Three Key Questions
- What business are you in?
- What are you doing well that's helping you achieve success today?
- What do you need to change to achieve greater success?
What Business Are You In?
This question should elicit a client-centered response and not a technical response. If you answered, I am in the relationship business, or a similar answer such as customer service, the American Dream business, you are client-focused. Your answers "speak" from the client's perspective. If you answered I am in the mortgage business, or a similar answer with a focus on your products, you are product-focused with a more technical perspective.
Your perspective, whether client or product focused, matters more today than ever before. However, when you are client-centered, you build and foster trust. Buyers today need you to have their needs and struggles on your mind while you help them. They want you to understand and consider their goals, values and priorities before you offer a mortgage option.
What Are You Doing Well?
It's time to self-assess and really know what's working for you. You should be able to cite at least five strengths that are helping you succeed in this market. For example, one mortgage originator I interviewed answered this question as follows:
- I am following-up more frequently on all my leads.
- I am taking time to get to know the needs of my referral business partners.
- I am joining more professional networking groups to build my presence.
- I am re-thinking how I market to my niche solutions and building new strategies.
- I am sharpening my ability to create dialogue with buyers and listen more intently.
What Do You Need To Change to Create More Success?
This question is tough because it requires full knowledge of what's working and what's not working and sometimes we have a "blind spot" preventing us from seeing our limitations. Remember, this question is not about what wrong with the market or your company, it's about you and what you could be doing better or differently to change your results. This is what I often hear when I ask mortgage originators this question:
- I need better time management.
- I need to figure out what to say to a buyer who says: "I'm not interested in your option."
- I need to ask more insightful questions to understand needs.
- I need to be more persistent.
- I don't know what I need to change.
The last response is both sad and insightful. The sad truth is that many people don't know what to change. In this case, it is critical to get another person's perspective. I recommend asking colleagues, buyers, referral partners, and sales managers for help. Ask them to provide feedback on what they observe about your sales process and skills. Ask for strengths and areas for improvement. When you hear something you disagree with, don't defend yourself, but thank everyone who gives you feedback.
There will always be challenging times and change in the mortgage industry; it's part of the package, so to speak. As a mortgage originator you only have control over your process, activities and skills. The important thing is to make sure they are ever-adapting to change. Use the three key questions as a tool to sharpen your game and build your business.