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NRMLA elects new board of directors

Aug 14, 2007

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 I'm not. 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 mortgages. 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 vine. 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 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 better. 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
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