No matter how you slice it, when it comes to selling, you are an interruption. No one is ever waiting for you in their office for you to call or stop by. They are not sitting at their desk saying, “Gee … I wish another loan officer would call on me today.”
We often hear that call reluctance is caused by the fear of rejection. As true as that may be, one of the other major reasons for call reluctance is the fear of interfering in someone’s day. As I said in the first paragraph, no one is waiting for your solicitation call. In fact, they are likely hoping it never comes!
Since almost everyone in the mortgage business hates receiving sales calls, it is natural for many of us to be reluctant to make calls. We do not want to be that person who the call recipient hates, the same way we hate the people that call on us.
We all know intellectually that selling is the key to success for any business. Whether it is a car dealership, insurance company, bank, or any other business … unless someone is purchasing their products or services, the company will cease to exist. As a mortgage professional, if people do not elect to do business with you and purchase your mortgage services by applying for, and closing a mortgage loan, you too will cease to exist in this business.
Many loan officers are able to barely survive in the business because they have just enough business that comes to them from referrals, that they don’t need to solicit others to engage in business with them. Simply stated, they don’t have to be an interruption.
Please understand, when I referenced the word “survive,” what I mean is the LO has barely enough money to pay their bills. To be honest, there are some in this business who make more than the bare minimum to survive, even without systematically marketing and promoting themselves to create new referral partner relationships.
However, to be a high producer, the only way to make this happen is to consistently interrupt people. That means you must make the phone calls, you must market yourself in other ways such as e-mail, direct mail and via social media in order to get noticed by those who seek not to be interrupted.
Think of it this way … what is a commercial on TV? It is nothing more than an interruption to the program you are watching. You may not like commercials, you may even change the channel, but one thing is for sure, the commercial is an interruption. As much as you may dislike commercials, the bottom line is they work. Do you think Progressive Insurance would keep advertising on TV if the advertising didn’t work? Not a chance.
Eliminating your fear of being an interruption is key to your success. Of course, knowing what to say, how to get the attention of prospective referral partners, and having a system for maintaining the relationship are all critical keys to success. However, you can have the greatest loans, the best processing, and an incredible support system for your referral partners and clients. However, no one knows who you are, then your great systems don’t matter.
I am often asked what can be done to overcome the fear of rejection or of being an annoyance to potential prospects. The answer is simply that you must know exactly how to get the attention of your intended targets, and then master how to effectively present your unique position as a mortgage professional. But rest assured you will always be an interruption or an annoyance. The only difference is the more you do it, the more success you have, the less you will care. You will eventually realize that what you are offering is needed, and you will remain committed to making sure as many people as possible know about you.
Loan officers all too often believe that what they offer is not unique, so they don’t know how to present their competitive advantage. The reality is that we are all in the mortgage business. We all have similar products to offer, yet some loan officers do so much more business than others. The secret is to be relentless in reaching out and not fearing rejection or objections.
Remember my point about commercials? Think of it this way … when you change the channel, that is nothing more than you saying you are not interested in what the commercial has to say. The only difference is that the TV and the commercial don’t have any association to rejection. There is no fear or pain.
Major advertisers know in advance of any marketing plan the estimated number of how many people will turn the channel or ignore their commercial. However, they still continue to advertise. They do this because they know there are a certain number of people who will watch and respond.
When you make the calls, send the e-mails, and market through direct mail, you can track your success and response rates. With this data, you can know best how to adjust your strategy and messaging to constantly improve your results. You must be willing to be that interruption. You will never get enough traction in growing your business without being willing to just go for it.
Rejection does not hurt, unless you give it that power. Being an interruption and receiving a rejection is nothing more than someone saying to you that you have not given them enough reason to listen. Just because the first time they may reject you, does not mean that rejection will continue.
One of the greatest gems in marketing I ever learned was when I attended a seminar where there were approximately 300 in attendance. The host speaker was asked, “How do you fill a room with 300 people?” The speaker’s response blew me away. He simply stated, “I have no idea how to get 300 people in a room. However, I do know 10 ways to get 30 people to attend.”
I will never forget, I sat back in my chair and realized that this applies to everything originators do in marketing. If someone does not respond to phone calls, try e-mail. If that does not work, try direct mail. The bottom line is you must keep interrupting them.
If you interrupt enough people, you will get some to listen. When you truly work on making your presentation as impactful as possible by knowing what to say and how to say it, you too will become less of an interruption, and more of an asset to those who choose to listen.