Dear Loan Officer: What Is Your Time Worth?

Dear Loan Officer,

Some of you may know, that I’m a certified performance coach – that I coach some of the top mortgage professionals around the country – via Todd Duncan’s High Trust coaching group.

Todd is also a New York Time’s best-selling author of “High Trust Selling”, where he outlines 14 laws that are really foundational on how to serve a High Trust selling experience – “laws” that my branch utilizes everyday to serve our clients, and laws that help people around the world to fine-tune their client service methods.

I want to share with you today Todd’s Law #6: The Law of the Hourglass, which contends that you must make your moves before your time runs out.

We are all handed the same 24-hours in a day; the most successful professionals across the country are more productive with the time they put in at work than the rest of the gen pop. But this is NOT an elitist group. We all house the capability to deploy tangible ways to increase our productivity in the day. One of the best ways to look at how you spend your day, would be to calculate your rate per hour. What is your time worth? Below, I dive into how to calculate your hourly rate, and how to operate your business by this principle to create less stress and more efficiency.

 

I wish you all the best!

 

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Dear Loan Officer: How to Sell the Problem First

“When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can oftentimes arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions.” – Steve Jobs

A succinct, but powerful sales training lesson is this – Sell the problem first. Sometimes, we fall into the trap of selling solutions, or selling ourselves first when we’re pitching to a client. If you’re talking to a client that doesn’t believe that they have a problem or that there is a problem, any solution that you bring to the table could easily fall on deaf ears. This really applies to selling anything; a product, service or idea.

Since we’re in the mortgage business, both you and I understand that a client’s problems are much bigger than if they qualify for a loan; the reality is, 60 percent of Americans couldn’t come up with $400 for an unexpected expense, without selling something off or borrowing money. Juggling retirement, college, emergency funds and savings, can weigh on any process or budget. Essentially, the problems that we are all facing as a society.

In the below video, I breakdown how to consider and sell the problem first, what your client’s biggest blind spots are, and what the two biggest thinking errors are that a client may employ (Compartmentalizing, the commodity trap) as you continue your pitching process.


I wish you all the best!

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Dear Loan Officer: How to Budget on a Variable Income (And Not Lose Your Mind!)

Dear Loan Officer,

We all have a lot of competing financial responsibilities. As a loan officer, how can you accurately budget when you don’t know to a T how much you will make in a given month? In my below breakdown, I share a simple “3 Bucket” budgeting concept for understanding how to allocate your funds throughout the month.

Sometimes, it can feel like too many responsibilities because of the income variation – especially if your income varies on a commission-based salary, or reliance on arbitrary bonuses – but have no fear, a simple system in place can ensure that you are able to pay the bills today, tomorrow, the next day, and the next….

 

I wish you all the best!

 

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Dear Loan Officer: What do the Top 1% of Sales People Do Differently?

Dear Loan Officer,

There are some misconceptions out there about how to sell most efficiently. Some, dive in head-first with one goal in mind: to close the deal. Still, there are strategies that the Top 1% of salespeople do differently than the other 99%. In my below video, I recap a great article I read outlining the Top 5 strategies. As you watch, marinate on how you’re faring, and reconcile how it relates to the pandemic and connecting virtually with your clients. And identify; are you going through this, or are you GROWING through this?


I wish you all the best!

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Dear Loan Officer: Are You Discussing the 3 Main Areas of Emotion in Finance?

If you are on my e-mail distribution, last week you heard me talk about the importance of selling the problem first. As you continue the sales process, it’s important to remember that your client’s decisions are largely emotional, and not logical.

Logic = Conclusions. Emotions = Decisions.

A lot of us have the curse of knowledge, and can talk all day long about the industry, mortgages and finance, to lead potential clients to conclusions. But it doesn’t mean they will make a decision, and that’s why connecting emotionally with them is a critical step in the process. Buying a home is a hugely emotional experience for a lot of our clients, and to increase sales and help more families (and really become that essential partner in your client’s lives), you have to engage more on what is emotional to them. In my video below, I break down the top 3 main areas of emotion that exist around finance:

 

I wish you all the best!

