If you have been in sales for any period of time, you have heard the expression “Sales is a Numbers Game.” This is said so often, that most salespeople have become numb to this expression. We all have people in our lives that repeat themselves. It’s easy to give an auto-response by saying something like “I know” or “I understand,” even though there is no real comprehension of what was said to you. You hear the words, but you do not heed the meaning.
I remember when I was growing up, every single night, my mother would yell down from upstairs to make sure that we checked that the toaster was unplugged. My mother’s concern stemmed from once hearing that a toaster caused a house fire. For this reason, my mom would always want confirmation that we had verified that ours was not plugged in.
However, it got to the point that we just gave an auto-response that either we checked it, or were going to check it. And I’m sure as you read this, you are imagining how many times we went to bed without ever verifying that it was, in fact, unplugged. My mom had her ritual of calling down to remind us, and we had our routine of responding that we would take care of it. The reality was that from the perspective of my brothers and myself, we just responded automatically without any real comprehension of what we were being asked to do. It did not matter that we had checked it 1,000 times before, as we grew older, we just became numb to the constant reminder from my mom.
In selling, we have managers, company owners, sales trainers, and success coaches that repeat how numbers play such an important role in the success of great salespeople.
However, until an average or under-performing Loan Officer decides to ask themselves the question, what numbers are they talking about, the behavior of the Loan Officer will not change. They will not make more sales calls, and they will do little to no additional marketing.
The reason is simple. If you don’t know what critical numbers you need to measure, you have no basis for measuring your sales performance improvement.
You will hear people say that your performance is your paycheck. Your paycheck reflects the end result of your actions and performance, but it gives you zero feedback on what you specifically need to change to improve your paycheck. What I mean by this, is if you:
- Do not know how many sales calls you make per day.
- Do not know what your lead to loan conversion ratio is.
- Do not know what your pull-through from loan application to closing is.
- You have no idea where you may be lacking.
Many Loan Officers know that they need to make more sales calls. However, if they don’t understand what mistakes are causing them to be unsuccessful, they will associate making additional sales calls as painful.
Of course, if you don’t make enough critical mass in marketing and prospecting calls, you will not succeed. There is no denying that fact. But if you are making sales calls, and you really dive into what your numbers are as far as calls, appointments, and conversion, etc. Then you will get feedback on the areas you are lacking.
For example, do you meet many real estate agents, but the relationships never seem to go anywhere? What you are identifying with your numbers here is that getting appointments is not where your issue is. Your challenge is converting the meeting into a business relationship.
When you understand where you are missing the mark through the measurement of your numbers, you can then implement the exact strategies necessary to increase your effectiveness.
One of the most common challenges I hear from the clients I coach is that they have meetings with agents, but most of them never go anywhere. It amazes me to this day when I ask new clients how many appointments they have had. How many relationships they have established. How many appointments they think went well, but nothing came of it.
As I dig deeper into what exactly they are doing; I can figure out what is missing from their presentation that needs to be modified. Without question, they experience growth in their relationships from what we discuss. However, if from the beginning, they never understood what their current numbers are, then we have no real basis for measuring intermittent growth. The only thing we can do is wait for the final scorecard: closed loans.
The challenge is after implementing new strategies; it can be weeks or even months before they see actual benefits. For most people, that is too long to wait to see progress. If you had to guess, what do you think happens to a Loan Officer’s motivation when they are unable to get rapid feedback on their progression? You know the answer as well as I do. They stopped doing it because they’re not receiving instant gratification or recognition of progress.
You must measure your numbers in all business generating activities. This process will give you the benchmarks to immediately recognize what you must improve and how quickly you are developing. Getting consistent reinforcement of growth and improvement creates more motivation to improve and grow. It feeds on itself.