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By Robert Nolan
President and CEO
IvyStone Sales and Personality
Personalities: One Type Doesn’t Fit All
By cueing into clients’ preferences, originators can improve their sales approach
Few things guarantee a poor speaking performance as much as delivering content without
understanding your audience’s needs.
If you spend all of your time on content
without determining what your listeners
need to hear and why, then your interaction with that audience will be left
It’s often the case that skillful mortgage
brokers are also skillful public speakers, but what exactly comprises “skill”
in this respect? To a large extent, skillful
public speakers are adept at identifying
their audience’s personalities and preferences. In the mortgage arena, being
able to quickly pinpoint your clients’
personalities can help you communicate
with them more successfully — and
close more deals in the process.
If they hope to thrive in this industry,
mortgage professionals should learn
to identify the personality preferences and traits of their clients — both
present and future. Preferences are the
choices that people make in:
1. Using their energy: Is a client energized by conversation or does that
person prefer to listen and take some
time to consider what’s being said?
2. Gathering information: Is a client
interested in receiving facts or does
the client prefer to use some imagination to consider all the possibilities?
3. Making decisions: Does a client’s
decisionmaking process seem logical
4. Ending personal interactions: Does a
client prefer to end a conversation with
a strong sense of closure or a sense
that there’s still more to discuss?
Broadly speaking, extroverts prefer to
talk things through while introverts are
interested in thinking things through.
When engaged in a conversation with
an extrovert, you’ll quickly become
aware of that client’s need to speak;
extroverts are never shy when it comes
to answering a question. They have an
energizing effect on those around them,
and they strive to make things happen.
When problem-solving is required,
they’re excellent at finding answers by
talking out loud with others.
As “people-persons,” extroverts will
have a wide range of acquaintances,
but they often shy away from having too
many deep relationships. Use caution
when assuming that extroverts are
totally onboard with whatever course
of action you’ve presented, as they will
often jump too quickly into activities or
decisions and not allow enough time for
Introverts, on the other hand, prefer
to contemplate or consider the given
information before providing an answer.
They’re energized and excited when
involved in the idea phase of a conversation or agenda, and they can
often provide a calming effect on
those around them. This can be especially important when two people are
making a major life decision — when
they’re contemplating the details of a
mortgage, for instance.
It’s imperative to give introverts
adequate time for reflection and consideration. Pushing for participation should be
avoided unless they choose to engage
in the conversation freely. Unlike extroverts, they often feel comfortable having
time alone and prefer fewer intense types
Mortgage professionals’ approach to
building a relationship with an introvert
should largely revolve around giving that
person some room to think and reflect
on what has been presented. Be aware
that you’ll likely want to give them several
days to make any major decision.
Beyond the broad categories of intro-
verts and extroverts, mortgage profes-
sionals can help their sales techniques
and strategies by identifying what types
of personal preferences their clients
exhibit. A number of types of prefer-
ences may be encountered in speaking
with customers, the first of which could
be called a “sensing preference.”
Details are implicit in any presen-
tation, but clients with a sensing
preference have particularly keen mem-
ories for the facts. They typically prefer
visualization over listening when be-
ing presented with information, and
they’re often interested in the prag-
matic side of what they’re being shown.
Similarly, clients with an “intuitive
preference” live in a world of possibilities
and hardly ever fall short when coming
up with ideas. They are usually insightful,
and their orientation is aimed toward the
future. These types of clients love new
ideas, new programs and new choices, a
preference that may be easily stimulated
by the mortgage industry’s ever-shifting
range of lending products.
When presenting to clients with an
intuitive preference, simply introduce
ideas and possibilities and let them
take over the conversation. Their ideas
will flow and you can adjust your
thoughts and suggestions immediately.
Customers who have what could be
called a “feeling preference” consider
how their decisions will affect others.
Mortgage brokers and originators may
find that these clients are more personal
in their approach, as opposed to customers who are more concerned with
reports, data systems and forms that
need to be filled out.
A client with a feeling preference will
prefer an originator who treats them
like family. Not surprisingly, people
who fit this description frequently
make decisions based on what’s best
for everyone involved in a given transaction. Needless to say, the purchase
of a home is central to many people’s
Robert Nolan is president and CEO of
IvyStone Sales and Personality Assessments
LLC. Previously, he worked in the mortgage
industry for more than 10 years. IvyStone
uses proven psychological assessments
such as Myers-Briggs Type Indicators. Reach
Nolan at (770) 309-7199 or via e-mail at
family life, and those with a feeling preference are sharply aware of this fact.
Clients who have a “judging preference”
typically look for closure when having a
conversation. Rather than leaving a discussion open, they’ll let you know when
they have enough information and are
done with their fact-collecting process.
These clients often prefer an orderly
way of life, like to have their affairs
settled and organized, feel more comfortable when decisions are made, and
want to bring their lives under control
to the greatest degree possible.
In working with these customers,
once they have made their decision,
watch for body language that suggests
it’s time to close your presentation.
They may sit up and show signs of readiness to sign on the dotted line — or they
may show signs that they’ve made the
decision to form a relationship with
Regardless, missing these cues can
prove costly. Those with a judging preference should not be considered judgmental, however; this preference and its
conversational style simply constitute
one type of decisi0nmaking process.
Finally, those with a “perceiving preference” are clients who are often spontaneous. Flexibility is a way of life with
these customers, and clients with this
preference should never be pushed into
making decisions before they’re ready.
When presenting to clients that fit this
description, make sure to have plenty
of options available to choose from.
Related, never push these people to
close. With these clients, expect to hear
phrases like “I need to check with my
spouse” or “I’ll have to get back to you
Again, mortgage professionals should
take no offense at this style; every client
has a particular style of working, and no
two styles are exactly alike. This in itself
illustrates the necessity of becoming
skilled at identifying your clients’ various personality types and preferences.
Adjusting your conversations accordingly
may help you get over the hump and close
the deal at hand. •