The stories we tell ourselves often fail to align with reality.
In business, as with life, our own worst enemy is often our self. We jump to conclusions too easily, hastily judging situations with only half (if as much) of the facts. More likely a sliver of one fact, with which we fabricate intricate tales about what is ‘really’ going on in our clients heads. Headlong into ill-informed supposition we take action with our narrow perspective. Often having to either say;
- Whoops. Phew.
- Whoops. So Sorry.
- Whoops, I blew that one.
For my fellow Mortgage Brokers I offer this timely example; The client that is not responding to emails, text message, phone calls, voicemail, smoke signals, etc. Often this is a client with either a long completion date on their purchase, or a refinance whereby we are breaking the relationship with the clients current lender. This is also a client with whom dozens of hours have been invested demonstrating the advantage of working with an independent broker, the benefits of an annual mortgage check in, your being their third party advocate, providing a lender with superior prepayment options, negotiating a competitive rate on their behalf at renewal, etc. You are fully invested, perhaps even emotionally as you feel you truly connected and really created a superior strategy moving forward for these clients.
Yet after all those hours invested you just can’t seem to reach the client anymore, you just need one final document or item confirmed.
But the client has gone dark on you.
Surely your calls are being evaded because the client just don’t know how to say that they ‘broken up with you’.
They must have signed with the other lender.
You’ve heard the story before and clearly 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 upon; i.e. clear communication with the client themselves.
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 or the e-mails you send start to change in tone from ‘happy & helpful’ into that of ‘resignation and regret’. Your tone that of a Broker convinced that they have lost another.
An air of frustration mixed with exasperation, slipping into your tone. In the final phase 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 target renewal date 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.
The negative thoughts rage in your mind;
- I know that they went back to their own bank
- I annoyed them by not calling often enough
- I called them too often
- I wrote too abrupt of emails
- I wrote too long of emails
- I should have offered additional choices
- I offered them too many choices
- 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, too familiar, too over-confident, too 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, why did I go to their home.
- 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, boating up the coast for two weeks. They then returned 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 then finally call you 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.