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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   September 2005

5 Keys to Success

This business is about more than money — here are its obvious secrets

I recently attended a seminar for mortgage-loan officers.  There, I networked with several mortgage brokers, loan officers and business-owners. I was surprised to see how negative many of them were.

Those conversations led me to consider what qualities make a successful salesperson or mortgage broker. Here are five that any mortgage professional can use.

Stay positive

If you think positively, you will create an aura of success. If you believe you will get that sale, listing or whatever you are trying to achieve, you are more than halfway to achieving that goal.

Show excitement. Even if you are declined, take the rejection with a smile. Tell yourself that one day that customer will say yes, and you will be prepared when they do.

Establish a game plan. You can be as positive as you like, but without a plan or a focus on a destination, you are wasting time. Think about what you are truly trying to achieve.

Be enthusiastic

Are you the most enthusiastic person you met today? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did I exude an attitude that would make a memorable impression on the people contacted today?
  • Would I buy a product or service from myself with my attitude? Look in the mirror and be honest.
  • Did I do everything I could to help my clients today?

Was I a “yes” or “no” person today? “Yes” people help others find solutions to problems. “No” people turn away customers and kill deals.

Be prepared

If you are going after a client, do your homework. It sounds simple, but how often have you tried to wing something or dazzle a client with only your charm and wit? Know something about the company and its competitor. Know the industry. Know the market changes and how they affect your clients’ business. Know how you can help them.

If clients present you with a question you can’t answer, don’t say, “I don’t know.” Those three words will instantly kill your credibility. It is better to say, “I must enlist the aid of someone who is an expert on this topic, but I will get back to you.” If you promise to get back to them, do so in a timely manner.

Be honest

Honesty appears to be a lost art. Establish yourself as the honest, ethical salesperson or broker. Clients always appear to be shopping interest rates or looking for a better deal. But if you come across as being trustworthy, you will get those clients, their future business and their referrals.

Make eye contact with clients. Shake hands when you meet them. People don’t trust a person who talks too fast or won’t look them in the eye.

Deliver what you promise. If you say you will call a client back at a certain time, do so. If you are late, you are giving your competitors the opportunity to step in where you fell short. Punctuality is key and builds instant trust.

If you are looking to just count customers and commissions, you will have short-term success. If you are looking for longevity, you must build rapport and relationships with your customers. They will feed you for a long time.

Talk pleasantly to everyone. Tell everyone what you do. Be proud of your profession. Lastly, don’t say bad things about your competition; it is a small community, and when customers shop around, they tend to embellish what was said.

Invest in yourself

First impressions are lasting impressions. Buy professional-looking clothes and be well-groomed. Buy business cards. Purchase a cell phone, personal digital assistant, laptop or organizer.

Advertise consistently, which gets your name out there. Don’t advertise for one month and then not advertise for six more months. You are wasting your money and are giving your competition six months’ lead in your marketplace.

Read trade magazines, trade newsletters, books, etc. We can all always learn at least one new thing a day.

Last but not least, you have to enjoy your business.. If what you are doing is not challenging, exciting or rewarding, then you may want to reconsider your present job. If you are not happy with what you are doing, it comes across in your attitude and presentation. Think about it.


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