Of all of the professionals that loan officers could learn from, would you have thought comedians would make the cut? It turns out there’s some real overlap in the skills required to succeed in the mortgage field and those needed to succeed as a professional comedian. Whether the audience is prospective homebuyers or people on a night out, both LOs and comedians are ultimately striving to connect. Both need the skills to engage with new people, the ability to communicate clearly, and the confidence to put themselves out there. Here are some of the most valuable lessons LOs can learn from comedians:
The importance of knowing your audience
Comedians understand the importance of knowing their audience. They work to figure out what’s relevant to their audience so they can come up with a performance that reaches them. They see the value in consistently creating new material. Even while they’re performing, they’re reading the room to learn what their audience responds to and picking up on verbal and nonverbal cues. LOs are in a similar situation as they navigate interactions with prospects and clients and strive to connect with them. The same way a good comedian researches what’s relevant to their audience, LOs can explore the top priorities and concerns of their target market. If you realize your current strategies aren’t working, it’s important to have the flexibility to switch it up and try out new methods. Reading your audience is equally important as a mortgage professional. The best LOs listen actively and pick up on the body language and cues of prospects and clients.
Reflecting on your performance
After a performance, successful comedians reflect on how it went — what worked, what didn’t, and what could be improved. Comedians are no stranger to critical feedback, as it can be an immediate reaction from their audience. Being able to reflect on that feedback and incorporate it into future performances is a strategy for success. LOs can learn from these habits and practice their own reflection regularly. Whether you’re assessing an interaction or reviewing feedback from a client, taking the time to translate these things into self-improvement efforts can be powerful.
Not taking yourself too seriously
This is one of the most valuable business lessons to learn from comedians. Comedians know that they’ll sometimes make mistakes, that a joke won’t land the way they hoped, that not every performance will go as planned. But being able to laugh at yourself and take yourself less seriously is half the fun of being an entertainer. While it can’t be all laughs for LOs, they can benefit from a lighter mindset. It’s about giving yourself the space to continue improving. Recognizing that you’re not perfect and that you’re not in control of every detail is a freeing mindset to adopt. Of course, LOs need to work to satisfy clients and make things right. And owning their mistakes and making the best of the situation can make for a resilient and successful mortgage professional. Recovering quickly from setbacks is what matters.
Taking creative risks
Comedians take a risk every time they step on stage, with each new piece of material they try out on their audience. It’s largely about experimentation and leaving their safe zone. Though these risks might occasionally result in failure, they also open up the possibility for greater success. LOs should exercise their ability to take new risks as well, leaving space to experiment with new ideas and occasionally make mistakes. Working in any sales field means that you need to step out of your comfort zone.
Though it may not be the first profession you think of when looking for business inspiration, comedians are actually a great resource for LOs to learn from. From emphasizing the importance of connecting with your audience to demonstrating the value of risk, these professionals offer a range of wisdom that LOs can apply in their own work.