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The Perfect Plan to Implement and the Best Question to Ask

As a general rule, I don’t do clickbait blog titles, but I might have crossed the line this time. I really do have the best question to ask, but I’ve got some breaking news for you about perfect plans. 

There is no perfect plan.

So many of us spend our time making a plan, trying to get it exactly perfect, and we get stuck in planning mode instead of actually doing something. We’ll learn a whole lot more just by taking action than by having a perfect plan. 

Just like there’s no perfect plan, there’s no perfect time to get started. But there’s a best time to get started: right now.

Stop Getting Ready to Get Ready

One of the biggest hang-ups I see when I’m talking to fellow loan officers is that they’re trying to add too many moving parts when they’re working to get referrals. We hear about things like funnels or a 17-step process of renting the Goodyear blimp and getting our branding out there, and so we try to do it all. 

Those things aren’t going to move the needle like we hope they will. Most of the time, we don’t even finish what we start and end up wasting all kinds of time and money.

Big branding efforts work for companies like McDonald’s and Hershey’s. For loan officers, it’s actually easier than all of that. This is a great industry. I literally know of no other industry where I’ve got so many friends and acquaintances making over a million dollars a year in W2 income. I’m not talking about the mortgage branch owners. I’m talking about actual loan officers bringing in big money each year just from closing loans. 

A lot of times when we’re getting the perfect plan together, we spend a lot of time “getting ready to get ready.” What if we could get the same results—or even better results—by using some simple scripting? These are conversations by design that, once you know what to say and who to say it to, you can get started right away. Forget all the moving parts, the myriad expenses, buying a bunch of software. We’re just going out and doing something.

Stop Being Scared of Objections, Rejections, and Mistakes

Will we get objections and rejections? Of course. So what do we do then? We work on our rebuttal. You will learn so much more just by getting out there, getting the objections, then perfecting your rebuttal to those objections. Just get into action. Yes, you’ll have to be okay with not looking perfect. Fast action means imperfect action. That’s just the nature of the beast. But you’ll learn so much more, so much faster, and it will more than make up for any little embarrassment you feel by not being perfect. Plus, I have news for you. All the “getting ready” in the world won’t guarantee that you won’t make mistakes. It doesn’t work that way. 

A good friend told me one time, “Carl, you’ve got to risk looking stupid.” But understand this: nobody’s going to think you’re stupid. When I’m talking to someone and ask them a question and they don’t know the answer, I don’t think, “Well, gosh, this person is stupid.” I just think, “Well, they don’t have the answer to this specific question.”

When I’m talking to people, I do like having scripts. And I can either work on them or copy someone else’s. I like to say, in all sales across the board—whether you’re selling loans, houses, or seafood—there are seven to nine objections people come up with. We just need to identify them and come up with rebuttals for each of them. 

I literally envision a set of 9 keys hanging on a string around my neck. Each key fits the lock to a certain objection someone might have. So, when I come up to the door and see that it’s locked (an objection), I just grab the key that fits that lock. How did I know which one fit? Because I’ve heard that objection before. How did I hear it before? By having a lot of conversations. Don’t wait until you have all the answers. Just take action. You’ll get so much better the more you practice, and you’ll be so much further ahead than your competition.

So the “perfect plan” is nothing more than the plan you implement and put into action today. Just start having conversations with people. Forget all the complicated stuff and the branding and the big, grand gestures. Simply start having conversations with people. Why aren’t more of us starting there? Because we’re scared. You don’t need to be. Just jump in.

The Best Question

Now let’s talk about the question. I know a guy named Ryan Deiss. He’s a very wealthy, very successful friend of mine who’s an eight-figure CEO. We were meeting in a mastermind group a couple months ago, and we were talking about how firmly we believe that having the right question is more valuable than having the right answers. We even have contests to decide who can ask the best question.

One question we ask each other often is called the pragmatic question. Let’s say I heard an idea and decided to try it, but it’s just not working. So, here’s the pragmatic question: Is my strategy not working because the strategy is bad, or is it not working because I’m incapable of executing that strategy due to an issue I can’t resolve at this time? If it’s because of an issue I can’t resolve right now, what are those unresolvable issues?

In a nutshell: Is the strategy wrong, or am I doing it wrong?

Sometimes in the past, I would start a strategy and quit it before I gave myself a chance to figure out why it wasn’t working. I’ve found that it’s almost always a couple simple tweaks that make all the difference. 

For example, I was getting all these realtor referral partners but hardly closing any loans. I finally figured out that I wasn’t talking to qualified agents. Many of them had like two closings a year, so of course I wasn’t getting significant business from them. I was doing the strategy right. I was simply using it on the wrong people. When I started going after qualified agents, everything changed. 

Take Advice from Successful People Only

Now, when a strategy isn’t working, I don’t quit until I’ve talked to someone who’s implementing the strategy successfully and see where I’m going wrong. Sometimes you just need another person’s perspective. But, again, make sure it’s a person who’s implementing the strategy and seeing results, not someone who’s struggling just like you are. 

I only copy people who are already at the top of their game. Those are the people I befriend and go to events with and have meetings with and do Zoom calls with. In my case, these are high-producing loan officers, branch managers, or company owners. I’ll run a strategy by them, tell them what I’m doing, and ask them what I need to correct. But I don’t quit a strategy without doing the due diligence of making sure I’m doing it the right way. 

The bottom line? Don’t give up. This loan officer gig is a great career, and this is a great time to be doing it. There are so many opportunities. A lot of people are bailing, and it’s because they’re not getting help. Getting help can make all the difference in the world. 
We’d love to be that help for you. If you’d like some scripts to help you deal with objections or you’re looking for some good strategies to implement, we’d love to chat with you. We can suggest some simple tweaks, things you can change to improve your business. Give us a call TODAY to set up a FREE strategy session.