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Bring a solution


We’re selling a solution

Here’s a news flash for all salespeople- myself included. We’re not selling a product. You’re selling a solution.

It’s the classic pitfall of salespeople. We are excited about our product (in our case reverse mortgages) and then proceed to fixate on the mechanics, benefits, and uses of our product or service.

Our job is to provide insight. Insight as to what problems a reverse mortgage may solve- not in generalities but in THEIR situation.

When a potential borrower or prospect sits down with a salesperson they expect, or are fully convinced in their minds, that they’re about to get sold. No one likes to ‘get sold’, right?

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when meeting with a homeowner who is considering a reverse mortgage.

#1- It’s not about your offering. The biggest misconception in sales is that we must focus on the offering that may be a solution. That’s effectively putting the cart before the horse.

#2- Know thy prospect. Without building rapport and trust you cannot understand your prospect’s unique financial situation. Your goal is to find the pain, the problem, or whatever you want to call it, and focus on how that issue could potentially be resolved. First, seek to understand before asking to be understood as a reverse mortgage originator.

#3- Avoid the one-size-fits-all approach. When seeking to find solutions don’t ignore other options. If you do you risk losing credibility. Instead, bring up other options. They’ll likely pale in comparison to a reverse mortgage in many instances.

#4- Let their questions guide your approach. If you practice active listening you’ll not only hear what their asking but also the possible subtext. Remember, what your potential borrowers show you is likely just the tip of the iceberg.

#5- When objections are brought up follow up with a question. Don’t take the bait and jump in to defend the reverse mortgage or attack the myth or misconception they hold as true. A more nuanced approach is the Socratic Method. For example, you could reply “That’s a good point. Would you help me understand what brings this to mind?”.

Practicing solution-based selling will set you apart from the vast majority of your competitors. It’s hard enough to find a prospect these days. What’s more tragic is to lose that prospect by plowing ahead into an insensitive, product-centric presentation.

Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments below.




Editor in Chief:
As a prominent commentator and Editor in Chief at, Shannon Hicks has played a pivotal role in reshaping the conversation around reverse mortgages. His unique perspectives and deep understanding of the industry have not only educated countless readers but has also contributed to introducing practical strategies utilizing housing wealth with a reverse mortgage.
Shannon’s journey into the world of reverse mortgages began in 2002 as an originator and his prior work in the financial services industry. Shannon has been covering reverse mortgage news stories since 2008 when he launched the podcast HECMWorld Weekly. Later, in 2010 he began producing the weekly video series The Industry Leader Update and Friday’s Food for Thought.
Readers wishing to submit stories or interview requests can reach our team at:

Leave a Comment


    • Dennis,

      I don’t know about you but whenever I originate a reverse mortgage, compensation is never paid if the reverse mortgage does not close. That in itself indicates we are salespeople being compensated through sales commissions.

      As a (retired) CPA. compensation for consulting on a SBA loan (or even a reverse mortgage) was due whether the SBA loan closed or not. Thus my compensation as a consultant was not a sales commission.

      When providing a residential mortgage under a NMLS license, I am selling a “product,” not providing a consulting service.

      When acting as an NMLS licensee, by legal definition, I am biased regarding the closing of the transaction. Consultants should never be biased about the transaction they are consulting on without adequate disclosure to the client and the specific written approval of the client.

      When Shannon tells us to sell a solution, he is telling us the best method to use not only in getting an application but also in closing the related mortgage.

      We are salespeople who use a conductive approach.

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