Do you have sales professionals or professional visitors?

In my recent discussions with managers, it seems nearly every sales organization is grappling with the issue that future success in mortgage origination requires taking market share from your competitors. To accomplish this, I find that managers are either trying to hire like crazy (typically at the branch level) or trying to train their salespeople to call on real estate firms.

Adding more sales professionals doesn’t make sense unless a company has a structured hiring process in place that objectively evaluates the sales candidate’s internal traits. The personality traits needed for origination success are formed early in life and are not likely to be developed in response to a difficult business market.

For example, the issue of getting originators to prospect is a hot topic in the industry. Prospecting requires that individuals possess a specific set of relationship skills and self-starter/drive personality traits. Training an originator on what they should do when prospecting for more business will not work if the employee does not have the innate behaviors to do so. This is why the best strategy for a manager or company is to determine whether the candidate has the right personality traits before investing training dollars.

If the employee has great relationship skills and does not have the traits that are part of being a self-starter, it is not likely that the originator will be more than a professional visitor in the marketplace. A professional visitor is someone who is liked but can’t generate business for the company. A professional sales person handles a sales call differently than a professional visitor in three ways:

1.They use relationship skills to teach prospects different solutions to the individual’s problem.

2.They tailor the recommended solution to the prospect’s problem.

3. They take control of the sales call and bring the sales call to a conclusion.

Professional visitors perform the relationship component of the call well ut they never move the sales call forward in the sales process. A sales call is always struck in first gear. Why? Professional visitors never want to upset the prospect because they are afraid of hearing “No.” Sales professionals want to get an answer so they can move on and not waste their time with someone who will not be a customer.

Do you have professional visitors or professional salespeople? What are you doing to bring more sales professionals to your sales team?