How does a Lead become a Funded Deal?
~STARTING THE DRIVE~
Before we can Consult the Merchant (Business Pro), we must determine if this lead is truly a Prospect.
What’s the difference??
Simply, a lead is a contact who has expressed interest in your product/service and could qualify to be a potential customer.
A Prospect is a lead that has been qualified, and has expressed their need or desire for product/service, and for that reason, is closer to becoming a potential customer.
We must convert Leads –> Prospects –> Sales.
Whether the lead is inbound or we are going outbound, leads must be engaged with effective communication from the outset – you have precious seconds to make the right impression and capture the Business Pro’s (merchant) attention.
Say hi, reference who you are and where you are calling from. Reference whatever information you have to link how you got their information, and make the ask from the beginning.
Make the ASK!!
Get to the heart of it quickly, and no it is not “are you looking for money/funding/capital?”
This is the quickest way to hear click and dial tone.
The more “Yes’s” you hear through the length of the Sales Process, the higher the probability you will Drive this BP (merchant) through the Sales Process, on a shorter cycle, and Fund.
Score an easy Yes here (and do some qualifying) with asking a question that most BP’s (merchant) can’t say no to:
“To confirm, (insert) is the project you are working on this month?”
“Do you have any (more) projects this month?”
“Do you have any projects this month we can assist with?”
Don’t even mention the funding, because that’s not what they want anyways. Never have. They want what the Funding can do for them –> the project/the problem’s solution/the goal achieved/the target hit/the crisis averted/The OUTCOME.
After hearing “yes” here, and them getting into the details about it. You can drive and lead the conversation from there to ask some qualifying questions about amount, expectations, impact on business, and most importantly timeline.
Always vet out if this is a process they want to start AND finish “this month.”. This will save you a lot of energy as you prioritize and allocate time to the Prospects who are most likely to move through the (FASS) Sales Process and convert into Funded Deals this month.
Expressing interest is one thing, but expressing a need/desire for your product/service this month is another. You pull the latter out of the BP (merchant), now you can invest Your precious minutes in consulting him/her through the process and injecting this Prospect into your Pipeline.
~DRIVING DOWN THE FIELD~
Before we can get the Application Out, we need to Consult the Merchant (Business Pro).
You must establish that you are their Trusted Advisor through this process.
Remember, you’re the Funding Pro – act like it.
Rushing to get an App Out here is not going to cut it.
Once you’ve qualified this lead, and it is in fact a prospect (more on the difference between the two later), it’s time to Lead the Business Pro (merchant) to Wanting you to send them the Application.
For the BP (merchant) to Want an App, the BP (merchant) must want YOU to work up Funding Options for them. For the BP (merchant) to Want YOU to work up options for them, the BP (merchant) must Want to do business with YOU.
How do you get the BP (merchant) to want to work with YOU?
Really boils down to 2 Key Points:
-Ask Powerful Strategic Questions (listen twice as much as you speak)
-Make them feel like you HEAR and understand them, their business, and their Outcome.
A novice sales pro will go on and on about them, their company, their products, “we’re the best,” etc.
A Funding Pro, the Trusted Advisor can use this information when it is appropriate, but doesn’t need to blitz the Prospect with all of it at the beginning of the relationship to convince the Prospect to do business with him/her. It’s a shift from me-centric to customer-centric. Focus on them!
The Funding Pro exemplifies the Quality of his/her service at the outset primarily through Powerful Strategic Questions and making the Prospect feel like they are heard, understood, and YOU will help them Achieve their Outcome.
Prospects don’t want to speak with you for fun.
Prospects don’t want to speak with you for money (WAIT, WHAAAT???)
Prospects Want to speak with YOU because they have an Outcome, they have a Goal they want to achieve, they have a challenge they want to overcome, they have a problem they want to SOLVE. They Want to speak to YOU because they want to know if YOU are the person who can help them Achieve that Outcome, overcome that challenge, Solve that problem in the most efficient way possible.
The Funding is the vehicle, their Outcome/Project/Problem’s Solution is the true Destination.
