What baseball can teach us about loan production

As we enter the busy summer loan generation period of Q3, let’s turn to America’s favorite pastime, baseball, for a helpful sales tip. There’s a fundamental element of baseball that can help loan officers become better sales professionals: the number 3.

In every half inning, there are 3 strikes to an out and 3 outs to an inning. And when you’re engaged with a borrower who is shopping you versus another lender when looking for a mortgage, the rule of 3 can help you turn that interaction into a loan.

Use your 3 strikes and 3 outs wisely

When you make your first attempt at converting a borrower inquiry into an application, the customer may not be ready. They may hesitate or say, “No, not at this time.” That’s strike one – but the key to remember is that you have 2 left!

Keep the call alive with more questions to set up the proper product recommendation so you can try your second swing. If they say “no” on this attempt, you’ve had a good at-bat; now set the stage for a second contact by securing permission to follow up.

You’ve had one out. When you reengage the customer (within 3 days or less), you’re back in the batter’s box with 2 more attempts to start the application. If those swings again end in strikes, gain permission for your third and final at-bat with your third swing.

Now you’ve had 2 outs. At your final at-bat, use all 3 swings to get that hit! At this point, another follow-up would pay diminishing returns.

Pay attention to your borrowers’ signs and signals

Selling is based on focus, the ability to remain unfazed by rejection and most importantly, follow-up. Use these key behaviors give yourself the best chance at a quality summer of loan production.

The second half of 2019 could be very rewarding if you set yourself apart with savvy borrowers. Borrowers shop lenders based on their perception of getting the best deal. A smart loan officer will remember that “the best deal” means something different to every borrower – so pay attention to their signs and signals. Don’t make the error of bringing up price and rate too early in a call. Instead, get the borrower to agree their true issue is product selection and monthly payment.


"Don’t make the error of bringing up price and rate too early in a call."


For example, if you uncover that the borrower’s need is monthly cash flow versus equity build up, you can establish a foundation for a true financial consultation with the borrower and illustrate the value you bring beyond price. When you understand the factors that will affect the borrower’s decision, then you can tailor your loan offering to meet those needs.

The importance of follow-up

Just like any successful swing depends on follow through, a successful loan depends on follow-up.  Of course you need to follow up if you don’t succeed on the first sales call, but you should also follow up after you secure the pre-qualification or credit analysis. Continue to follow up on the phone (with a live conversation, not a voicemail) at least once a week until the loan funds. Never assume because you got the loan the work is over. Besides gathering the necessary documents to complete the loan, the psychological battle of keeping the borrower loyal to you is based on constant communication – in fact, the borrower is most open to competition after pre-qualification.

So, on every call, think about baseball and the rule of 3. Remember to focus, keep moving through rejection, and follow up. That’s how you’ll differentiate yourself from the competition and produce more loans in the second half of 2019.

For more sales tips, advice and insights from Dennis, enable his weekly Alexa Flash Briefing.


The opinions and insights expressed in this blog are solely those of its author, Dennis Black, and do not necessarily represent the views of either Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation or any of its parent, affiliates, or subsidiaries (collectively, “MGIC”). Neither MGIC nor any of its officers, directors, employees or agents makes any representations or warranties of any kind regarding the soundness, reliability, accuracy or completeness of any opinion, insight, recommendation, data, or other information contained in this blog, or its suitability for any intended purpose.

dennis black

About the author

Dennis Black, CEO - Dennis Black and Associates

Dennis Black is a leader in the finance and mortgage industry, bringing his unique coaching/mentor model to the mortgage industry since 1984. Dennis has trained more than 120,000 people on the keys to building relationships and making more money in a challenging mortgage environment.

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