The stories we tell ourselves are often out of alignment with reality.
It is often said that our own worst enemy is our self. Jumping to conclusions, judging situations with only half the facts or perhaps just a piece of one fact, imagining entire stories about what’s going on in other people’s lives from the limited information and typically narrow perspective that we have on most things.
For a Mortgage Broker an example of this would be the client that is not responding to emails and not returning phone calls. Often a client currently with Big Bank which has offered a very competitive rate. Often this is a client with whom dozens of hours have been invested demonstrating the advantage of working with an independent broker, the benefit of an annual mortgage check in, you being their third party advocate, providing a lender with superior prepayment options etc.
However after all those hours invested you just can’t seem to reach the client anymore, it must be because they have dumped you. Surely your calls are being evaded because the client just don’t know how to say that they have gone and signed with the other lender. You’ve heard the story before and you know exactly what is happening this time around…you just know it.
You commiserate with a few of your coworkers, they share stories of clients that they have lost in the 11th hour. This reinforces what you believe to be happening, based totally on the opposite of what anything should be based on – communication with the client themselves, not a complete lack thereof.
The days turn into weeks, and you’re pretty sure after two full weeks of no response that you have lost them.
Perhaps the messages you leave them or the e-mails you send them start to change in tone from that happy helpful broker that originally was working with them to the tone of a broker resigned to having lost another client or worse an air of frustration slips into your tone. Perhaps in a fit of desperation you start negotiating with an answering machine, suggesting to the clients that suddenly you’re able to cover their appraisal, their legal fees, maybe even come by and wash their car. All in an effort to generate a response, any response.
You start giving away the farm, still without ever actually having had a direct conversation since the approval email went out days or weeks earlier.
The clock is counting down to the renewal, subject removal, or completion date. What has happened…you sent them the approval and perhaps they even signed and returned it, hopefully you even met in person and had a great meeting, all you need is one last document perhaps just a void check to wrap up the file and yet – all has gone dark.
Enter your (false) thought(s) for the day;
- I know that they went back to their own bank.
- I annoyed them by not calling often enough through the process
- I called them too often
- I wrote too abrupt of emails (you are re-reading them all now, through a tinted lens)
- I wrote too long of emails, gave them too many choices and too much data….confused them
- I trash talked their current lender, or worse another Broker they were working with
- I should have delivered the docs in person
- I was too pushy, familiar, over-confident, under-confident, late, early…
- I should’ve met them at their house, not made the drive to my office.
- I should have had them come to my office to see how professional and serious I am.
- I should never have forced them to drive to my office, they live right on my way home anyways
- I failed to ‘insert text here’
All a narrative running in your own mind (I,I,I,I…) that has likely little if anything to do with the reality of the situation.
The client went away camping for a few days, came home to a hacked hotmail account and closed it without thinking to notify their Mortgage Broker, also they dropped their cell phone in the Ocean while boating. Got busy with a few different things and finally called to say ‘Hey, everything all cool with my new mortgage’?
The client was unaware that the lender had asked for that one last document. The client sends it through instantly. File Complete.
Here is perhaps my most meaningful thought for the day;
Do not build your own story in your own mind, wait for the real story and always give the client the benefit of the doubt. Keep convincing yourself you have lost a deal and next thing you know you will have.
Stick with positive energy!
Funny how things go sometimes, smile and have an excellent week.