I know there is a robust refinance market going on and the Fed just moved to zero. So, why do I want to discuss how to increase sales results when originators have more business than they know what to do with?
The reality is that at some point, the unprecedented decline in interest rates will stabilize and the industry will shift back to a purchase money environment. This may seem hard to believe as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic and our daily lives have turned into some version of the movie “Contagion.” However, if we have learned anything from past crises, it is that eventually the status quo will return. It is only a question of when.
When things do settle down, originators should review their selling activities and divide them into two groups: sales activities that are unlikely to generate business and those that have a high probability of resulting in solid leads. Segmenting daily selling activities and determining which ones matter the most in terms of lead generation can be an eye-opening exercise for originators. Often, producers find that their days are filled with administrative work that are low probability tasks.
What are low probability activities? Glad you asked. Here are some examples:
- Using email marketing as your primary prospecting tool.
- Spending too much time working the loan pipeline instead of marketing to referral sources.
- Using the same selling techniques and not changing to match with today’s more informed customers.
- Giving priority to dead loan transactions that have a slim chance of closing.
Now, let’s look at high probability activities. These include:
- Researching who your Ideal Customers (ICs) are and putting a written plan in place to market to them.
- Setting aside time to learn new sales techniques and investing in improving your selling skills.
- Marketing consistently and frequently to your ICs.
- Using social selling activities to stay relevant in your marketplace.
- Knowing the conversion rates for each step of your sales sequence.
- Speaking by phone and meeting in person each week with top referral sources and target audience groups.
The bottom-line is that high probability activities are really about originators being proactive in generating loan demand.
High Probability of Success
The main difference between top producers and the rest of the pack is that the best sales professionals spend most of their day on activities that are highly likely to result in new business within the next 60 to 90 days. Other producers are busy spending their time on activities that will happen much further out. In mortgage lending, six months can seem like an eternity for a lender and any originator. Margins can be erased and product guidelines can change quickly. Originators who wait to conduct prospecting activities will be left behind when the marketplace inevitably shifts.
It is clear that being proactive is at the heart of sales success for top producers. While every individual has the opportunity to succeed, only a small percentage of originators incorporate proactive strategies into their sales models.
Why don’t more producers select high probability activities? In many cases, sales professionals are comfortable with the sales techniques they’ve been using and are reluctant or fearful of making changes. In my opinion, there is no better time than right now for originators to invest in themselves and level up their selling skills.