Hierarchy of Leads- Overcoming Call Reluctance- Ralph Watkins

So, I recently got a call from a client who said, “Man, I’m really struggling today.  It looks like my call reluctance is rearing its ugly head….again.”  ☹   Since most Loan Officers deal with call reluctance at some level, I thought it would be good to share an idea that has coalesced into a guiding principle.

I asked, “So, what is at the heart of your call reluctance?  Is it a fear of all calls or ‘just’ a fear making cold calls?”  She said, “I really hate making cold calls.”

As an aside, if your call reluctance is a fear of making ANY phone calls, you may need to reconsider whether this is the profession for you.  If you fear making cold calls, which is really the fear of rejection, take heart, you’re in good company and depending on your situation, you may be fretting over nothing.

“Fair enough,” I said. “I’m just curious. How many loans with contracts do you currently have in your pipeline?” “About 12,” she replied.  “Cool,” I said. “Do you remember that ninja system we have for marketing to your pipeline, which, by the way is your number one source for new business?”  “Yes,” she replied again. “Great!  Have you made those calls for this week?” I asked. “Well, no. Not yet.”
“Ok, well whom should you be calling first for more business?  Is it people with files in escrow in your current pipeline who actually WANT you to call them, or people who don’t know you, aren’t working with you and want you to just leave them alone?  ‘Uh, well clearly, the people in my pipeline,” she answered.

“That’s right!” I continued. “Now, after your pipeline, your next best source for business is your past client database. Are you totally current with your quarterly calls, your monthly mailer and your weekly emails to your database?”  (pause) “….uh, no.”  “Ok, so same question, whom should you call first for more business?  Is it people that you have already helped and know how awesome you and your team are, or people who have never worked with you and don’t know what you can do?”  “Well, it would be the peeps in my database,” she answered again.

Ok, good.  Now let’s talk about Realtor calls.  Why do we even make them?”  She answered, “So that we can book face to face appointments to create new referral relationships.”  I said, “Correct! Now, who is it easier to get to meet face to face with you, Agents you know or Agents you don’t know?”  “Agents I know, of course,” she said. “Right.” I continued. “So, who should you be calling first for appointments?”  “Agents I know.”

I then asked, “Do you have any issue calling Agents you know and inviting them to coffee?” “Nope.”
“Ok, well you’ve been doing loans in this town for over 20 years. You must know dozens of Realtors.” “I do,” she agreed.  “Perfect,” I said. “So, using our Thor’s Hammer system for reaching out to Realtors, if you call through your known Agents first, you’ll likely never even get to the ones you don’t know.”  She responded “Wow! I guess I never thought of it that way.”

So, in summary, FIRST we call though our pipeline, THEN we call through our database, THEN we reach out to our known Agents.  After these calls have been completed, then in your spare time, if you feel like it, you can make cold calls to unknown Realtors. 😀    Understanding this Hierarchy of Leads and using it to prioritize your calls really can help you overcome call reluctance.

Now, what if, on top of having call reluctance, you’re brand new in the business (or just returning), have no pipeline or database and you don’t know anyone?  The good new is that we have an excellent strategy for working with Title Companies to generate an unlimited warm list of producing Realtors who are expecting your call.  The bad news is that that will have to wait for a different post, OR if you’d like that information sooner, why not click the banner on this page to schedule a free strategy call?  In addition to that strategy, we’ll help you take an inventory of the business assets you have and then map out a blueprint to help you move forward by using what you have to get what you want.  You may discover that your call reluctance is “much ado about nothing.”

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The 3 Freedoms- Episode 5

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The 3 Freedoms

Gaining control of these three areas of your business isn’t just some mirage in the distance; it’s a completely attainable goal that’s essential to finding the freedom you deserve in your business.

In this episode, we’re joined by my very good friend and Freedom Club coach, Ralph Watkins. Ralph and I break down the specifics to creating freedom within your business to give you a new perspective on what success really looks like.

Go here to listen right now at: (Get it on iTunes here or Download it here)

Here’s a glance at what Carl and Ralph discuss in this episode:

  • 3 types of Freedom: Time, Financial, and Relationship
  • Creating balance by setting new standards
  • The key to creating a sustainable business
  • The importance of having an abundance mentality
  • Applying Parkinsons Law to increase productivity
  • And much more!!

If you have questions about this topic, set up a free strategy call with one of our coaches at

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Getting rid of the craziness- Episode 3

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Getting rid of the craziness…

When it comes to hiring an assistant, these are the three most common excuses I hear from LO’s:
1. “I only close 10 (or less) a year now. I can’t afford to hire an assistant.”
2. “My company won’t hire an assistant for me until I close X amount of loans a month.”
3. “An assistant would be nice, but I can manage on my own.”

Here’s the thing – No matter where you’re at in your business, you need help. Honestly, you can’t afford to NOT have help.
On a consistent basis with the loan officers I coach, I see their businesses double within 12 months (usually way less than that) from hiring a talented assistant who frees them up to concentrate on high pay-off activities to secure a constant flow of business.
In this episode, we brought back my good friend and Freedom Club coach, Ralph Watkins. Ralph has a knack for finding and utilizing assistants, and he’s here to walk us through the entire process!

Here’s a sampling of some of what Carl and Ralph discuss in this episode:

  • The mindset for successful team building
  • How to close more loans while working less
  • A list of tasks your assistant should do
  • Investing ahead to create continual growth
  • How to establish an accountability dynamic
  • And much more!!

If you have questions about this topic, set up a free strategy call with one of our coaches at

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Beware the LO Roller Coaster- Episode 2

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Beware the LO Roller Coaster…

Do you have a month where you’re on fire and closing an amazing amount of loans, and then the next month the number of loans you close drops drastically and you can’t figure out why?

If that sounds like you, chances are you’re on what we like to call the “loan officer roller coaster.” In other words, you bring in new business, and then get stuck in the minutia of the loan process which takes you away from doing the activities that brought in the loans during the month you were on fire and smashing it.

It’s easier than you think to unbuckle your seatbelt and get off of the “loan officer roller coaster,” but there are specific exercises and steps to take to create clarity and stability within in your business. To chat about how to do just that, we’re joined by Ralph Watkins who specializes in coaching loan professionals around the country on this exact topic!

If you have questions about this topic, set up a free strategy call with one of our coaches at

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