As the credit union mortgage business transitions from a refi market to a purchase market, CUs are having to make “hard decisions” about their sales staff.
That was the message from Pat Sherlock, president and founder of Philadelphia-based QFS Sales Solutions. On Monday Sherlock told attendees of the American Credit Union Mortgage Association’s Annual Convention the first step is to evaluate the talent on hand. “Second, determine if issues are coachable or not,” she said. “If there are issues on the motivational side, that individual probably will not be on the team going forward. Hard decisions must be made.”
Research has found 46% of loan origination business comes from 10% of originators. Sherlock said this is not by chance. “Top producers have the most integrity and deliver the best customer service,” she said.
There are nine traits that lead to loan production, Sherlock continued, meaning the interview process for hiring must identify individuals with these traits. The first six, which she said are “fairly standard” throughout many industries, are having high energy, being good at following through, and being optimistic, resilient, assertive and social. The final three traits are particularly important to the mortgage banking business—being self-reliant, a good listener, and positive about people.
“These are central traits—people do not suddenly develop them when they are 35,” she said. “No amount of sales training will ever develop an untalented person into a top producer. Personality traits always have to be first, because if the person does not have confidence in their traits, they probably will not be successful.”
According to Sherlock, a successful hiring process starts with identifying the necessary personality traits, then the candidate’s attitude and values, with matching the CU’s sales model on a third tier. “The individual must match cultural values—what the credit union is all about. Someone might have the talent, but not be a match.”