Let’s face it, mortgage sales is not for the weak.
It takes tenacity, thick skin and a hustle-hard mentality. As an introvert, when I first started in the operations side of the mortgage world I dreaded the weekly pipeline calls with the sales manager I supported. They were abrasive, fast-talking and expected the world of my team members on a daily basis. They were the ones that entered a room and talked to everyone, they spoke with confidence and didn’t seem bothered by the thought of blindly introducing themselves to others.
The complete opposite of myself.
Fast forward a few years, and I found myself on the sales side, starting from square one with no book of business and my passive introvert personality. In my defense, I chose to move to sales so it probably should not have been a shock to me when I was told that I had to go find the business, but the non-aggressive side of me said this is going to be a challenge.
For many like me, the thought of attending networking events meant I would be planted at a corner spot in the back of the room with my head down staring at my phone hoping it would ring so I could run out as fast as possible.
Cold calling? HA, I would rather perform my own root canal than pick up a phone and reach out to a complete stranger begging them to trust in me enough to let me close their loans.
I tried lots of techniques to build my business, some failed, ok many failed, but over time I realized in order to thrive I had to be true to who I was and find ways to step slightly out of my comfort zone.
One of the first things I did was throw away the notion that I had to speak to everyone at every event I attended. It was too overwhelming and I found I wasn’t building connections, I was just uncomfortable and rambling. I tried to target others that I could tell felt the same as I did, maybe they also sit in the corner, or fidget around – those were my people. I used my own humor to poke fun at myself as a way to break the ice, and it worked. This was a great way for me to start to find real connections with people in the industry.
Social media has also played a big part in my branding and business model. While I may not be an influencer or have millions of followers, social media has given me an avenue to show others a bit of who I am without feeling forced. I am able to share my life both personally and professionally and it has opened up some doors to new conversations and meetings that wouldn’t have happened else wise.
Now, this does not mean that I recommend sitting behind a computer all day just hoping things will happen I mean really utilizing the platforms to give a glimpse into who you are and why others should want to build partnerships with you.
One thing I’ve always wanted to do is be sure that I was providing a solid value proposition to all of my business partners. For me, it was leveraging my professional background in mortgage operations and finding new ways to provide tools and guidance to educate others on industry updates or program guidelines they may not be aware of. Having the knowledge base and willingness to share it has allowed others to grow trust in me as I have proven myself as someone that can add value.
Forming relationships is a large part of what we do day in and day out in the sales world. For an introvert, just the thought can be too much. For me, approaching this as a friendship rather than a business relationship has led to many more lastly bonds formed and has taken the pressure off of things. I talk to top producing agents, attorneys and everyone in between the same – with a friendly demeanor as I truly want to get to know them personally. It helps me become less rattled and shows my genuine personality.
I am a firm believer that introverts can indeed succeed in a sales role without fully compromising the very personalities that make us who we are. By finding a balance within us we can still achieve great things in this environment even if we are not always shaking hands and kissing babies.
People do business with people they like, if you like yourself and have a comfort level within yourself, you will stand out in the crowd.
Tracy Chongling is a producing branch manager at Supreme Lending.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of HousingWire’s editorial department and its owners.
To contact the author of this story:
Tracy Chongling at [email protected]
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Tracey Velt at [email protected]