Are Your Originators Winging It?



In my consulting practice, I find that “winging it” is a common approach for many sales organizations.  Why are so many companies willing to leave their sales results to chance?

One of the primary culprits is when lenders do not have a clearly defined structure that originators are required to follow. A structure would include expectations regarding required activities, a formalized sales process from prospecting to closing and daily measurement of sales activities achieved.

Don’t believe me? Try the following experiment from Michael’s Bosworth’s excellent book, Customer Centric Selling:

Write down the steps your originators follow in selling to a prospective referral source. Now look at this document. Based on your own experience, how helpful would this document be to your son or daughter just starting out in a mortgage sales career? Would this document give them specific direction about how to win in mortgage origination?

The answer for most managers is a resounding “No!”

I think this exercise underscores the fact that lenders have let the individual sales person “wing it” and deliver his or her own version of a company’s message to the consumer and/or broker. Would Apple, Google or Disney let an employee operate in this way when interacting with the public? I don’t think so.

Is it any wonder that there are legal issues in the industry and more importantly, that customers lack trust in the mortgage origination process?

There are a lot of reasons management teams are hesitate to put a selling structure in place. A few I hear in the field: “Recruiting is difficult and so competitive—it would scare people away,” or “My income depends on the quantity hired so I don’t want to discuss this issue before hand” or “Producers will leave if I require a sales process.”

While many of these reasons represent valid concerns —recruiting is difficult and competitive (a good reason to hire and train rookies) and many managers are compensated for meeting quantifiable hiring goals not qualitative — the last one does not make sense. Having standards and a sales process in how the customer will be sold to is an essential requirement for delivering an extraordinary customer experience to all prospects. Just look at the companies with excellent customer ratings:  Their managers embrace having a process. I especially like Disney’s motto for the employees that they will go beyond what is expected. Could this be the reason so many customers return year after year to their theme parks? I think so.

Do you have an established sales process in place to ensure you are delivering an excellent customer experience with every contact?