Distractions, shiny whistles, creative avoidance. Whatever you choose to call it, I’m pretty sure all of the loan officers I know are prone to it. Actually, I’m pretty sure all salespeople are. Heck, all humans are. Not only are we easily distracted; I’m convinced we often go looking for distractions.
Here’s the deal: new, shiny things can often turn out to be a helpful new tool or weapon in your arsenal of loan officer skills. Other times, they’re just getting in the way of you getting your work done. So, how do you know when to investigate a new idea further and when to shut the door and work with what you’ve got?
Complete Your Proven Money-Making Tasks First
It’s human nature to create an activity that doesn’t need to be done just to avoid something that could bring you more money, but you don’t want to do it. We call that “creative avoidance.” Here’s a classic example: calling your past database. This is probably the number one loan officer strategy I recommend, if I had to pick just one. There are very few things we could do to get us loans easier and faster than calling our past database. So why don’t we do it? Laziness? Fear? We don’t know where to start?
Maybe you aren’t calling your past database because you don’t have your contacts in one spot, and that takes a lot of time and effort. So you get distracted by the idea of an Instagram account (more on that here in a bit) or Facebook ads. Those are both great ideas, but you need to call your past database first. You know that activity brings in business. Keep the main thing the main thing. As long as I’m getting that part done, then I can start adding technology to make those things easier.
It’s okay to dabble and try out new technology and new ideas, but only after you’ve completed your half-built bridges. A half-built bridge is something you start because you know it will bring you business, then you move on to something else before completion. You can’t run a successful business built upon half-built bridges. It takes money to build a bridge, and a half-built one doesn’t do me any good.
Finish your bridge before you start something new, no matter how shiny it is, how good it looks, how amazing it sounds. Half-built bridges are stressful, they take up space in the back of your head, they use mental RAM. We want to complete every task we start. It will give us a sense of satisfaction, and it’s really the only way to be effective and productive.
Know the Single Best Use of Your Time
The world is full of new and exciting ideas that can help your business grow. But you can’t be the one to chase them all. You have your zone of genius, and you hire other people to do the rest. I had a guy come in and clean out and organize my garage once. I walked in when he was finished, and it was like, dude, you just gave me a gift. I felt relaxed and at peace, like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Someone else can complete your half-built bridge. You delegate your tasks correctly, and you’re all set.
Let’s talk about setting up an Instagram account. Instagram is a useful tool that can absolutely help a loan officer with lead generation and build brand awareness. But is it essential? If so, is it the best use of your time, or could someone else do it? My colleague Nina handles my social media. She’s an expert, a guru. If I want to try a new shiny social media whistle, I talk to Nina and ask her to investigate it.
- Is it a good use of our time?
- Is it worth the money?
- What results will we see?
If I try to figure it out myself, I’m just going to get frustrated and leave another half-built bridge just hanging there. I might think I’m good at social media, but I’m not. I’m excellent at other things. Social media is Nina’s full-time job. While she’s investigating that, I’m going to go make more sales. Now the shiny whistle doesn’t keep me from my sales; it enhances it.
Another co-worker, Diane, has been working with me for 18 years. There’s an event coming up in San Diego. She’s going to fly out, take notes, and come back with a game plan, instead of me going out there and making no sales for three days. Diane has also set up our CRM (Customer Relationship Management). It’s a critical part of our business, but it’s not for me to do. If I dabbled in that, it would be a shiny whistle. For Diane, it’s an incredibly valuable thing for her to do for our company. She does the homework and makes the right choices for us. I don’t even know the password.
Everything can be a distraction. The question to ask is: What is the number one single best use of my time? For me, that is almost always going to be talking to a person, having conversations. Don’t ask, how do I do this? Ask, who can do this for me? If you’re struggling with creative avoidance, find somebody else to finish that bridge.
Take That First Step
We run two very successful mastermind groups, The Freedom Club and the Mortgage Marketing Animals. I belong to other masterminds as well. One of the strongest things I can do for my business is making proclamations to my fellow members. I have a friend in one of my groups who holds me accountable. We hold each other accountable. She’ll make a proclamation, “Carl, here’s what I’m going to do this week.” And then I make a proclamation to her. “Here’s what I’m going to go do.” If I say I’m going to do something, you can count on it. If I do something as simple as making a proclamation out loud, I’ve got to go do it now, or I’ve lied.
Do you have some half-built bridges, and you’re struggling with which one to complete first, and how? Do you need some momentum, but your half-built bridges are zapping all your energy? Do you need to make some proclamations out loud to someone? I would love to get on a call with you.
I just want awesome things for you. I want you to have a cool life. Life is pretty good for me. If you want to kick it up another level in your loan officer career, give me a buzz. The strategy session is absolutely FREE. We’ll map out a plan together in less than an hour. If you want help implementing the plan we come up with, great. If you want to take it and work it on your own, that’s totally cool too. No pressure.
Let’s turn those half-built bridges into highways of money. TODAY.
Check out this related article If you’re a Loan Officer Who’s Busy, You’re Doing it Wrong here: https://mortgagemarketinganimals.com/if-youre-a-loan-officer-whos-busy-youre-doing-it-wrong/