You do these 2 things well, and the Prospect will feel that you have their best interest in mind, and that YOU are the Funding Pro that can help them Achieve their Outcome.
Your Powerful Strategic Questions really boil down to asking about their Outcome/Project/Use of Funds, the kind of impact they perceive it will have on the business as a whole, and their timeline. Asking about their current/past financing products is important as well, to gauge their expectations, and to let them know what Funding Options you can provide may be a fit for them.
Making them feel heard is about listening intently, and when they are done answering your questions, repeat back to them a short-hand of what they said they wanted. Ask if you heard them right. Now they’ve heard themselves say it, they’ve heard you mirror it back to them –> they are now ready for you to go do your magic!
You’ve built rapport at a deep level, you’ve communicated effectively, they are now ready to be lead to the App Out.
~MARCHING TO MIDFIELD – Get That App In~
To get the App In, we need to have gotten the App Out.
Simple. But not as easy as just sending Applications Out just because you feel like it.
App Outs are reserved for those prospects that qualify and have demonstrated interest.
If you shotgun spray applications, you will be filling your prospect hit list with too many contacts that are going to spin your wheels. Be DELIBERATE.
Before you send the Application Out, you want the Merchant (Business Pro) to already desire what the signed and submitted Application Package will get them – Funding Options – a Quote!
If the Business Pro (merchant) has not expressed the desire for you to work up Options, sending an App is a quick way to overwhelm their thinking process even more. It’s like going in for a kiss 3 minutes into your first date. I like the spirit – but it’s just bad salesmanship.
Wasting time is Not what we do. We are Masters in Maximizing Time! Why?
Time (Unmastered) Kills Deals!!
Lead them to the Buy Signal before you pull the trigger – you want to hear something along the lines of:
“Yes, I’d like to see Funding Options.”
“What do you need from me to get this started.”
How? After qualifying and Consulting (more on this later) them through their project, needs and timeline – you must make the Ask. Make the ASK!
“Would you like us to work up Funding Options?”
Be Deliberate with your Communication, and keep the BP (merchant) tight to the outcome of moving him/her closer to Funding.
Don’t ask if they’d like to see an Application or more information – ask for the Quote, and they will let you know if they are ready. Those that are not ready now, must still be followed up on. They will be ready eventually, and you must nurture these Prospects to get them to App Outs.
Now that the BP (merchant) has confirmed they want to see Funding Options, they will be on the lookout for your email, they will be ready for your App, they will register and retain your name and number.
And as always, follow up until the App is In.
Before getting that Contract Out, we must have an Application In –> Submission –> Approval.
This is the process of Pre-Closing.
We all want to make the big CLOSE, get that Contract Out and In and race to Funding! But there is not one big close in this game – hear me – there is Not one big close.
Funding a deal is a series of a lot of small closes strategically stacking on one another.
This is how human psychology and Influence works. Every Big Decision you’ve made in your life came down to many smaller evaluations and decisions that lead up to it.
If you feel like you have to drop the hammer over the merchant’s (Business Pro’s) head as soon as you get the Approval, there hasn’t been enough Pre-Closing done.
When you get the Application In, along with the rest of the docs you need for a proper Submission –> Pre-Close.
Ask the Business Pro (merchant) to reiterate what they are looking for (from earlier conversations). Ask them to verify the amount, their timetable for funding, and the project the capital will be funding/use of funds.
It is crucial to ask and get them talking about the project/use of funds. The more the BP (merchant) talks about the use of funds/the benefits the money will provide, and less about the actual money – the more frictionless the transaction becomes.
At the end of the day, every BP (merchant), does NOT want the Funding – THEY WANT WHAT THE FUNDING WILL PROVIDE THEM AND THEIR BUSINESS.
After submitting and getting the Approval/multiple offers, you cannot go straight into pitching. C’mon, you’re a Funding Pro. Pre-Close.
After you get the numbers from Underwriting, reach out the BP (merchant) – let them know you will have options for them shortly. Just because you are not an Underwriter, does not mean you cannot ask them questions as if you were. Ask them again about their timetable for funding, and more importantly, ask them to explain their use of funds again.
