It seems like more and more originators are spend- ing less and less time outside the office. The in- dustry’s once great and powerful sales force is — at many companies — not doing a whole lot of
selling. To find out if that could be happening to you,
answer these five questions:
1. How many face-to-face sales calls do you make in
a typical week?
2. How many solid business-referral relationships
do you now own?
3. How many industry associations are you actively
4. How many business-networking events do you
attend every month?
5. How many hours are you spending in the office
versus out of the office?
If you are happy with your answers, great. You likely
have the results to show for it. It’s no secret that originators who spend more time looking for business always find more opportunities than those who do not.
Time to capitalize
We are in the middle of the biggest homebuying market we’ve seen in 10 years, with real estate demand
stretching toward record highs and interest rates
still hovering at historic lows. Across the country,
top-producing originators are closing as many as
20 to 25 loans per month. How are they doing it?
The answer is simple: They know how to sell and they
are out there selling.
Right now, while some originators are sitting in
their offices, reading e-mails, working on loan files
or playing on the internet, top producers are putting
their voices or faces in front of prospects. They know
that with dozens — if not hundreds — of borrowers in
their local market looking for mortgages every day, the
originators most likely to find those borrowers are the
ones who are out looking for them at the same time
So, are you ready to get out and get selling? Do you
want to find more of those thousands of people ap-
plying for home loans every day? Here are a handful of
helpful hints to consider:
n See selling as your job. Your primary responsi-
bility is not to make copies, chase down conditions,
read product guidelines, or follow what’s happen-
ing in the bond market. Your primary responsibility
is to originate, to make mortgage loans. When that
fact comes first in your mind, selling comes first in
n Shift your mindset. Re-order your daily priori-
ties. Recognize that above all else, you are a sales-
person, and every salesperson’s No. 1 priority is
to find another borrower to help. Everything else
comes second. Everything.
n Make time for prospecting. Stephen Covey,
author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”
and “First Things First,” says we will always make time
for the things that are important to us. If prospecting
for new business is important to you, you will make
time for it. If you don’t, it becomes a “leftover” activity and gets attention only when everything else is
caught up, and perhaps never.
Block out several hours each week on your calendar
for prospecting activities like making phone calls, setting up meetings, holding appointments, attending
events and delivering group presentations. Things
that are planned most often get done. Things that go
unplanned are most often forgotten.
n Set contact goals. Successful loan originators
are goal-driven people, and goal-driven people like
specific goals to shoot for. That’s where the numbers come into play.
One proven technique is the “2+2+2 Method,” which
calls for making at least two outbound phone calls each
day, holding a minimum of two face-to-face meetings
with potential or existing referral clients each week, and
attending no fewer than two industry-, community-or business-networking events every month.
That adds up to 40 phone calls, eight one-on-one
meetings and two events every month. In the course
of a year, this method provides more than 600 proactive, outbound sales contacts. If you are serious
about selling and ready to hold yourself accountable
to follow through, adopt this plan. You will find more
n Lose your fear of selling. By and large, many
originators don’t spend a lot of time selling because
they are afraid. They are afraid of rejection, afraid of
failure, and afraid of the possibility of hearing “no.”
This fear is costing them countless opportunities
and perhaps tens of thousands of dollars each year
in lost commission income.
Selling is inherently a game of risk and reward. Along
with the rewards of being a successful originator —
money, prestige, job security, etc. — comes an equal
amount of risk. Some referral sources won’t be interested in what you can do for them. Some real estate agents
will show preference to another originator. Some borrowers will go elsewhere for their home financing.
That’s all part of the mortgage business and the way
the game of selling is played. Get right with that, get
over your ego, and go out and sell to somebody.
n Get started now. The economy is strong, interest rates are incredible and houses are selling like
hotcakes. Unemployment is at the lowest level in
eight years and consumer confidence is trending at a
16-year high. It may not always be this good. Anyone
remember the Great Recession, the collapse of the
housing industry and the mortgage meltdown just
a few years ago? The time to sell is now. Right now.
This week. Today.
Every moment you wait to pick up that phone, visit
a referral client or show up at an event is another
potential loan lost to some other originator. Never
wait until you are all “caught up” or hold off for the
perfect time to get out of the office; it’s never going
to happen. The sooner you get started, the better. The
business is out there and, as always, the bulk of that
business is going to the originators who are out there
going after it.
n n n
Many people think today’s top-producing originators
are blessed with more loan programs, better rates or
faster approval times than everyone else. Although
these attributes will contribute positively to anyone’s
success, the fact is that the majority of top producers
will out-originate and out-earn their peers this year because they are outselling them every day. n
Doug Smith is president of Douglas Smith & Associates, a
sales-training and performance-coaching company specializing in the banking and mortgage industry. He is a nationally-acclaimed speaker and author who helps lenders find more
customers, close more loans and make more money.
Visit dougsmithonline.com. Reach Smith at (877) 430-2329 or
Outselling the Competition
Get out of the office if you want a part of the hottest market in years
By Doug Smith
you wait to pick up
that phone, visit
a referral client or
show up at an event
is another potential