If you want to become a sales manager, start with perfecting and then showcasing these key skills throughout your interview process.
1. Finding, recruiting and hiring skilled loan officers
While much of your job as a branch manager will be centered on helping your current team to keep doing better through the years, having new prospects coming in the front door to take the place of those that either were promoted or left is equally as important.
Take a few minutes every day to communicate with potential candidates and start conversations you can learn from through the years. Figure out what you could be doing now as a branch manager and be prepared for the role when the opportunity presents itself.
What is it about the top-performers on your existing team that made it possible for them to flourish? If you're interviewing a candidate for a loan officer job who cannot come up with one or more specific loan successes they've had at their current or previous sales job, that's a big warning sign.
It's not pertaining to how much you've earned in income, but in general successful salespersons tend to remember their greatest wins and recognize their situation.
Readiness and organizational skills are imperative.
If a candidate isn't ready in advance to tell someone an unforgettable experience they can momentarily bring up during their interview, how can you expect them to be ready and know how to close their first few prospects?
An additional indicator of a strong salesperson, outside of their traditional pipeline level, is how well they are organized and how ready they are when meeting a client, taking a sales call, or co-hosting a lunch and learn seminar. An interview is the ideal assessment to measure this important trait.
They've been tested and challenged.
It my not be a smart decision to hire someone with the excellent sales history who's never experienced losing big deals before. Getting rejected is painful, and a powerful reminder to change your way with clients.
Someone who has a great track record of sales may be selling products that sell themselves easily whether they were there or not. What's better is to find someone who's has a lot of sales experience (or another related field) to recognize that not every prospect will be a buyer or future prospect.
Understanding that rejection & failure are the stepping stones of educating and becoming even better as a salesperson. The best sales people are usually competitive personalities, and that doesn't mean naturally quiet people are excluded.
There are many examples of introverts who are top performers in sales. They simply know what and how to say something that comes across with confidence to the prospect versus someone who is pushy or talks a lot.
2. Skills to teach and mentor
Outside of just guiding your team as a net branch manager your objective is to effectively develop your loan originators and help them progress in the industry and as an individual.
Equally as important as your experience as a leader is demonstrating your ability at picking the brain of your mortgage originators and being able to help them solve the recommended method to negotiate when presented with an objection.
3. Interpersonal and communication skills
How well do you work together with others?
As you're probably aware, the majority of the duties upon becoming a sales manager is to set up in-person and online meetings, discuss and actively solve problems with the LO's in your branch.
A lot of branch managers job listings emphasize the amount of time much you are expected to be on the phone, arrange presentations, seek mutually beneficial partnerships and be involved in the sales process with major accounts from beginning to end.
For that reason, solid interpersonal and communication skills are important. Although that does not mean the successful loan officers are great at these skills. They could be great organizers and use an efficient system.
When mentoring an MLO that's experiencing some difficulties, make sure you don't think they have the same standard of knowledge and experience you have. Start from the very beginning as if they are a rookie or first time homebuyer. .