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nmpU Campus Talk: The Numbers Game

Ron Vaimberg
Jan 29, 2018
If you have been in sales for any period of time, you have heard the expression “Sales Is a Numbers Game"

If you have been in sales for any period of time, you have heard the expression “Sales Is a Numbers Game.” This is said so often to salespeople that most have become numb to this expression. This is similar as to when you were a child, and for some of us even as adults, we have people in our lives that repeat themselves and we just give an auto response by saying something like “I know” or “I understand,” even though there is really no real comprehension of what was said to you. You heard the words, but you did not heed the meaning.
I remember when I was growing up, every single night, my mother would yell down from upstairs to make sure that we checked that the toaster was unplugged. Without fail, this was a nightly ritual from upstairs to downstairs. This all stems from when my mom once heard that a toaster caused a house fire. For this reason, my mom would always want confirmation that we had verified ours was not plugged in.
However, it got to the point that whether it was myself or my brothers, it was an auto response that either we checked it, or were going to check it. And I’m sure as you read this, you are imagining how many times we went to bed without ever verifying that it was in fact unplugged. My mom had her ritual of calling down to remind us, and we had our ritual of responding that we would take care of it. The reality was that from the perspective of my brothers and myself, we just responded automatically without any real comprehension of what we were being asked to do. It did not matter that we had checked it 1,000 times before, as we grew older, we just became numb to the constant reminder from my mom.
In selling, we have managers, company owners, sales trainers and success coaches that all will repeat how numbers play such an important role in the success of great salespeople. However, until an average or underperforming Loan Officer really decides to ask themselves the question, what numbers are they really talking about, the behavior of the Loan Officer will not change.
They will not make more sales calls, they will not make more phone calls, they will do little to no additional marketing. The reason is simple … if you don’t know what the critical numbers you need to measure are, then you have no basis to measure your sales performance improvement.
You will hear people say that your performance is your paycheck. As true as that is, your paycheck reflects the end result of your actions and performance, but it gives you zero feedback on what you specifically need to change to improve your paycheck. What I mean by this, is if you:
►Do not know how many sales calls you make per day.
►Do not know what your lead to loan conversion ratio is.
►Do not know what your pull-through from loan application to closing is.
You have no idea where you may be lacking.
Many Loan Officers know, in the back of their head, that they need to make more sales calls. However, if they don’t fully understand what it is in the sales calls their already making that is causing them not to succeed at the level that they need to, then they will associate making additional sales calls as to enduring more pain in growing their business.
Of course if you don’t make enough critical mass in marketing and prospecting calls, you will not succeed. There is no denying that fact. But if you are making sales calls, and you really dive into what your numbers are as far as calls, appointments, conversion, etc. Then, you are getting feedback on what area(s) you may be lacking in.
For example, if you recognize that you meet many real estate agents, but the relationships never seems to go anywhere, then what you are identifying with your numbers is that getting appointments is not where your issue is. Your challenge is converting the meeting into a business relationship.
With an understanding of exactly where you are missing the mark on success through the measurement of your numbers, you can then search for the exact strategies necessary to increase your effectiveness in the meeting that leads to moving a relationship forward.
One of the most common challenges I hear from the clients I coach is that they have meetings with agents, but most of them never go anywhere. It amazes me to this day when I ask new clients how many appointments have they been on? How many relationships have been established? How many appointments they think went well but nothing came of it? And so on …
As I dig deeper into what it is exactly they are doing, I can figure out what it is that is missing from their presentation that needs to be added or modified. Without question, they will experience growth in their relationships from what we discuss. However, if from the beginning they never understood what their current numbers are, then we have no real basis to measure intermittent growth. The only thing we can do is wait for the final scorecard of closed loans.
The challenge with this is that the time from implementation of the new strategies, to seeing the actual benefits, can be weeks or even months. For most people, that is too long a period of time to be on sure of how they are actually doing. If you had to guess, what do you think happens to a Loan Officer’s motivation when they are unable to get rapid feedback on their progression? You know the answer as well as I. They stopped doing it because they’re not receiving instant gratification or recognition of progress.
Knowing and measuring your numbers in all you do relating to lead generation, lead sources, lead conversion, pipeline pull-through, and anything else which involves your interaction as a Loan Officer in generating business gives you benchmarks to immediately recognize what you must improve, and how quickly you are improving. Getting consistent reinforcement of growth and improvement creates more motivation to improve and grow. It feeds on itself.
Ron Vaimberg is Executive Director and Head Coach for nmpU, a division of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Ron is a leading Trainer and Coach to wholesale and retail mortgage professionals and the Creator of Ron can be reached by phone at (888) 979-6678 (nmpu), ext. 801 or by e-mail at

This article originally appeared in the January 2018 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. 

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