Dear Loan Officer: Captain Charlie Plumb & Me

Dear Loan Officer,

Happy Wednesday! I recently had an opportunity to listen to the esteemed Captain Charlie Plumb on a leadership meeting call. As a former POW, he served in Vietnam for 6 years. During his captivity, he was stuck inside of an 8×8 cell, all the while being tortured and starved. Charlie, thank you for your service.

On the call, Charlie shared how important strength of mind is. It’s eventually what got him free, and led him every day in captivity. He shared that each day he had to choose – he chose his attitude and the spirit he showed up with.

His words resonated with me that every day we have the choice to have a positive attitude or a negative one. There’s many choices we make in a day; we choose to call on our best people, or the easiest people we know will answer the phone. We choose to make proactive prospecting calls every day… or not. We choose to focus on what’s working, or on what’s not working. We choose to invest time with our family, or choose to invest time with work.

Every day we’re making choices. We even choose when to say yes to a client, or NO.

My point in sharing this with you, because it was such a great reminder for me. Everything we have, is a cumulative effect of choices we have made up to this point. As we round the corner to the end of an incredible year from a mortgage business standpoint, And think about 2021 and dreams and goals for the New Year, we can remember that what we do (or don’t) achieve is based on the micro choices that we make every day.

I hope that gives you a feeling of empowerment, and that life is within your control. The choices we make every single day, dictate how successful we are – personally and professionally.

I wish you all the best! Happy Holiday to You and Yours. Please let me know if I can ever help out.

Trevor

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Dear Loan Officer: How are you planning to invest in your top clients in 2021?

Dear Loan Officer,

Good afternoon! I wanted to share a video with you all, that I shared with my coaching clients this past Tuesday. We’ve all been collectively drinking from the fire hydrant (so to speak) with opportunity. Some of you have been sharing that you’re feeling business slow down a little bit, which is a nice reprieve to get back to some essential activities.

With that said, How are you planning to invest in your top clients in 2021?  What are you going to do to WOW your clients in your database? I wish you all the best!

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Dear Loan Officer: Focus on the 80 Percent!

Dear Loan Officer,

Coming to you with a lesson from Brasada Ranch in Central, OR! I wanted to get a lesson out to you today from a book called Ninja Selling by Larry Kendall. It’s a great book for any sales career, and it addresses mindset, how the brain works and how we are perceived.

In the book, Larry cites a study that shares out of all prospective clients that come across your desk, a whopping 15% are looking for the best price. If you are the cheapest, you might get my business. Surprisingly, another 5% will be price, but for the highest price. This encompasses client thinking that, “If I pay top dollar, I will get top-dollar return”.

What does that tell us? That leaves 80%. Focus on the 80% client – the one that will pay your price, if you do a good enough job of expressing and articulating your value.

Read it again; if you do a good enough job of presenting your value proposition, your customer will pay your price.

If you win this customer’s business:
-Your hourly rate goes up
-Your enjoyment goes up, and you’re working with people that value what you bring to the table
-Your customer will likely take less of your time up
-There’s a good chance they will tell other people about you because they value your advice

The way to get there is this: look at your current loan pipeline now, and pick out the 15% that have been beating you up regarding the price. Figure out these clients ASAP, and clear them out of your world so you can focus on the 80%.

Then, relay your value proposition as best as possible to your 80% clients. Your income will go up, and your stress will go down.

I wish you all the best!

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Dear Loan Officer: The Law of the Scale Part 2

Dear Loan Officer,

Happy Tuesday! Last week I shared about the High Trust Law of the Scale which states, “If you want more business, have fewer clients.” The victory isn’t getting a client to do business with you once, it’s getting a client to never be able to forget about you. Does your customer know that you want them as a customer for life? 

 

I wish you all the best!

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Dear Loan Officer: The Law of the Scale

Dear Loan Officer,

Happy Tuesday – I hope this week finds you in good health! This month, I am diving into the… drumroll…. Law of the Scale. The Law of the Scale remits that if you want more business, have fewer clients. Now, I don’t know how you feel when you first hear that. When I first heard it in my young days in the business, I did not quite understand what it meant. But after digesting it, I knew it was profound (see below facial expression for emphasis):

My takeaway after 22 years in the business, is this: Go deep with your referral partners. Choose the people you really enjoy working alongside, and whom you want to do more business with. Quit digging a bunch of 1-foot wells, and start digging 5-10, 100-foot wells. My first step in employing the Law of the Scale gem, was identifying who were the referral partners that I wanted to go deeper down the path with.

Here are some qualifying questions you may want to pose to those partners:

What makes them tick? What are their biggest stresses? Why did they get in the business in the first place? What is important about being successful to them? What is their 3-year vision for their business? What does their team look like down the road, and how many of them can I help? What are their biggest frustrations with the lending side of the business, and how can I help them?

In a sales profession like ours – continuing to build on your relationships engages more trust and keeps you top-of-mind, which will lead to true victory. I wish you all the best!

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Dear Loan Officer: Are You Getting Tired?

Dear Loan Officer,

Conversations with Dave Savage are always fun, insightful and thought-provoking! On his Mortgage Coach platform, Dave and I share our playbook on how to finish 2020 strong.

 

I wish you all the best!

 

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Dear Loan Officer: High Trust Tuesday!

Dear Loan Officer,

I hope this message finds you well. Walking into this week waving my High Trust flag high! As many of you know, I’m a High Trust coach, and was recently a panelist for the Sales Mastery conference last week, for a panel titled “Implementation for Success”. This week, I’ve been asking my coaching clients what they plan to initiate based on their takeaways from the conference (Attended digitally by 48,000 professionals…!)

