13 Feb 2019

Singing the Blues: The Sadness of Low Contact Rates

(Cue blues guitar)

(Da da da da da da)

I dial me a number…

(Da da da da da da)

But I know it’s no use…

(Da da da da da da)

So few ever answer…

(Da da da da da da)

I got the contact rate blues…

Does this tune of hurt and sorrow ring true in your soul? Have you, too, been heartbroken over and over again by the seeming impossibility of connecting with your prospects over the phone – much less getting them to call you back? Well, pull up a stool and I’ll pour you out a cold one, friend. You’re in good company, since these days it seems like your contact rates are dipping lower and lower with each passing day. What’s a loan officer to do?

It’s not your fault, friend. It’s just the way of the world. Customers expect lightning-quick responses back from companies when they’re looking into mortgage loan options, but they won’t even answer their phones! Sure, your sales team does the best they can, hopping on the phone as soon as they get a lead, but even then, it can feel like you’re behind before you ever begin.

-record scratch-

Okay…enough bluesy gloom for the moment. You get the picture. The fact of the matter is that contact rates in the mortgage loan industry are low – perhaps the lowest they’ve been (not that we need to tell you). And while you’re diligent about sending emails, which are pretty good at opening doors, there’s no substitute for a real, live conversation, person-to-person. Multiple studies have shown that the sooner you contact a lead, the better your chance of converting them because their interest is high. Check out these numbers:

  • A Harvard Business Review study found that contacting leads within an hour after receiving a prospect query was 7 times more likely to qualify the lead than calls made even one hour later—and over 60 times more likely than companies that waited 24 hours or longer.
  • The Lead Response Management Study found that calling a lead in the first 5 minutes is 100 times more likely to result in contact than calling after 5 minutes, but before 30 minutes. Further, calling in the first 5 minutes is 21 times more likely to qualify a lead.
  • Forbes states that sales representatives make an average of 1.3 attempts to reach someone before giving up. However, the Online Marketing Institute states that it takes at least 7 “touches” to bring a lead to sale – far more than 1.3 phone calls!

This phenomenon is called speed to lead, and it’s absolutely the hot buzzword when it comes to contact rates and conversions. But mere loan officers can only dial so fast and do have to sleep sometime…so how can you increase your lead response time and improve your contact rate?

Let’s all say it together…MARKETING AUTOMATION!

Yes, this is yet another buzzword about what’s hot and new in marketing trends, but the thing is, it works. By instituting automation into your lead generation and nurturing campaign, you’re able to immediately get in front of your leads with relevant information – in other words, striking while the iron’s hot. Then you call and try and get them on the phone. And if you don’t reach them, you keep going with the touchpoints. Reminder emails, relevant information…all little nudges sent at the right time to keep you top of mind without being annoying. Best of all, it takes the pressure off of you individually to reach out as soon as that lead hits your pipeline, because the automation is taking care of it for you.

While improving your contact rate isn’t as simple as one-two-three, there are ways to make it easier. And partnering with an expert like SoftVu (‘cuz improving touch points including contact rates is what we do), can take the work off your plate so you can do what it is you do best…and get you singing in a major key that much more quickly.

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