 

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Dear Loan Officer: Stop Trying to Be the Hero!

Stop trying to be the hero! That’s my bold message for today. If you’ve ever read the book Story Brand by Donald Miller (which I highly recommend), the premise is that you should not be the “hero” for your client. Sometimes we are showing and telling – peacocking if you will – but the truth is, your client should be the hero of their own story. Our job is to be the guide, the Yoda, the Obi-Wan.
 
Really make that a forward thinking focus for you today, as you organize your consultations, or talk with a client on their very first discovery call.When you want to become the guide, you’re really just coming alongside them, to prop them up and give them the best advice that’s best for them.
 
I challenge you to make it about them – to ask better questions, and dig deeper to step forward into their journey.
 
 
 
 
I wish you all the best!
 
 
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Dear Loan Officer: Client Experience

Client service – whether superb or subpar – can seriously affect your customer’s shopping experience. Think about your client experience right now – if you were to charge admission for your customers to opt in – what would your customer support look like?

It’s important to create unique experiences as service providers, especially as you look to increase conversion rates. Striving for lifelong clients is a worthy cause, and they can become our biggest advocates after obtaining home financing for them. Let’s challenge each other: if we were to charge admission, how would our client experience look like?

 

I wish you all the best!

 

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Rule of Play #12: Helping Others Win

Guiding principles is something we use at our office, and  our Rule of Play #12 is to Help Others WIN. Whatever is important for your client to achieve, help them to succeed at their goal. Offering your ideas or processes, can be a helpful guide to their journey.  When needed, I promise that the selflessness inevitably boomerangs back to you.

I wish you all the best!

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3 Steps to Keeping Strong Mindset During a Volatile Market

Uncertain times call for certainty of purpose. Amidst daily updates on the COVID-19 outbreak, job losses, and market fluctuations,  you may crave for a mindset adjustment as you go about your day. In the above podcast, I speak with my friend and colleague Justin Stoddart, as we outline 3 key principles to keeping a strong mindset during this volatile market.

Hit play, keep this in the background as you go about your work today, and tune in!
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Dear Loan Officer: What is Your Mission + Purpose?

Dear Loan Officer,

Below is a short video where I challenge you to clarify: What is Your Mission and Purpose?

 

It’s times like these where putting in a little extra elbow grease can be valuable to clarifying your brand identity. Here’s some additional tidbits from a recent article 5 Ways to Do Smart and Responsible Marketing During COVID-19 (edited for relevancy):

Why do you Do what you Do? Use your mission + purpose as your North Star to remind yourself what your brand stands for, and what that means in the context of COVID-19. Lean into human stories, let your principles set the tone, and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.

Be Personable. You don’t have to strip your brand of emotion. For example, offering your well wishes or using imagery of people smiling isn’t, in itself, offensive. In fact, it can be refreshing for people to recall normal life, and to be hopeful for the quarantine’s end.

Think about your future messaging. During the depths of the 2008-09 recession and the early years of economic recovery, many brands pivoted to campaigns that promoted optimism, hope, and humanity. (You may remember Coke’s “Open Happiness” campaign from that time period.) As AdAge’s Bob Garfield put it profoundly at the time, “There is always a bull market for optimism when there is a bear market for everything else.”

Create employee/colleague-generated content. Poll your teams for their favorite Netflix binges, share your tips for maintaining office plants while everyone is away, or post fun photos from your video conferences. What are your employees/colleagues doing in their spare time? How are people working together to keep things light? What are people doing to stay healthy and prepared? This quarantine is an opportunity to spotlight your people and your culture. Remember, too, that people will crave more human interaction through social media, video conferencing, etc. Fill that need for both your employees, colleagues and customers.

Remember: The more you show your human side, the more we can all feel connected—even if we’re stuck inside. It might sound cliché, but it’s true: We’re all in this together.

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