High Trust founder Todd Duncan has shared the Law of Diminishing Intent with us in this context, which expresses, the longer you wait to do something you should do now, the greater the odds that you will never actually do it.

Spend some time today thinking through the top “nuggets” that you may have received from Sales Mastery, and please share with us: what are the top 3-5 things that you plan to start on first, as takeaways from Sales Mastery?

I share mine below:

 

1. HomeBot – We already leverage this as a tool at my branch, but I have some ideas on how to leverage 10x the ROI that we’re getting now from HomeBot

2. Hiring – I plan to keep adding members to our team. When opportunity arrives, its too late to prepare. I’m not worried about “when the market slows down”, and I want to be primed to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise in 2021.

3. Be a Leader, not a Savior – I intend to chew on this concept, to continue practiced awareness on what it means to be a leader.

What might your 3-5 takeaways be? What resonated the most when checking in to Sales Mastery this year?

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Dear Loan Officer: Focus on Your Victories and Learn from Your Failures

 

Dear Loan Officer,

Everywhere I look, I can see a hurdle, a problem, a stumbling block.  Sometimes, things just go wrong, and perhaps continue to go wrong.  I recently talked with two dejected Loan Officers who were each dealing with an “ugly” loan transaction.  If you are in the mortgage business and have done a good amount of business, you’ve been in similar situations.

The reality is, it’s part of our growth in this business.  As with everything, the difference is how you respond.  One or two tough mortgage transactions, or clients, can temporarily crush your confidence.  And if you only HAD one or two loans in total, you’ll question your own capabilities when it can feel like “every loan transaction is a disaster”.

But that’s not the reality.  An “ugly” transaction does not make a career.  Start by focusing on the good ones you’ve had.  Pull out those raving testimonials you received on the LAST loan or two, from the clients that loved you and applauded your team.  Remind yourself that a bad transaction doesn’t mean YOU are bad.  Move on, be better next time and LEARN from any mistakes you made.

Confidence is the key to everything, so you must proactively build your confidence back up when things go sideways.  

Then, from a constructive mindset, “autopsy” the bad experience. What worked?  (Hint:  There is ALWAYS something that went well, no matter how bad things feel.)  Then, write down what didn’t work or go well.  How would you improve your systems to ensure things go better next time?  What questions would you ask earlier in the process?  How would you set expectations better next time, with the client, the Realtor partner, etc.?

Point is, don’t beat yourself up too bad over a tough/bad loan transaction.  Yes, we are in an emotional business and we take it seriously.  Heck, there’s a lot of money at stake for everyone.  But it happens and will continue to happen, though hopefully less and less. Stay confident.  Keep learning and improving.  It’s not easy…but if it was, everyone would be doing it.

I wish you all the best!

 

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Dear Loan Officer: Feel Like You Never Have Enough Time?

 

I envision everyone reading this nodding and raising their hand. I face this challenge pretty much every day, being a highly motivated, goal-oriented professional. Many of us, are also juggling virtual school for our kids, and working from home during COVID-19.

Too often we compile a ridiculous list of things we want to accomplish in the day, the week, the quarter, and the year. We then look at this list and balance the emotions of excitement and overwhelming stress.

Here’s the reality:
If you often feel like you don’t have enough time, it means you don’t have clear enough priorities.

I heard Tim Ferriss say something to this effect on one of his podcasts, and it immediately summarized the dilemma with such clarity.

If I’m being honest, I do feel I do a better than average job of setting priorities and saying “no” to the less important things. But I am nowhere as effective as I would like to be in this area.

The above mindset has really forced me to think about my “to-do’s” each day. Am I doing THE most important things first? Am I setting myself up for failure by setting TOO many goals for 2020?

It comes back to this question: What ONE thing if accomplished, would have the biggest impact on my work/life/finances?

Using this as a filter really helps me gain greater clarity on my priorities…daily, weekly, and yearly.

What tips do YOU have? What works for you?

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Pole Pole! A Lesson from Climbing Kilimanjaro

*Repost from November, 2016

Having just gotten back from climbing the highest mountain in all of Africa, I can say that the journey on Mt. Kilimanjaro taught me many lessons. What was the most important one? Set crazy, big goals that scare you and excite you at the same time…then focus on taking one step at a time in the direction of the goal.

As we began our ascent toward 19,341 feet, the guides would constantly repeat, “Pole Pole” (pronounced poh-lay poh-lay). This means “slow, slow” in Swahili. Honestly, I trained hard before our trip, but there’s just no way to train for how slow they encourage you to walk. Naturally I, and everyone else, just wanted to get to the summit as fast as possible. But going 42 miles, uphill, across every type of landscape you can imagine, with less and less oxygen available as you climb in altitude, requires you to slow down. The advice of “pole pole” forced me to concentrate on the task at hand, one step at a time, and not get too overwhelmed with how far I still had to go to reach the summit.

Every once in a while I would pick my head up, look to the peak of the mountain for inspiration, and then back to my feet. Minutes would go by, and eventually hours. But as long as I knew my steps were in the direction of the primary goal, I was happy.

In business, and in life, we must have goals. Big goals. They push us to grow and get outside of our normal comfort zones.

The secret is to not focus on how far from achieving your goal you are, but rather turn around, and focus on the progress you’ve made. As long as your daily actions are in alignment with your vision of where you want to go, you can be happy and confident.

Pole pole! Sometimes we just need to slow down. It’s not a race. If you know where you want to go, you WILL get there, step by step, if you stay focused and confident.

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