It is not often you cross paths with someone who is a mortgage broker, a wrestling podcast host and whose father-in-law is one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, but Conrad Thompson is just that. He joined us on the latest episode of Get Think Tanked to talk effective sales strategies, expanding your personal brand and how to win people over.
Thompson has been involved in sales virtually his entire life and has built his current level of success by constantly aiming to improve and by treating current and potential customers with respect and empathy. He notes that one of the keys to being successful is “if you want to sell something, you need to be known, liked and trusted.” An example of his customer-centric approach is how to handle a situation where something goes wrong. “Don’t spin. Just acknowledge it and say ‘sorry, we screwed up.’” Oftentimes, he finds that the customer just wants to be heard. He simply says, “I’m sorry we missed the mark here. Tell me what I can do to make it right and I’ll hang up and do it.”
His wrestling podcast started as something done for pure enjoyment (his father-in-law is Ric Flair, by the way), but he now uses his mortgage business and podcast in a cross-promotional format. In advertising, he uses constant promotion in order to build top of mind awareness. He says that if potential customers and podcast listeners get hit often enough with the same message, when it comes time that they need to think about a mortgage, they won’t be looking to shop. They will automatically think of him.
Among his other strategies:
- Always sell a solution - Mortgage customers are focused on lower interest rates and low closing costs. They could refinance, but if it adds another 5+ years on the term of their mortgage, is that really helping them? Instead, he likes talking points, such as “if I refinance you down to a 15-year mortgage, you could be debt-free by the time your son graduates high school.”
- Define what you could do vs. what you will do - People could prepay their existing mortgage, but they don’t do that. They want a refinance because it is something tangible.
- Stay away from “what ifs” - Instead of focusing on what could be, focus on what is today. A lot of people wait, saying “what if rates go back down”. Instead, explain “if you close today, you save 0.75% and X thousand dollars on interest costs over the life of the loan.” Give people a tangible benefit they can easily quantify.
Thompson notes that today his mortgage business and podcast business are linked. He likes to say that he does one because he does the other. What kind of person does he think should get into podcasting? Anybody with an idea or story to tell would be a candidate, but you should decide right away if it is intended to be a hobby or a business. If it’s a business, you should be asking how to monetize it. Hoping for a sponsor is not a plan, but one should think about using a podcast to leverage an existing product. Most importantly, it needs to be compelling content and something you would listen to yourself.
To be successful, Thompson feels you need to follow just a few simple ideas. People tend to overthink their content and aim for something viral. The important thing is to just get started. You tend to learn best practices and get better over time. Know your target audience and do not try to be everything to everybody. Most importantly, he says “just do it.”
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