The Mortgage MotivatorRalph LoVuolo Sr., CMCleads, increase business, get information, be persistent
How to sell--and to whom
OK, so maybe I am a little hard headed. No maybe about it. I am
very hard headed. Maybe everything I've been preaching for the last
half century is a little skewed. Maybe someone else knows stuff,
just maybe. I'm not ready to completely concede, but I am ready to
discuss some alternative methods of selling, behind closed doors,
not for public consumption or advice, just maybe. Then again, maybe
Well, if I am forced here into the light of the bright sun with
all of my warts exposed, maybe I will write; for your incisive
review, wry comment, speedy feedback and subsequent consideration
with possible publication; a new idea to consider how to sell and
to whom. For the past four centuries--well, maybe just decades--it
has been my mantra that a salesperson needs to do three things to
be successful. I stole the ideas from someone whom I have
conveniently forgotten, probably long dead and better off for it.
So there are three things a salesperson needs to do to be
successful, whether selling books, cars, pens, real estate or
1. Give away information.
Give away everything you've ever learned. Read everything you can
get your hands on and then give it all away. It doesn't matter
whether it is information on the bond market, cake baking, rotator
cuff injuries or adjustable rate loans--read everything!
Now, why do I preach this simple little task? Recently, I was
consulting in Maryland with a group of salespeople and managers on
ways to help increase business. I will discuss later what was
foremost in their minds, but when we started to discuss ways to
market, sell and assert oneself, be proactive, act positive and so
many other necessary attributes of loan officers and managers, what
was most lacking was any follow-up to my being with them. Not being
able to properly follow up an instruction or suggestion means any
idea will probably just wither and die on the tree, bush or
In this case, I had spent time with these people in one session
before. I had told them the three important things a salesperson
needs to do--giving away information being the first thing. But it
didn't sink in; it didn't make an impression. So here I was on my
second session, and I made a new request/demand. Go to the library
and get a library card. Go to Borders or Barnes and Noble and get a
discount card. Go to any bookstore anywhere and sign up to receive
their discounted online specials. Go sign up at Amazon.com and
eBay. Go buy books. Read them in bunches. Read them as if they were
candy that needs to be sucked down your throat. Read everything.
Find an area of interest and absorb it through your eyes. Why would
I tell you to do this? Because people who buy things like talking
to someone who knows what they're talking about.
2. Ask for business.
Number two on the list of things that successful salespeople need
to do is ask for business. Be subtle or assertive. Use every
legitimate trick to learn--by reading--every method of closing a
sale. Use the assumptive method or the recommendation method. Use
any method you might have learned--by reading--to close a sale. But
you must approach, probe, present and close every person that you
want to sell to. Learn buying signals; ways to tell if someone is
interested or not in what you have to say. Learn how to handle
objections. Learn how to isolate an objection before you respond.
Learn, read, absorb and regurgitate it all.
3. Be persistent.
Number three causes a serious rub. I, together with a horde of
trainers, personal coaches and organizational gurus, have always
said that what separates the poor salesperson from the good one is
the ability to be able to outlast every other salesperson. My third
method of sales is persistence. It's being proactive by being the
last one standing, learning to love "No," being able to get past
the naysayers at the door and utilize persistent doggedness,
indefatigable mind-blowing diligence to follow-up and determination
to succeed. Persistence when all others fall away from the sales
cycle. When all the rest hear "no," you get on with it and get
moving to succeed. You never hear "no!"
Well, I've had my comeuppance. I've been asked to reconsider, at
least in part, what this third part of my sales method preaches. My
third method is the hammer. This is the way to beat out every other
salesperson when all else fails. For a very long time, my sermons
have been geared toward outlasting the rest of the salespeople.
I've often said that it doesn't matter whether or not you do number
one and/or number two, but without number three, you will lose. I'm
now ready to explore another possible sales method that might be
just as effective and for some types of personalities, maybe even
First of all, I need you to rate yourself. Get a pen and write
here next to this column how you rate yourself as a loan
officer/account executive. On a scale from one to 10, with 10 being
the highest, what would you give yourself as a rating? What do you
think your effectiveness is? Now, one more thing: Write down one
thing you need to do in the next 30 days to get closer to a 10. And
then write down something you need to do in the next 60 days. I'll
stop there, but I think you get the idea. Now what you need to do
is find someone who will help you do what you need to do in the
next 30 and 60 days, because, as most of you will agree, you
haven't been able to do it on you're own. Call someone who will
push, mentor and teach you.
Now, let's look at another method of sales. Let's agree that
maybe my methods are just crap. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking
about. This concept is so far-fetched even I am having a problem.
But let's attempt to explore it anyway, just for giggles. Maybe the
way to make a connection to a referral source is to be able to
figure out if they "get it." See if they understand that what you
are doing is not just taking mortgage applications, servicing
clients, making points and charging fees, trying to interact with
applicants and trying to get your underwriters to bend the rules
and look the other way at times. If you're my kind of loan officer,
you get the facts laid out by people immensely smarter that me, who
say that the great produce more than the not-so-great. And the
great salespeople in all fields "get it." They understand that
great service, excellently delivered, with follow-up, caring,
interested partnership type of salesmanship is the best way to
start, develop and retain relationships.
How can you figure out who "gets it" and who doesn't? First, you
need to "get it." You need to know what it takes to start, develop
and help grow a relationship. You need to understand what it takes
and how much introspection is involved. How much understanding of
self is necessary? How much struggle is involved in order to get to
the top rung of the success ladder? What have you read recently
that allows you to know what you need to know about yourself? What
will lead you to a conclusion that you could spend an afternoon
with a referral source and never use the words "points," "rates,"
"programs," "competition" or "service"? What is it that they "get?"
They get that relationships are long term, relationships are
partnerships, relationships require give and take, relationships
are built on trust, relationships are good for both parties and
relationships are not perfect.
Make a list of the brokers you want to call on. Go visit them.
Make up a list of questions that would tell you if they are
interested in partnerships. Send me an e-mail and I'll give you my
list. Then follow up with them and help them develop a working,
mutually beneficial relationship.
Ralph LoVuolo Sr., CMC is president of Mortgage Motivator, a
mortgage industry training and coaching firm. He is a founder and
past president of the New York
Association of Mortgage Brokers, a teacher accredited by the
New York and New Jersey Real Estate Commission, a former associate
professor at Atlantic College and New York University and a
published author. He can be reached at (609) 652-6901, e-mail [email protected]
or you can visit his blog at www.mortgagemotivator.blogspot.com.