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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   November 2005

Anticipation Emancipation

Stop judging and categorizing, start improving customer service

If you have been in this industry for long, you have likely picked up a detrimental characteristic: You have started to anticipate. Anticipation is the process of thinking ahead of where your customer has taken you and developing preconceived ideas on how to handle the customer.

After talking to and meeting people, you discover that many have similar experiences. You may systematically start an order of categorizing and mentally filing people into certain placements.

For example, a divorcee explains that her ex-husband caused her derogatory credit history —credit excuse No. 17. Of course, the husband could then use credit excuse No. 16 and explain that his ex-wife caused his derogatory credit history.

Originators may see no harm in developing a mental filing process and feel that it expedites the loan process. This may indeed be true. But the genuine qualities that people sought you out for early in your career may be unknowingly lost in the process.

In a previous issue of Scotsman Guide, I outlined a marketing tool called L.E.A.D.S. It stands for listen, empathize, apologize, do what it takes and stand by your promise. L.E.A.D.S. can keep you from falling into the trap of anticipation. It also is the antidote for complacency and monotony. It is the counteragent to correct a number of our bad habits.

L.E.A.D.S. only can work with sincerity. When people classify others into categories or groups, they lose the sensitivity of giving customers full attention and service.

A while back, I taught a course on the laws and regulations pertaining to a state exam. Essentially, the course was designed to prepare people renewing their licenses as well as those entering the lending industry.

There was no room for questions on anything other than the course’s objective — to learn the material and pass the exam. The experienced people knew and understood this goal. Industry newcomers, however, wanted more information on specific topics as they were presented in class.

Because of the focus on the course’s objective and the rolling eyes of the experienced people in attendance, I systematically categorized the new people as “time bandits” and “insensitive” to the other class members. In reality, however, the opposite was true.

The experienced students and I were the insensitive ones. We created an environment for the new people to fail — or at least make it more difficult for them to pass the exam.

When I realized what I was doing, I tried to take time between breaks and at lunchtime to assist those wanting to gain all the knowledge that they could.

It is essential to remain focused on the direction and goal to be accomplished. In a structured course, the outline and time allotment must be followed. By incorporating L.E.A.D.S., however, the goal remains the focused target while opening other possible and potential prospects.

If you are new in the industry, you have the tool necessary to stay away from anticipation. Incorporate L.E.A.D.S. into your persona. Take the time to understand every customer of whom you desire to be of service. The customers are the credit to our success, and we need to never forget this.


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