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The same can be said for your processors, loan assistants, underwriters, operations teams, managers and external partner networks. If they are not top
performers, then your performance suffers. Are you playing a role in elevating
their level of performance? More importantly, do they feel like a part of your
team, and do you thank them or reward them for their efforts? You should.
The mountaintop has a great view, but it can be a lonely elevation if you
stand on it alone, and reaching it without help is almost impossible.
There are many moving parts to the mortgage process and many decisions
to be made. Information is the key to making the right decisions. Leverage
represents the power or ability to influence these decisions — as well as
people and events — through information.
There are many subject-matter experts in the mortgage industry. Have
you networked within your company to find resources you can use to your
advantage? Have you expanded your external network to gain industry,
community and financial information?
The most successful people build teams of subject-matter experts and
utilize systems, publications and data to provide their borrowers and partners with the information they need to make informed decisions. This allows you to control the situation — like a lever — while supporting the
needs of your clients, referral partners and other influencers. This support
creates trust and a deeper connection, which allows you to leverage a one-time client into a lifetime relationship.
Opportunities and Partnership
All sales people are in search of the big O. We make our living off of opportunities. Some will jump out and find you, but locating most opportunities is like
finding a needle in the haystack. This goes back to the earlier vision discussion
about blinders. Really successful people seek out and find opportunities.
It may seem that some people always get lucky, but there is a famous
saying that goes: “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” You can
prepare for opportunities by expanding your network, engaging people,
reading industry publications and getting involved in your community.
When you do, new opportunities may just jump out and find you.
This brings us to partner. The best way to explain this concept is with
a story about a salesperson and a manager at a high-end clothing store.
After seeing a customer leave without buying a suit, the manager chastised
the salesperson, saying, “You just let a $500 customer walk out.”
Not phased by the angry manager, the salesperson shot back, “No sir,
I just let a $200,000 lifetime clothing partner walk out so he’ll come back
in.” When pressed to explain, the salesperson explained that this particu-
lar customer-partner buys about $5,000 worth of clothes per year, and that
customer could continue to buy from that salesperson for 40 years if treated
as a partner instead of a customer.
This is brilliant logic and easily transferable to mortgage originators.
Borrowers are our customers, and if we treat them as borrower-partners
they will return to us over and over again. The average person or couple
buys and sells a house every seven years. If these borrowers become your
borrower-partners at 30 and live to be 72, you should be involved in around
six loan transactions with them.
If you make $5,000 in commissions per loan, then these borrowers are
$30,000 homebuying partners. Now, look back at all of your closings over
the years and determine how many clients you have and how many you
need to turn into homebuying partners.
n n n
You are the architect of your career and your success. The principles of the
D-E-V-E-L-O-P process — Deliver, Exceed, Vision, Elevate, Leverage, Opportunities and Partnership — can certainly stand on their own. If you think of
them as concrete, wood, nails, insulation, brick, mortar and piping, however,
you can develop a big, beautiful house that everyone wants to visit. n
Chris Avery is vice president/relationship manager at First Ten-
nessee Warehouse Lending Group. He is a graduate and former
basketball player from Christian Brothers University in Memphis,
Tennessee. Avery has 24 years of direct sales, marketing and lead-
ership experience. He has posted successful sales performance
results while exceeding company, team and individual goals and
driving corporate and entrepreneurial growth. His mission is to D-E-V-E-L-O-P his
customers, team and company. Reach Avery at (901) 759-7728 or firstname.lastname@example.org.