Professional training is a topic close to my heart. Being a former NCAA athlete, as well as a nationally-recognized loan originator, I have always had a deep appreciation for and have personally benefited from, both group and personal professional training. Being both a production manager and a professional trainer myself, I am also keenly aware that “A prophet is rarely heard in his own village”.
I can stand in front of 200 loan originators in a hotel ballroom and move most of them to commit to implement one or more of the tactics, strategies or business building systems, to which I train. But, I’ll be darned if I can get my own eight loan originators here in Albuquerque, N.M. to embrace my teachings. This is especially perplexing because they are in my market and have either watched or are keenly aware of how I became the first billion dollar loan originator in the entire mortgage industry.
What is it about a professional trainer that will cause your team to pay more attention than they will to you, and more than likely determine that the training material is beneficial and worthy of consideration? The trainer may well have included several tactics you have suggested many times. However, when a professional trainer presents them, they are embraced. It’s crazy, but true. I have regularly maintained that once I crossed the New Mexico state line, I immediately became an expert and significantly more credible.
To better understand this phenomenon, you need to look no further than Dr. Robert Cialdini’s writings on the “Principles of Persuasion” and focus on the principle of authority. When one is presented as an authority and possesses the trappings of authority, one is perceived as an authority. When one is perceived as an authority the psychological principle of “satisficing” (to satisfy and suffice) is embraced by the recipients, causing them to want to believe that what they are hearing will actually help them. Many will still question and even eliminate certain isolated aspects of the training, but most will be accepted as beneficial.
What can you do to insure that the message your team receives is consistent with what you want them to be taught? Insist on a content review with your prospective professional trainer. Review your objectives, the proposed material and insist on curriculum modifications where necessary. A good trainer has been in the origination trenches and should be able to readily adapt to your wishes. Include time in the training for a commitment session, at which time every attendee vocalizes which of the tactics presented they like and are willing to implement. Get their commitment in writing, as well.
Budget for a follow up training, where the trainer returns to interactively focus on your team’s individual implementation of successes and failures. The trainer should be able to share their personal implementation experience with each tactic, identify with the challenges and offer counter measures and “in-flight corrections.”
If your team knows beforehand that this is not just a “one and done” training. If they know that the trainer will be back and personally follow up with them, they will be much more inclined to “buy in” and embrace one or more of the tactics presented.
If you can get 50 percent of your team to embrace and implement just one successful business building tactic, and if that one tactic results in that 50 percent of your team funding two more loans per month, what is the return on your training investment?
Zig Ziglar maintained that, “You can get everything you want in life if you will just help as many people, as you can, get what they want.”
Help your team learn new business building strategies by providing professional training; help them commit to implementation; help them recover if/when they stumble with training follow up and watch them help you get what you want.
Greg Frost Sr. is vice president of national training for Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. (PRMI). He was the industry’s first billion-dollar originator and has been the number one residential mortgage lender in New Mexico since 1985. He may be reached by phone at (505) 292-7200 or e-mail [email protected]