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Incoming Rate / Product Inquiry

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Companies spend thousands and thousands of dollars in marketing and advertising with one primary objective: to have prospective customers contact them to purchase their products and services. One of the primary ways many consumers do their initial shopping is still by picking up the phone and calling.

Is It Working?

With all of this money being spent, it's shocking to hear how few branches really understand whether or not the marketing is worth it. When asked how many product or rate inquiries they get in any given week almost no one can give you even a good guess. And forget about asking how many of those inquiries booked appointments or ended up buying! No idea. Does that make sense to you?

What to Do

Here are five easy ways to make sure you are capitalizing on the incoming rate / product inquiry phone call:

1. Understand the Motivations of the Caller:

When we understand why a customer focuses on rate then we are in a better position to respond differently to increase our odds of getting an appointment.

    Order-takers think that the person calling for a rate is only interested in the rate and that is how they will make their decision whether or not to buy.
    Proactive Service Providers realize that the customer is starting with the rate because they are worried about paying too much, getting the wrong product and, worst of all, running into a pushy sales person. They also realize that although the customer has these concerns, they also know that there are a few decisions a customer had to have made to get them to the point where they decided to pick up the phone:

1.They have a need or want.

2.Your company is acceptable to them (they haven't heard anything bad about it or they wouldn't be calling)

3.You have the products they are looking for.

4.You are competitively priced (if they thought you were uncompetitive would they call?)

5.They may not be happy with their current financial institution (if they were, why are they calling?)

6.They are looking for a professional – someone to justify their decision to call.

2. Answer a Question with a Question:

Steer the conversation in the direction you want it: off of price and on to product.

    Order-takers think they have to respond to the "What's your rate on …?" question with a rate.
    Proactive Service Providers know that they can respond to the "What's your rate on …?" question with another question that gets the customer to focus on product. "Our rates vary depending on the specific GIC you are looking for; can I ask you a quick question?"

3. Create Some Excitement:

What would you rather do, make cold calls or get really good at handling the incoming inquiry? Get excited!! The marketing is working! They are calling you which means one less opportunity you have to go and dredge up on our own! Let them know you are glad they called; let them know you have very competitive rates right now; let them know you'll be able to help them.

    Order-takers respond to the "What's your rate on …?" question by answering the question.
    Proactive Service Providers respond to the same question with enthusiasm, "Thank you for calling, this is a great time to inquire about our investment rates - we are very competitive right now!"

4. Ask for the Appointment with Confidence:

When asking for an appointment, closed ended questions invariably will get the answer NO.

    Order-takers ask "Would you like to make an appointment?"
    Proactive Service Providers ask, "When would you like to come in and meet with someone that can make sure you get the product that is best suited for you at a very competitive rate?"

If the primary concerns of the customer are addressed immediately (that you are competitive, and you sound like a professional they can trust to help them make the right decision) many people will set up a time to come in – you just have to ask when they would like to.

5. Keep Score:

Know how many calls you get, and how many appointments you get from those calls. You can't coach or improve the way you respond to these inquiries if you don't know what constitutes good performance.

    Order-takers do not think they have any control over the sales process so why keep track?
    Proactive Service People know the only way to improve is to know how they are doing now, try new ideas, and monitor success.

The product/rate inquiry is a huge opportunity that can turn that ringing phone into new customers and sales. What would it mean to your branch if 50% of the phone calls asking a simple question on product or rate were turned into appointments? Start keeping score, practice the ideas suggested here, and find out exactly how valuable these calls are.

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Copyright © 2008 by Fusion Performance Group Inc.
Copyright © 2012 by Fusion Performance Group Inc. If you share this, print it out, or reproduce it in any way, please retain this copyright statement.