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The Conundrum Of Coaching Loan Officers

Steps to understand why new loan officers are not producing

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Dave Hershman
The Conundrum Of Coaching Loan Officers

The issue of coaching loan officers is a major conundrum in this industry. Most managers spend most of their time producing and this leaves little time for coaching. Add the fact that often “street” loan officers are working at least part of the time remotely, the ability to affect the behavior of sales personnel is limited. In the next few articles, we will cover several issues we face, as well as possible solutions which may help you develop a more effective coaching plan.

How do we know why they are not producing?

The training of sales personnel provides additional challenges because it is difficult to measure the skills necessary to provide results. When we hire and/or train an originator and he/she goes out on the street: how do we know why they are not producing?

  • Are they making calls but not asking for the business?
  • Are they calling on the wrong targets?
  • Are they saying the wrong things and turning people off?
  • Are they too aggressive?
  • Are they hiding out in a bar all day?

How do we know what they are saying?

We can train and monitor all we want, but we are not going to know what an originator is saying out on the street in order to help or hurt the cause. Coaching calls will not necessarily tell us what is wrong because we will not see true behavior while we are present.

Coaching Calls — On the Street or On the Phone

Just because coaching calls will not be 100% effective, does not mean that they are not important. Basically, there are three types of coaching calls:

• Training Calls. We bring a rookie out on the street with us or have them listen to us handling inquiry calls. They are to observe our behavior. This is a training exercise, and the goal is learning. In technical terms — this is called the process of benchmarking.

• Monitoring Calls. We are observing a salesperson’s behavior. It is up to us to let the other person do the talking — even if we are approached by a person, attempt to defer. Our goal is to observe true behavior (not exactly as effective as having a hidden video or audio tape). Many telemarketing firms do monitor calls blindly for training purposes.

• Joint Calls. Whether a conference call or a joint sales visit, many of our sales personnel will rely upon us to help them seal important deals. Perhaps you have a previous relationship with a particular client or office. Perhaps you have a great sales meeting presentation that you can deliver on behalf of your employee.

Identifying Reluctances

Every salesperson has some type of reluctance. This reluctance could be defined as a type of call reluctance, marketing reluctance or even communication reluctance such as the fear of public speaking. These reluctances can be crippling to the average salesperson and an important part of the manager’s job is to not only identify this reluctance, but format solutions to help the salesperson overcome this handicap.

For example, it is important for a salesperson to stay in contact with previous customers. And the most effective contact in this regard is over the phone rather than sending notes. But if the salesperson has a reluctance to make telephone calls for marketing and/or customer service purposes, this is an issue. The question is — how do you overcome this? Before finding an alternative means of communication, there are many tools you can use:

• By making sure they schedule activities which they are likely to overlook if they are not specifically on their calendar.

• By helping the loan officer eliminate obstacles that are being used as excuses for keeping us from doing what they need to do. For example — showing them that their pipeline does not need a babysitter.

• By pairing up with “buddies” or “coaches” who will give them daily encouragement to take certain actions.

• By making it fun. Contests, challenges and games may be seen as “infantile” by some, but they are really major sales tools. In reality, if they do not like what we are doing, they are less likely to accomplish the task.

• By helping them be honest with themselves. If they are going to overcome an obstacle they must admit that their call reluctance (and perhaps attitude) is the problem, not all the other things we have been blaming — such as paperwork and the competition.

Next month we will continue to introduce tools that will help you develop more effective coaching techniques.

This article was originally published in the NMP Magazine June 2022 issue.
Dave Hershman headshot
Dave Hershman

Dave Hershman is an author for the mortgage industry with eight books and several hundred articles to his credit. He is also senior vice president of sales for Weichert Financial Services, head of OriginationPro Mortgage School and a top industry speaker.

Published on
Jun 16, 2022
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