The Art of the Conversational Factfind

Many of my customers and clients are in the mortgage industry and are plagued with dull, listless factfinding missions. My current crusade is to eradicate this disease and turn them into conversations, not interrogations.

Here’s some top tips to help:

  • When the customer tells you their occupation, respond with “That sounds difficult, how do you do that?” It’ll spark a whole lot more.
  • Paraphrase their conversation regularly. Don’t just summarise, test your understanding as well periodically. I’ve found top performers do this more than just summarise.
  • Smother the customer with non-verbal nods – facial expression to narrate the story, head tilt to show listening, open body language.
  • Calibrate the customer and match them vigorously.
  • Don’t evaluate what they tell you and prematurely provide a solution in your head. It’ll stop you listening and they’ll spot this disinterest.
  • Get good at verbal nodding – ur hur, really, wow, gosh, interesting.
  • Have some rescue questions – has your thinking led you to any further thoughts or what else do you think would help me here?

Let’s banish this disease from the UK as soon as we can.