates, loan officers, etc.

4. Look for commonality

Like you, your client probably has a picture of their pet in a Halloween costume that they are dying to share. Give them that opportunity! If you met the client through a mutual event take a few minutes to discuss their thoughts on the event. Even something as simple as asking for a restaurant recommendation in your shared city will give you an opening and the client will feel valued and heard. Commonality exists everywhere–you just have to uncover it.

5. Go above and beyond

Surprising and delighting the client is often a forgot about method to impacting a conversation. For instance, if a client’s needs don’t match your services, refer them to someone you know who can help them. Not only will the client be impressed, but they will be more likely to come to you the next time when they do require your services. Treat every client as you would like to be treated in their shoes.

Categories
Coaching Lead Management

It’s Time to Dust Off Your Old Leads – Here’s How

If you’ve been working with leads for any extended amount of time, you know that they tend to pile up quickly. Now is the time to block off an hour or two on your calendar, queue up your favorite podcast, and give those old leads new life.

While it’s important to know when you want to re-engage old leads and how to do it, it’s also critical to determine why. Consider the new projects you’re working on that older prospects may not have been exposed to or aware of. Potentially, these new initiatives are precisely what those leads are interested in now. Plus, the old lead may connect you to someone else who is interested in your services.

Regardless of your reason why these tips will be your savior when you finally take the time to sit down and re-engage with your former leads.

Sort & organize your data.

If you can’t find the time in your schedule, recruit an assistant to help with this portion of the process. Once you’ve decided who is going to take the reigns on the sorting process, block out a generous amount of time to get the job done. Trust us, it will be worth the time investment when your leads are cleaned up. We recommend adding a “tags” column to each of your client lists. Under “tags” you’ll want to categorize your clients with any information that you deem important. For instance, creating a tag for “Old leads – No Response” will be useful as you move into the next step of re-engaging these leads. You can also have tags for friends, family, old colleagues, organizations, events, and more. The sky is the limit for tags, and they will certainly save you headaches later on.

Select a method.

Now that your old client lists are polished and sorted, you’ll want to select a method for re-engaging them. Consider if you want this communication to be an on-going sequence of events or a one-time check-in. You may also want to consider if a text, email, video, voicemail, or hand-written note is the best option for re-engaging. Now is the time to mix it up and put your best foot forward. If they didn’t reply to an email blast the last time you reached out, shoot them a text with a video link to show that you’re an agile communicator.

Don’t be afraid to try new methods to impress your clients. Your openness to new communication methods will reinforce their view of you as an expert.

Tailor your communication.

With new features being introduced regularly, you can take your re-engagement communication to the next level. Make sure your message is warm and doesn’t sound robotic. If you’ve worked with the client in the past, take the time to acknowledge that. If it’s been a while since you last connected, take the time to ask them how they’re doing before you bring up a service or project they may be interested in. Bonzo allows you to easily add personal merge tags so you can send an authentic message in a snap.

Be all ears.

The process is not complete after you send the message. Like all leads, you must be quick to view responses and listen to the content. If a lead responds saying that they aren’t interested in a certain project, thank them for responding and request to keep in touch. If you listen carefully, their responses can help you categorize them for future use, too. Remember that old leads are still warm leads. These leads were interested in your services at one point, which means they could very well be interested again. If they are open and responsive, consider moving them into a nurture campaign or ongoing newsletter where you can keep them from going stale.

Categories
Coaching Lead Management

What it Means to Be a Conversationalist in a Digital World

Merriam-Webster defines a conversationalist as one who converses a great deal or who excels in conversation. While joining in any discourse does not make one a true conversationalist, everyone can benefit from having more productive conversations. Conversationalists should be passionate about the authentic discussions they are having along with the genuine relationships they are building.

Now especially, in the ever-evolving digital world, it is imperative for business professionals to separate themselves from the competition by being agile and engaged conversationalists.

Follow these tips to put conversations at the heart of everything you do.

Embrace differences.

Each client you work with is at a different place in how they communicate digitally. Make sure you meet them where they’re at. If you’re working with a client who is always on the go, they will appreciate a few quick texts over a lengthy phone call. If a client you’re working with prefers only to be called on their office line, lean into that method. Don’t try to push them into digital conversations if they aren’t ready to take the plunge. For the client that needs a nudge, don’t be afraid to send that follow-up message (and don’t be offended when it takes a few nudges). Try not to limit yourself to one channel of communication, but instead be open to learning as the digital options continue to unravel.

