Building a professional presenceNancy V. Bolt, CMC, CRMSIncreasing business
You have become an adult and tried on jobs to determine what you
really like to do. You probably joined the ranks of mortgage
professionals because it appealed to you in various ways: the money
is good once you build a pipeline, and you get to help people with
an important financial decision that can affect the rest of their
lives. If you don't experience the physical high that gives you,
you haven't done your job to the best of your ability.
But now that you have entered this field, building a
professional presence is key to your overall success. You must
constantly invest in yourself if your goal is to strengthen your
business and personal life. Here are some suggestions that can be
positive factors in reaching those goals.
Knowledge and skill development
Your knowledge and experience will grow your communication skills,
which, in turn, will aid in your business presentations. If you
don't continually increase knowledge in your business and personal
development, you risk becoming stagnant and falling behind others
in the industry. This could effectively place a ceiling between you
and your ultimate success. How do you improve? Take continuing
education classes from live instructors, who can immediately answer
any questions you may have, especially in new fields or topics.
On a personal level, you could read a book on selling by Jeffrey
Gitomer, Todd Duncan or others who have fine-tuned the art of
selling or negotiation. You could learn to be more productive by
reading "Getting Things Done" by David Allen or taking
time-management courses by astute instructors like Sid Weigner,
CMC, CRMS. Hone your presentation skills by joining organizations
such as Toastmasters International, or at least practicing in front
of the mirror or video camera.
Make a professional impression
"You only get one chance to make a first impression." How many
times have you heard this advice? But it remains true. Take a walk
outside, if possible, to clear your mind. Then, enter your office
as if it were the first time. What you see is what greets your
clients. Your office, your personal appearance and your
communications all convey a message to those who enter your domain.
Your car, personal appearance and communication skills are foremost
in your entrance in someone else's domain. Make sure your office
and car are neat, clean and inviting. Add a few personal touches,
especially something that could be associated with you, such as a
signature color. Plants, even good artificial ones, look refreshing
and calming. Also add a comforting scent. Cinnamon, vanilla and
baby powder are very powerful and can often be more pleasing than
strong cologne or perfume.
Dress to impress with your professionalism and practice good
grooming habits. That doesn't necessarily mean you should look like
the local banker, but you should feel good enough about what you
wear that if your most important client asked you to join him for
lunch at a prominent restaurant, you would not have to run home and
change. A good way to accomplish this is to keep nice jackets in
several colors in the office closet.
Be punctual and organized. Have forms, a pen, extra paper and
calculators (or a laptop computer) readily available. Constantly
improve your written and verbal communication skills so that your
letters, e-mails, advertising pieces and verbal presentations are
precise, impressive and effective.
Health and physical fitness
The foundation of your well-being is your health. Without it,
growing personally and in your business might become a struggle,
and you will undoubtedly not do as well. Mortgage professionals do
a lot of interviewing, problem solving, presenting and consulting.
These mental tasks come easier with a regular exercise program and
good brain food. Joining a gym or investing in exercise equipment
will pay off in many ways. If nothing else, start jogging or
Take time for planned meals so that you eat regularly and as
nutritiously as possible. Even fast food restaurants are now
offering healthier choices. Good company can help you relax and
make the most of each meal. Also, take time for family activities
that bolster self-esteem and mental well-being. That's right - have
a personal life that makes you a better person.
Wake up early enough to have a few moments of quiet time every
morning. This gives you a calm, peaceful perspective with which to
face the day. Every evening, spend a few minutes reviewing what you
need to do the next day, resolve to set it aside for the night and
make sure to get enough sleep, so you can wake up refreshed and
tackle that to-do list you reviewed the night before.
Most of all, remember that happiness and success are a manner of
traveling, not a station you arrive at somewhere down the road of
Nancy V. Bolt, CMC, CRMS is president of Sun Mortgage of
Southwest FL Inc., a licensed real estate broker and certified
Florida Association of Mortgage
Brokers and National Association
of Mortgage Brokers instructor. She may be reached at (239)
437-2600 or e-mail [email protected]