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Integrity Captures Borrower, Even More Than Experience

WESTON, FL-Now that lenders can no longer afford to hire just everyone-or even just anyone-as mortgage loan officers, the $94 question is this: Who to employ, the hard-charging extrovert with good work habits or the slow, methodical, experienced hand who has numerous contacts?

While it's not always an either/or choice, Patricia Sherlock, president of the QFS Group, a Medford, N.J., consulting firm, believes integrity is far more important than experience. "Just because someone worked for Bank of America doesn't mean he knows how to sell," she said at the American Bankers Association's Real Estate Lending Conference here.

Sherlock told the conference that of the nine personality traits of a successful sales person, three-expressiveness, self-reliance and a positive outlook about people-are "particularly unique and appropriate" to the mortgage sector.

The other six characteristics of a good salesman are energy, follow-through, optimism, resilience, assertiveness and sociability.

Being expressive isn't about being talkative, said Sherlock. In the end, a good salesperson will be "reserved, and give the customer an opportunity to speak."

Being self-reliant often is the quality that separates the great from the not so great, she also said. "It is often the missing part, and a strong predictor of sales success."

Not all of these attributes are part of every successful salesperson's DNA, said Sherlock. The hiring process should be structured to elicit as many of them as possible. Lenders should "hire traits, not experience."

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