Create 50/50 sharing.

The strongest conversations have an equal amount of sharing on each side. While you should not fear sending a follow-up message, take cues from the client as to when they may be feeling burnt out on communication. On the flip side, listen when the client tells you that they are ready to talk. Today, there are a huge amount of tools in the digital space that allow you to take advantage of 50/50 sharing. Enable a “Stop Sequence” setting in campaigns to halt messages when a client responds or adds a meeting to your calendar. This will show the client you are interested in listening to them, not just talking at them.

Be your (digital) self.

Although a lot of your messages may be automated, they don’t have to sound like it. Bring life into your messages and show your personality the same way you would in person. Add an emoji to a text or a gif into your weekly email newsletter if that’s your style. The idea is to break down any stiff, impersonal sounding correspondence, while still maintaining professionalism. Take advantage of resources like sending test emails. When you get the test email, ask yourself critical questions. Would I be excited to get this email? Does this email make me want to click the links inside it? If it’s a message you might skip over in your own inbox, go back to the drawing board and make it personal.

Show genuine interest.

Just as it’s important to listen to your client, you should also have a genuine interest in who they are and what they do. A client will be able to spot fake interest a mile away so make sure to add personal touches to your outreach. Utilize the notes section of your customer database to leave helpful tidbits about each client. A congratulatory note for a recent award or wishing them a happy anniversary will go a long way. Even asking about their current WFH situation will mean a lot to the client.

Don’t shy away from automation.

Automation can get a bad rep, but there are new offerings in the digital space that can make automation your lifesaver. For example, embrace an Auto-Dial function to make calling your clients simple and efficient. You can also place clients on campaign loops. Maybe the first campaign isn’t the right one for them, with a loop they can be automatically added to another campaign without you having to lift a finger. That next campaign may be just what it takes to prompt a response from even the quietest client. Don’t worry, if they do reply you’ll have that “Stop Sequence” setting enabled.

Categories
Coaching Lead Management

Before You Hit Send, Add This to Your Next Email

Marketers can see 66% more solid leads every year when they use video. 

(SmallBizGenius)

If you’re debating adding video to your next marketing email, this is the sign you’ve been waiting for. In today’s tech space, you don’t need to be an expert to create a killer video for your clients.

Whether you choose to link or embed the video into your personalized outreach, it’s sure to increase your open rate. Once you’ve selected a method for sharing your video, you’ll want to consider a few things before pushing out your first video email.

Lighting is your friend.

No fancy lighting equipment is necessary to create an effective video for your clients. If you can, position yourself in front of a window or natural light source. Ideally, a south-facing window will give you the best light. If you don’t have access to a natural light source, there are some low-cost tools you can pick up to help boost your shot. We recommend this Selfie Ring Light that seamlessly clips on to your phone or laptop. Plus, its travel-friendly size means you can use it when you’re on the go!

Keep the text short & sweet.

Emails are already most effective when they contain a healthy amount of characters in the text. When it comes to adding a video, there’s even more reason to keep the text concise and non-overwhelming to the recipient. The client viewing your email will appreciate the thoughtful balance of text and video. Save the bulk of the information for the video itself.

Pick the right content.

Choosing the right content for your video is vital. From tutorials and demos to event highlights and testimonials, there’s a huge amount of options for content. Select a type of content that aligns with your other communications and provides the most value to customers. Have an awesome new website? Now’s the perfect time to create a quick demo video sharing its features and hidden gems. Host a webinar this week? Shoot an email out to your clients with a video replay so they can pass it along to any colleagues that missed out.

Timing is everything.

Consider the pockets of time in your clients’ days when creating a video to plug into your next email. 1.5 minutes in the drive-through lane at their favorite coffee spot, 3 minutes waiting for their Uber. These pockets are the perfect amount of time for your client to check their email and view a brief but highly effective video from you. Avoid sending an email with a 10-minute video in the middle of the workday–the client will check out when they realize how long of a time commitment it is.

Give a heads up!

Make sure that you call out the video you’re sending to clients. For an email, hint at the video in your subject line. If you’re using SMS, use verbiage that alludes to the video and ensure that it’s not set up to autoplay when they open the message. No client wants to accidentally play a loud video in the middle of a crowded area. Giving the recipient a heads up will allow them time to pop in their headphones before they hit “Play”.