Quality conversations: Master this skill for a full pipeline

Are you having quality conversations to generate more business? Quality conversations (QCs) are a key tool – I would say THE key tool – for any salesperson. It’s something I’ve been talking about with my team quite a bit. In fact, we are monitoring the number of QCs we have with both our referral partners, circle of influence, and database clients each week.

Each week, I send out a message to my team asking them to report on the number of QCs we’ve had in the last seven days. Why do we do this? It’s because trackable activity yields direct results in the number of leads we receive, loans we lock, and deals we close. If we aren’t tracking it, how can we predict what is happening with our pipeline? As part of this effort, we’ve been diving into the meaning of a true quality conversation, and it really boils down to about five things. We’ll get to that in just a moment.

But first, I want you to think about the conversations you have with your prospects, COI, and clients. Is it a feeling that you get that tells you it’s been a quality conversation? Or do you think it’s something more measurable, like an action that is taken or a commitment that’s made? As salespeople, we all have a basic job requirement of having a very high EQ, a high emotional intelligence. So, I think a lot of people think it’s just a feeling we leave a conversation with, and I would agree with that to an extent. We can tell the difference between a conversation that deepens the relationship in some way and a run-of-the-mill exchange such as, “The appraisal is back and the value is fine.”

So what are the ways we can intentionally deepen the relationship with each conversation? Here are five tips for having more quality conversations and thus more more leads, referrals, listings, buyers, and commissions:

1.) Be Prepared

Are you prepared for each conversation you have in order to make it a QC? Do you have an agenda in your mind? Do you have a list of high-quality questions prepared? Do you have a start point and an end point for where you want this conversation to go? Do you have a strategy to make sure the conversation feels organic and natural even though you’ll be controlling it behind the scenes?

Don’t Be Boring

Too many people make the mistake of turning a conversation into a monologue. Even worse is making it an interrogation, but the biggest conversation sin of all is making it boring. Have you mastered the ebb and flow of conversation? Are you able to steer it like a whitewater rafting guide would – from the back of the raft and your paddle firmly in the water guiding where you want it to go? Can you make it a smooth and exciting experience that makes your participants want to continue their journey with you?

Learn Something

In each conversation that we have with our clients and prospects, we want to deliver something of value. We want them to learn something. But equally important is that YOU learn something. If you’ve walked away from a conversation without learning anything about that person, you missed the mark. What are their goals? What are the obstacles they may have in the pursuit of what you’re trying to sell them? It’s your job to ensure the learning goes both ways.

Identify Outcomes 

Many salespeople go out and spend time with a prospect or a client and have a really good time! They talk about their business or kids, and it’s warm and fun, so they have a nice lunch or happy hour. But if no outcomes are delivered, then I’d argue it wasn’t as quality as it could have been. That may sound like too high of a bar, but an outcome doesn’t have to be them deciding to buy something from you. It could be that a client has acknowledged a need for change exists. Later, in your fourth or fifth conversation, they may acknowledge you’re the person who can best deliver the change they need. The point is that learning, action, or outcomes are delivered in each quality conversation that move the needle- even a little- toward your desired result.

Gain Commitment

When you leave a QC sales call, there should be some sort of commitment to do something else- to meet again, send a proposal, ask more questions, or make an introduction. Whatever it is, remember that sales is a dance. If you’re the only one dancing, you’re not really in a partnership. You want your prospect or client to take a step toward you for each step you take in their direction. 

When you set that agenda in your mind, know what commitment you want to walk away from the conversation with, so that you can make every conversation a quality conversation.

June 29, 2023

Charity Ohlund

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Fountain Mortgage 2023 — NMLS ID 1138268

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M Squared Financial LLC
DBA Fountain Mortgage
7501 Mission Road, Suite 200
Prairie Village, KS 66208

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