As we move further into the second quarter of the year, it is a good time to reflect on changes needed to kick-start sales performance. Certainly, rising interest rates, changing regulations and new technology can seem overwhelming at times. While these external factors can pre-occupy originators and their managers, the truth is that change needs to start with an originator’s selling behaviors. Recently, Bill Belichick, New England Patriots coach and five-time Super Bowl-winner, discussed what has helped his team stay at the top of their game for so long. Since we are moving into the busy part of the purchase money season, I thought his words of wisdom were worth sharing.
As I have mentioned in previous blogs, the sales and sports worlds are very similar in many ways. Both require a team effort where individuals must work together to win. Getting the right balance between group and individual performance is complicated but necessary for the organization’s success. What is the magic formula to enable a team to accomplish the impossible?
According to Belichick, there are four points that are critical to sustain long-term success:
- Do your job.
- Be attentive.
- Pay attention to details.
- Put the team first.
While these strategies may seem simplistic, they are notoriously difficult for mortgage managers to execute. Here’s how I believe managers can successfully integrate these points to improve sales performance:
- Do your job. Originators in mortgage banking are tasked with generating new business. In the past, many originators achieved personal success by refinancing loans for previous customers vs. developing new business. However, as the mortgage market shifts from a refinance environment, producers need to refocus their efforts on originating new business. It is the originator’s responsibility to self-source their own leads, not the organization’s.
- Be attentive. Taking one day at a time is a concept understood but rarely accomplished in business because salespeople are fixated on the past or the future, not the present. Good originators recognize that today is the only reality that they can impact and they look at the present as key to their success. Top producers think, “If I make today great, my success will follow.” Being attentive to today’s market changes also means learning new things. Good originators view today as where the action is and where they should direct their energy.
- Pay attention to details. Knowing your loan products should be a given. Not knowing them is unacceptable and unprofessional. Asking your customer how they want to be communicated with and doing it their way is the type of detail that separates the superior originators from average producers. Putting a loan file together properly the first time so the loan can be closed without problems is a promise that good originators make to every customer, both external and internal.
- Put the team first. This is probably the toughest lesson for originators in mortgage banking because the system is geared to individual effort and reward. As a result, the team aspect gets loss in the shuffle. Just look at the wars between operations and sales at many companies. No side is correct in this battle and the customer ultimately suffers. Putting the team before the individual is difficult with so many egos involved but the best teams are able to accomplish it.
Is your sales team ready to win today?