Rule Number One: They Already Have a Loan OfficerBlair Hansonloan officers, loan originators, training classes, prospecting, leads
Can you guess what the number one objection loan originators
hear when approaching an agent for the first time?
That's right ... I am already working with a loan officer.
Have you heard this one yet? I thought so. You can't even say
hello to most agents without activating this basic defense
mechanism. They'll spit it out so fast that many of them won't even
be aware they said it. And they fully expect it to work the same
way on you as it has on all the other weaklings before you. They
know that the very phrase will stop you in your tracks and send you
scurrying off to the next prospect.
Through training classes and personal experience, I have found
that this is the single most intimidating objection that an agent
can raise. It scares the newbies to their core, and even some of
the more gifted sales reps have trouble with this one. If you feel
you are being shut down by this statement, you need to find a way
to work around it, or forget about ever getting business from
anyone worth a pound of salt.
Keep in mind that an agent who doesn't have a loan officer is an
agent who isn't selling homes. Before you can understand the
workaround, you must first understand why an agent says it. There
are two possible reasons:
Possibility Number 1: It's true. They do have someone they work
with and are happy with their current level of service.
Possibility Number 2: They're lying, and they just don't want to
talk to you.
When this objection raises it's ugly head, the majority of
originators are taught to say one of the following:
1. I know, but [insert name here] works for a bank/broker, and
because I am a bank/broker, I have products/rates/service that they
cannot offer. Tell me, if this is the same thing that the last
person before you said, and the same thing the next loan officer
will say, what makes you think it will work any better for you?
From experience, I can tell you right nowyou are wasting your
2. Well ... why don't you let me take a crack at the next one
[insert name here] can't do? I would love the chance to show you
what I can accomplish! PLEASE! Don't ever say that.
First of all, let's give the existing loan officer a little
credit. If they're good enough that this agent will remain loyal,
they probably know a dead deal when they see one.
Secondly, you'll forever sleep in the bed you make for yourself
today. If you want to get the reputation as the office
"pooper-scooper," be my guest. You'll have a steady stream of
impossible deals filling your pipeline and wasting your valuable
time. Believe me, you'll end up doing plenty of tough deals with
agents over time. That's the nature of the business. But, wouldn't
you rather be the number one choice?
Third, and hardest to swallow: They won't appreciate it.
But, don't take my word for it. Ask any veteran loan officer
about this issue, and they'll likely have a horror story to scare
the curl out of your hair.
Of course, it does look good on paper. Take an impossible deal,
put your heart and soul into it, turn a credit criminal into a
homeowner, and create a commission check out of thin air for an
agent who's sure to reward you with gratitude and a pipeline full
of deals. The problem is ... it seldom works that way.
Tell me, how smoothly do those really tough deals
usually go? Remember the old saying: You never get a second chance
to make a first impression.
So there you are, proudly presenting the agent with a previously
non-existent commission check, and I promise that you won't even be
back in your car before they're complaining to anyone who'll listen
about how difficult it was to work with you.
There are exceptions to this rule, however, and some agents will
undoubtedly appreciate your efforts. But most of them will not
understand what really happened behind the scenes. From my
experience, every agent assumes that every deal will close,
regardless of the circumstancesas soon as the purchase contract is
signed, the borrowers credit score will magically increase to 799.
In any case, I promise you that they've already spent the
commission money in their mind.
Don't put yourself in a position where success can still mean
failure. And don't ever give anyone the impression that you are
willing to be the second choice.
There is a better way. You don't have to clean up
anyone's dirty laundry.
Forget about loyalty. Agents aren't loyal, and you shouldn't be. If
you screw up a deal or two, you, rightfully so, will be fired. If
you let your agent down, you've broken their trust and cost them
income. Don't concern yourself with being the exclusive rep. That
will come with time, after you've earned their trust.
Instead, be prepared to compete.If competition scares you, put
down this newspaper right now, because I cannot help you.
Competition is the basic tenet of capitalism, and every company in
the world has some competition somewhere. Those who succeed, learn
to beat the competition at their own game. This is what you must
learn to do, and when you do it, your business will grow.
The next time an agent reverts to their basic instincts, try
asking for the opportunity to compete. I've found that this works
But Blair, I already have someone I work with," says Suzy.
"Of course you do Suzy, that's why I'm here! I knew you were
selling homes, and any agent selling homes needs a loan officer
whom they can trust." Says Blair, with a smile. "I have an ideawhy
don't we let the customer decide? From now on, instead of handing
out just one card, why not hand out two?" Holds out a stack of
cards for her to take.
"That way, you'll give the customer the benefit of a choice, and
since the cream always rises to the top, eventually you'll realize
which one of us is having the greatest impact on your success. And
when that happens, your choice will be easy, won't it?"
Holds out those cards until she takes them! You see what we've
done? Instead of running and hiding, we've professionally asked for
the business in a way that puts us in a position to succeed. By
asking her: "And when that happens, your choice will be easy, won't
it?" we've used an old sales technique called "change the base." By
already agreeing that her choice will be easy, she's implied that
she'll hand out your cards! Simple and effective.
Now for the bad news. It won't work every time, and
unfortunately, it won't even work most of the time. But, it will
work better than what 99 percent of loan officers say all of the
time. And it's certainly better than turning tail and running.
Since there is no magic bullet and no way to guarantee that any
system will work every time, my goal here has been to provide you
with a tool that you can use to increase your batting average. But
you must step up to the plate! Call on your agents regularly and
professionally, and believe me, success will come.
Blair Hanson is northwest district wholesale manager at
Downey Savings. He may be reached by phone at (206) 571-5777,
e-mail at [email protected]