This sounds like an ominous post, doesn’t it? I’m hoping the title grabbed your attention, much like the HELL acronym in Shari Levitin’s new book, “Heart & Sell,” grabbed mine. The sales expert and author has outlined a few universal truths that apply to anyone who has something to sell and a customer willing to buy.
While the truths are great within themselves, I think the true power of Shari’s message lies in her HELL scenario, which stands for:
Lack of knowledge
Yup. That sounds like hell to me. Shari’s book points out the flawed habits and mentalities we often rely upon, which keep us in the middle of the pack and prevent us from achieving super stardom. In essence, it’s what she calls “Sales Hell.”
While there is never an ideal time to go through hell, this is a great time for mortgage bankers to ensure they’re not resting on their laurels when it’s more important than ever to stand out and be noticed. That’s why I’ve taken Shari’s theory and applied it to our industry. Take a minute to think about whether these are affecting your life, your relationships or your performance. If you feel you’re approaching hell, take the appropriate measures to change course!
Habits – We all fall victim to certain patterns, routines and predictable ways of doing things. This doesn’t have to be something bad. However, the nature of our ever-evolving industry means things are always changing. New laws are passed, interest rates fluctuate, and demand for homes will ebb and flow.
With all that in mind, it’s nearly impossible for someone to ride high if they’ve been relying on the same strategies for 20 years, regardless of the market cycle. Do a quick evaluation of your habits and procedures. Keep what works. Adjust the rest.
Ego – This can be a career killer, especially in a sales-heavy industry like ours. We all have our big sales, that deal that came through at the 11th hour or that client who wouldn’t initially take our phone call – until we wore them down. Those wins are big and they should be celebrated. However, they are normally short lived. A surefire way to prevent another big win is to go into that next meeting with an inflated sense of self.
No one likes an egomaniac and organizations like Finance of America weren’t built on the individual successes of those who don’t play well together. Rather, it’s the cohesive efforts of a large, productive group that ultimately bring about the big wins. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities, but always remember people rarely get to the top alone. Despite many technological advances, our industry is still a person-to-person business, and egos should be checked at the door.
Lack of Knowledge – This one is almost inexcusable in our industry. Mortgage banking and the housing market can be affected by many things, including global politics, unemployment and regional development trends. The beauty is that we have access to all this information at our fingertips.
Finance of America and I do our best to keep the lines of communication open, particularly when news relates directly to our industry. On top of that, it’s just good business to stay on top of the latest and greatest. You know your clients will have questions. Do your best to stay abreast of the issues, products and services affecting both of you. Arming yourself with this information will also provide you an added boost of confidence with your clients. No one likes that feeling of dread when they’ve entered a meeting unprepared, so do everyone a favor and come in ready to play ball.
Laziness – In a way, the first three tendencies can be easily summed up through this one. Assuming you can coast on autopilot, that you’re at the top of your game the way you are and that you don’t need to hone your skills are all signs of laziness. Sure, there are some periods where you theoretically can “back off” for a bit, let the clients come to you and reap the rewards. This is not one of those times. And there is actually no part of our market cycle where that should occur (note I said “theoretically”).
There are only so many homes to be owned, clients to be had and mortgage bankers to get the deals done. The good bankers will always rise to the top – and I guarantee you, they didn’t get there through laziness. These will also be the same bankers willing to re-evaluate their strategies, come in with a positive, humble attitude and soak up all the knowledge they can as they try to make their clients happy.
Excellence can always be achieved regardless of a market’s current conditions. Put yourself and your sales strategies through the HELL test to ensure you’re performing at your peak and delivering your best. You’ll thank yourself later.