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RISMEDIA, January 25, 2011—The past few months have been great for the mortgage industry. Most of us have seen the effects of low rates and benefitted from the refinancing boom. It’s easy to become so focused on the task at hand that you forget about planning for the future. As the owner of a mortgage company and loan originator for over 20 years, I can tell you that sales skills are more important now than ever. I have been a salesperson my whole life and proud to say I truly love it. Here are the top three things you will need to keep in mind in order to help you keep that pipeline full:

1. Understand that selling is not hard. Selling is not hard; getting enough people who need our services to call is the hard part. Once you master getting the phone to ring, it is all downhill. When I first started in the business I worked hard all day and night by looking under rocks (anywhere) to find people who needed my services. It was tough and I started making money, but it was much too slow for my liking. I finally figured out that the best way to become a very prosperous salesman is to find the right people who are going to help me by selling me to their clients. Once I determined that would be the best approach, the rest was easy, so I made a list. I always wanted 10 people on the list; people who were referring me business, people that if somebody around them mentioned real estate or mortgages, they would chime in with a recommendation for me. After doing this, I had real estate brokers, financial planners, attorneys, friends, past clients all working for me, and the best part, it was free advertising. The list stayed pretty solid and to be frank, I have not done any personal marketing since 1997. Every time I originated for a new client, when their financing process was complete, they were so satisfied with my support, service and mortgage program, they automatically referred new business to me, even without asking for referrals. I continue to originate an average of over $70,000,000 a year, while managing my company and our current expansion. This process is not that hard once you start spending your time wisely.

2. You must build real relationships. Getting all of those people working to refer me business didn’t just happen because of my good looks. You need to understand what it takes to build and maintain relationships if you’re ever going to be truly successful in the mortgage industry. Building relationships really happens when you consider the needs of others first, before ever wondering what they can do for you. Begin by finding out what’s important to your contacts. Is it family, their favorite sport, a pet? Once you know what is important in their life, work to learn more about it so you can communicate on a more personal level with them. Saying you don’t have time isn’t an option, relationship building is essential to your future success and should be your number one priority.

3. Combine sales skills with excellent service and you’ll be unstoppable. Let’s face it, you can be the best sales person in the world, but if you don’t follow up and follow through, you’ll never reap the rewards of repeat business. It’s important to make sure you’re exceeding expectations when it’s time to deliver services. If you do, each time you produce a happy and satisfied customer, your potential for new customers through referrals increases exponentially. So, determine what you can do to improve your own personal service and watch your business grow.

Chip Poli is CEO of Poli Mortgage Group, Headquartered in Norwood, M.A.

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