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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   January 2004

How to Avoid a Slump in the Mortgage Business

Selling mortgages is an up and down game. One day you’re riding high, closing loans right and left; the next, no one will even talk to you. If you let either the ups or the downs of selling destroy your overall momentum, you are missing the point. Coach John Wooden said, “You can’t let the cheers or the jeers affect the way you play. You are never as good or as bad as you think you are.”

If you aren’t hitting your sales targets or are missing details you ordinarily wouldn’t, or if you simply don’t have the enthusiasm or energy level to compete, you may be headed for, or currently in, a slump.  Sales slumps can be caused by an emotional issue, tactical mistakes in your sales skills, or just a lack of work ethic. The key to breaking out of the slump is objectively identifying the real cause.

To begin with, I recommend that you evaluate your effectiveness – daily. How many people are you selling, how many appointments do you have, how many presentations are you making, for how many referrals are you asking? When you are in the middle of a “personal funk”, this may be easier said than done. You may need an objective opinion from a colleague, manager or personal coach.

If it appears that the problem lies in your sales skills (for example, meeting with the right number of people, but not closing enough loans), it may help to refocus on the selling basics, that is, on conversation rate.

An indication that lack of passion, drive or enthusiasm is the problem (i.e., lots of sales calls but few contacts or appointments) may signal a need to revisit your motivation.  Ask yourself, “Why am I in the loan business?”  You may need to renew your commitment and get yourself plugged in again.  For example, read more uplifting books or listen to inspiring speakers.  Breaking a sweat may even help.  Exercise can help to build stamina and strengthen the immune system.  You have to do something to shake things out.

Investing your time and money in some kind of training course is another way of putting back some sizzle in your selling routine. You may just be stuck or in a rut. If all else fails, reflect on some harder times. “If I’m in a bad place today, I can remember a time that was even worse.” Then you can say to yourself, “If I made it through that, I am sure I can get on the other side of this situation.”

It may be time for you to call a time-out, stop the madness. In the mortgage business, or selling in general, you can very easily get addicted to the busy work that will claim your time, but get you no closer to your ultimate goal. It takes a lot of courage to step back and do a complete audit on yourself. At least your car has a little red light that comes on to signal that there is trouble ahead, time for a checkup. Your little red light may be on now.

A person in a slump just has to work hard at identifying the problem, at taking responsibility for where he/she currently is and at making swift adjustments.  Doing the same things over and over will get you more of the same.  Let me put it very simply:  Do more of what is working and less of what is not working.  Each day be creative and try new things; those that work incorporate in your daily activity. 

Enlightenment is just a match between ideas and action.  You can get enlightened today.  


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