Have them elaborate on their project, and what kind of positive impact they believe it will have on revenue. Before you pitch the Approval, the BP (merchant) will be in the process of closing themselves on the importance and urgency of the funding in between conversations with you.
Wait about 30-60 minutes for proper marinating time, and now you are both ready.
Get in there and Close!
~30-YARD LINE – Get Those Docs Out~
Before we get that signed Contract In, we must get the Contract Out!
In order to do this effectively, we need to close the merchant (Business Pro) on the terms of the Approval. You are the Funding Pro, you’ve got this.
Sending the contract prematurely only wastes time and creates frustration. Like trying to feed your child before he or she is hungry, you will find your kid is distracted – and not hungry enough to focus on You and desire what you can provide.
You must lead the close so that your Business Pro (BP) states: “Send me the Contract.”
“What do I need to do to get this going?”
These are some of your explicit Buy Signals – cut and dry.
Explain the terms of the Approval professionally and answer any questions the BP (merchant) has. But you cannot stop here – that is just describing the Features of the product.
Selling Features does not close.
You must describe the Features effectively AND associate them to the BENEFITS the BP will gain through Funding with You. The best way to associate them with the Benefits is to link this Funding Approval to their Use of Funds/Project this capital will be allocated to – this you should have already elicited from them earlier in the Sales Process.
Always continue to ask about their timetable to keep them tight and prevent them from going dark.
After presenting terms, always make the ASK.
MAKE THE ASK!
“Can you put this (insert Funding Product) to work?”
A question like this is framed from an angle BP’s (merchants) will feel difficult to say “no” to. The Psychology of the Entrepreneur is rooted in “YES. I CAN. I can put this to work.”
More on this in future posts. Present, make the Ask, get the Yes, get the Docs, send the Docs.
And do it quickly.
Time kills deals!!
But, you are the Funding Pro – so, you’ve got this.
Before we start chasing down closing stips, we need to get that signed Contract In!
If you sell the approval the right way, getting docs out and back in should be a seamless process. The merchant (Business Pro) should want to already get the docs back in because they have their sights set on Funding and utilizing the capital for their project.
If you’ve used your FASS (Funding Accelerator Sales System) Mastery to sell the deal effectively – docs are out, and now the merchant (BP) is just going to look over everything on the contract to make sure it all checks out to get everything back to you asap. They’re with you, you’re with them. Let’s rush to the goal-line together.
It is important that once docs are out, you are communicating a time target with the BP on when they are expected to get docs back in to YOU. Please do not willy nilly now – keep your cadence, keep your structure, keep your professionalism all the way to Funding.
Time Kills Deals!!
Remember, you can sell a Yes, you can sell a No. You can’t sell Silence. Keep them tight to the hip, and you will get those docs in.
Before crossing the goal-line, we need to get all the Closing Stips in.
A this point the signed contracts are in and now you must reel in all the closing items before the merchant (Business Pro) gets cold.
Time Kills Deals!!
Make sure to drive urgency and get everything in as soon as possible. There will be pushback on certain stips. Maybe it’s a tax return, maybe its other financials – whatever it is, assure the merchant (BP) this is part of the process, they’ve made it this far, and you are in their corner to get the deal done and their business Funded.
Whenever fielding frustration or anger from BP’s, always remember they are not angry with you – they are angry at the situation, and their perceptions about the situation. Don’t take it personal. Remain professional and helpful, their frustration will subside.
If there is enough serious pushback for whatever reason, see what you can do about getting an exception from Underwriting. Whether you get it or not, the BP will appreciate you for the effort, and their affinity for doing business with You over anybody else will rise.
You are knocking on the doorstep, keep the urgency and the energy up and you will get this deal Funded!
You know that rush you feel when you read it on the email or hear the voice of the Underwriter say it. It takes hard work, commitment, creativity and perseverance to get deals funded.
Great work, on to the next one – there’s always time on the clock to score more points. 😉