Porcupines are prickly critters. In fact, if someone were to toss you one you would toss it right back. That’s how the porcupine sales technique works. Your customer asks a question and you reply with one in return. That certainly beats asking the typical yes/no questions that are all too common among salespeople.
Like any sales technique, if you overuse this approach you risk annoying your potential borrower. However, if you don’t use a similar line of questioning in sales you risk missing out on the clues of the homeowner’s underlying motivations or the most important features of the reverse mortgage.
Here are a few examples specific to reverse mortgages:
Prospect: “Does the bank own my home?”
You: “What may I ask made you concerned that they would?”
Prospect: “Can I setup regular monthly payouts to me?”
You: “Would you like regular monthly payments instead of making them?”
Prospect: “Yes, I would.”
You: “Great. I’ll show you how we can get started.”
Prospect: “How long does this process take.”
You: “ What time frame would work best for you?”
Prospect: “In a couple of months.”
You: “That’s great. We can certainly do that. If we start the process today we should be finished by early December. Does that sound fair to you?”
Trying to shoehorn every sale into a never-ending volley of a question followed by your question would quickly annoy your prospect. This may be why the gadfly Socrates was sentenced to death. However, instead, use the porcupine technique intermittently during your presentation. Think of it as a tool. You certainly wouldn’t use a crescent wrench for every job, but you may when also used with perhaps a vice grip, pliers, or a screwdriver.
The point is to respond with a question when suitable and avoid asking unimaginative yes/no questions.
Have you ever used the porcupine technique or one similar to it? Let us know in the comment section below.