Finding More Than Oatmeal

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This morning, the unthinkable happened at our household.  While going through our cupboards I realized we were out of oatmeal.  In desperation for some sort of hot cereal fix, I found a box of Malt O Meal hidden behind various crackers, canned foods and snacks of all kind and variety.  Despite the fact the cereal likely can be carbon dated to the Kennedy administration, I carefully followed the directions and here I am enjoying a delightful bowl of pulverized grains of some sort.  Although I can’t say it will be replacing my more traditional fare, I have to admit that it’s really not too bad.  Especially with brown sugar and strawberries.  (I would proffer that just about anything can be made edible by adding brown sugar and strawberries but that’s beside the point).

Those of us in any kind of sales position understand that what happened to me this morning can happen to any consumer or business partner.  For whatever reason, an event will occasionally take place that causes a change in behavior and all of a sudden a relationship that has been fostered is placed in jeopardy.   It takes time for business partners and consumers to establish a relationship with us and to trust us.  The possibility of losing those relationships over an event outside of our control drives us insane.  If you’ve ever spent time with someone who has multiple motivational CDs in their car, chances are they just lost a relationship with someone significant.  If that same person is also reciting Zig Ziglar quotes then you know something really significant must have gone down.  As is the case with most professionals out there, it’s not a good idea to repeat mistakes and we’re motivated to change our behavior as necessary to avoid similar issues in the future.

Trends and interests are changing constantly.  As a whole, all of us tend to be pretty fickle when it comes to making significant choices about purchasing a product or working with a professional.  Our relationships with service providers can be tenuous, engaging, stressful – you name it, the relationship can be characterized by the entire gamut of human emotions.  I have to admit that overall I have been overwhelmed how gracious and kind customers can be even amidst a majorly stressful event (like buying a home).  I’ve been blessed to forge some great friendships over the years as a result of mortgage transactions. 

Almost two years ago I closed a loan for a customer but in the process of doing so lost the relationship with the consumer and with the Realtor that had referred the customer to me.  I truly believe that one of the true benefits of working with a seasoned and experienced Loan Officer is that we have made the majority of our mistakes earlier in our careers.  It’s truly humbling when I miss something that impacts a customer and I do everything possible to learn from it and to avoid repeating the mistake in the future.  It’s my job to keep my customers out of harm’s way and I take that responsibility really seriously.  I suppose that’s why I still think about that transaction today.

And to think this all started when I couldn’t find oatmeal.  Have a great day.


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