On Monday I attended a sales training event with a truly fantastic trainer, Lynne Lovern, from Florida. Lynne has been around in the industry even longer than I have and was willing to share a career’s worth of wisdom with a group of us from Pacific Residential Mortgage. There were some tough moments during the session and some challenging exercises that we had to wrap our brains around. But by the end of the day, we all had the feeling that we had been given the opportunity to become better professionals and had new tools to help us on a daily basis.
After the training was over, I had the opportunity to talk with Lynn directly and admit to her the reason I chose to participate in the class is that I consider myself to be a lousy salesperson. She laughed and joked that I was “selling” myself short. At this point I did the secret pinky swear sign and told her that I was dead serious. “I’m worried that I might be the idiot savant of mortgage lending” I told her. Images of Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman inevitably swirled around her head. I assured her I had no talent for counting cards and had never been kicked out of a casino in Vegas. She shook her head and secretly pondered if she was being paid enough to deal with people like me.
When all is said and done, I inevitably reach the conclusion that I have been lucky to find a job that fits my personality and skill set. And, I feel truly fortunate that I have enough business partners and consumers to work with to keep me just on the plus side of institutionally insane. And yet, I just can’t come to terms with calling my job a “sales” job. Maybe this is why there are so many in my profession that call themselves Mortgage Consultants, Mortgage Planners, Loan Fuhrers etc. After all, helping consumers buy and refinance their homes is a big responsibility and the idea of “selling” mortgages isn’t appealing to us as professionals and I would imagine that consumers feel something very similar.
Tomorrow I will be participating in an exercise to judge areas in which I can improve my sales skills. I’m absolutely terrified to be honest with you. I’m worried that I will blurt out something crazy as I am prone to do when the Tourette’s syndrome kicks in. Lucky for me the exercise will be in front of the owners of my company. Worst case, they’ll at least get a laugh before they show me the door and demote me to the mailroom.
Let’s talk on Friday – if I’m still employed at that point you’ll know that I didn’t botch the training too badly.
Have a great day and get out there and sell, sell, sell.