Every salesperson knows the metaphor of low-hanging fruit. In sales origination, it means the easiest or simplest way to generate volume. These are the most obvious opportunities because they are readily achievable and do not require a lot of effort. In mortgage banking, refinances have provided low-hanging fruit for a long time. The problem is that this strategy will not create long-term success in the new mortgage lending environment.
In my consulting practice, managers often ask “What is the number one problem in mortgage sales organizations today?” That is easy to answer — a lack of prospecting by the sales force —whether it is retail, wholesale or correspondent. Companies hire originators to generate new business, but the reality is the vast majority of originators don’t prospect when you review their selling efforts.
Time and time again, I see originators who are busy but not doing any prospecting. Is it any wonder that when things get tough these originators end up in big trouble? No wonder they go from guarantee to guarantee—it is the only way for them to survive!
At its core, prospecting is talking to people every day. Yes, it is that simple. Contacts can include past clients, center of influence, referrals and even new people. In my experience, most originators spend much of the day working their pipeline, attending conference calls and handling other tasks vs. creating new business.
What are top producers doing differently? They commit to consistently prospecting. It isn’t because they love being rejected or that they have time to spare. For them, prospecting is an activity that they understand must be done if they are to continue to be successful and maintain their income. If originators prospect every day, there is no question that they will do more business than their competition and become top performers.
How many of your originators are prospecting each day? If you are not sure, now is the time to find out. Start measuring!