A Sales Leadership playbook for Mortgage Coach Leaders by Dave Savage and Todd Duncan.

Author and motivational speaker Todd Duncan says that “word efficiency” has never been more important than it is in today’s fast-paced social media world. Most salespeople talk too much and feel like they need to sell the client on using them. In this one-hour interview, Todd explained how to increase your “conversational productivity” and improve your sales conversion. In this Mortgage Coach Sales Playbook, we highlight 3 key takeaways from that conversation.

#1 >> Don’t listen to sell, listen to solve.

In other words, speak fewer words and listen to solve problems. You facilitate this by asking the right questions. 

“I remember in our first client meeting, the head of production, who was interviewing three different firms, said, “So tell us about the Duncan Group.” I realized that if I started telling her about us, we were going to lose. I needed to take that question and turn it back into a question to get her talking.”

TIP: Don’t answer questions until you know what’s truly important. Here’s how Todd reframed the question: “The Duncan Group is a lot of things to a lot of lenders. To make sure we’re the right thing for you, what’s important to you about this training initiative?” 

“We got the biggest contract of our company at that point, and when we asked them, ‘Why did you choose us?’ She said, ‘We felt like you understood what we were looking for.’ And that’s the key right now more than ever in a market like we’re in.”

#2 >> Center 80% of the conversation around emotion and 20% around economics.

“Conversational productivity in the mortgage space—whether it’s with the client or the Realtor, is first and foremost to understand that people are taking on the largest debt of their life and are buying the biggest asset of their life. If you reverse those, you will not be able to close a new relationship as successfully.”

REMEMBER: “The problem we get into is we use think rather than feel when we’re trying to establish an emotional connection. Asking “How does this make you feel?” versus “What do you think?” is a game-changer.

“In the highest asset purchase and the highest debt accumulation, emotion rules the day, not economics. Economics follows. If I know the emotion of a buyer and what they’re looking for and I understand the rules of asking emotionally based questions, then I can come in at the end with logic. And if the emotional connection is large, whatever the logical part is, it’s pretty much accepted because they trust you and they’re attracted to you. Feel is the driving force in relationship loyalty. Period. I can sell a $40,000 car for $50,000 because I am emotionally connected with the customer, and I’m not going to get anywhere near the negotiating or the haggling to close the deal.”

Here are the 3 rules of asking a great question:

#1 Don’t lead, #2 don’t prompt, and #3 don’t interrupt.”


“Help me understand what’s important about this mortgage transaction to you.”

If you do it right, you will ask a 10-word question and get a 4-minute, 200-word answer. 


“What do you want to do and how soon do you want to do it?”


“Do you know that nine out of 10 people you’re going to be selling a home to claim that financial stress is the biggest stress in their life?”

#3 >>Why you should focus questions on the future rather than the past.

“Buying a home is rooted in fear, especially for a first-time homebuyer. It’s the biggest deal they will have ever done to this point. If you ask what’s important about a home loan to a first-time home buyer, they’re not going to know the answer.”


“What is your greatest fear about buying your first home?” 


“Most lenders will never ask you the question I’m about to ask you. Here’s the question… How old do you want to be when you’re debt-free and your home is paid off?”

* COACHING NOTE: This question creates a competitive advantage and sets up the Total Cost Analysis and its ability to show mortgage strategies that help borrowers become debt-free sooner. 


“Most first-time homebuyers don’t understand the difference between an interest rate and a mortgage strategy. What I’m going to do that is uniquely different from most lenders is talk with you about the strategy we create for you buying your first home so that you don’t have fear and you have calmness and confidence.”

Other Good Pain-Based Questions:

“What is your greatest challenge right now financially?”

“What are your greatest fears right now and how could I come alongside you and maybe help with that?” 


“Are you aware that the lowest interest rate with the wrong strategy can cost you more than a slightly higher interest rate with the right strategy?”

“Are you aware that there’s a big difference between the lowest cost over time versus the lowest cost of the actual transaction?”

* COACHING NOTE: The latter question helps pre-frame the Total Cost Analysis and is a must-ask question for every Mortgage Coach. 

Todd Duncan ADVICE: Practice perfecting your questions. Figure out which questions rock and be a “questionologist.” Then:

  • Ask questions that homebuyers and Realtors have never been asked…
  • So you can learn things they’ve never disclosed…
  • So you can provide them with solutions they never received from anyone else. 

WATCH this full interview with Todd Duncan and learn more strategies and tips for increasing your conversation productivity so you can build a stronger customer and referral base and close more sales. 

CLICK on the link below to save $50 to attend Todd Duncan’s IRREFUTABLE Livestream event on 7/21 at 9 am pacific. Use discount code “MC50” to save money.

Powerful Realtor Script:

“A lot of agents think I’m in the business of doing loans. That’s kind of a byproduct of what I do. I’m actually in the business of helping my agents succeed, and I know I can’t do that without learning what’s important about success to them. So as a real estate professional, as you think about the next 12 to 36 months, what’s important to you about being a successful agent?”

Todd prefers FUTURE questions over PRESENT questions because they’re not being asked by their current lender and it uncovers a need you can fulfill. Here’s the difference:

Example of a Present Question:

“What’s the greatest pain you’ve experienced as a real estate agent over the last 12 months and how could a lender solve that for you?”

Example of a Conversation Based on Future Questions:

“As a real estate professional, give me a clear idea of where you would like your real estate practice to be in three years.”

Or, “What is the most recurring problem you have that frustrates you every day in your profession?”

Or, “If we describe your situation today as a real estate professional, what are some of the biggest changes you’d like to see happen in the next 12 months?”

Then after they answer, follow up with: “On a scale of one to 10 with 10 being totally confident, how confident are you in your plan to get there?” No one is going to say 10. And then ask…

“I know you’re working with so and so at such and such. Does he know this?” 


“How does that make you feel?” 

“Frustrated. Not happy.” 

“Well, do you have a solution to change that?” 


“Would you like to discuss one?”


If you’re ready to win big like the lender above, we can align you with one of our High-Performance coaches. Schedule your free 30 minute call here to learn what we can do for your business!


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Todd Duncan speaking at a High Trust Sales Academy event

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