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Why Listening is a Key Skill for Loan Officers

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Last week, we talked about the importance of body language when it comes to communication skills. Another equally important piece of the puzzle has to do with your listening skills. Of course, it’s important to be able to express yourself and convey your ideas, but for strong communication, listening skills are also necessary. This is a big one for loan officers, as they frequently interact with prospects, clients, and other professionals. Having the ability to listen actively can be the difference between genuinely connecting and missing a great business opportunity. Read on for a few ways in which building solid listening skills can help you expand your mortgage business:

Office interactions

Listening skills are essential in an office environment. Your ability to actively listen to and effectively communicate with your coworkers will directly impact your business success. This is particularly true when you’re working as a team within the office. If you’re not able to listen to the ideas and concerns of your coworkers, you’ll miss out on forming the solid professional relationships you need. LOs who are equipped with the skills to listen and communicate will also benefit from help and new ideas from coworkers.

Professional networking

In the same way that listening and communication skills are crucial within your branch, they’re equally important in professional networking situations. Let’s say you have the opportunity to meet new potential referral partners or fellow LOs at an event. Your ability to listen effectively will help create the strong first impression you want. It shows that you’re someone who cares enough to listen and are the kind of collaborator that they’d choose to work with in the future. Your listening skills need to be ready to go from your first meeting. Something as simple as remembering someone’s name can make a strong impression. This also goes for remembering key details they might mention. If jotting them down after an initial meeting is helpful, do so.

Winning over prospects

Being an expert listener can help LOs win over prospects and transform them into clients. This is, of course, the best case scenario for loan originators. What separates you from successfully connecting with a prospect or losing that opportunity? Often, it’s in your first impression. One of the best ways to leave a positive first impression is to actively listen, ensuring that they feel heard. Even though you are selling your services, you don’t want to come across as pushy or salesy. Rather than talking too much about yourself and what you can offer, remember to prioritize listening to demonstrate genuine care and concern for their needs and interests. If you can repeat some of these details back to them in the conversation or in a follow-up email, this will reiterate your attentiveness.

Delivering personalized service to clients

When it comes to current clients, solid listening skills help support the customer experience you deliver. When you listen to your client’s needs, you’re better able to exceed their expectations. Ask the right questions from the start, whether this means using a survey format to determine what they need or a less formal meeting where you can record this information yourself.

Responding to feedback

Knowing how to listen to constructive feedback is important, whether it’s from clients or coworkers. Taking this feedback and seeking out the lessons in it will help you and your mortgage business excel. In this way, great listening skills form the foundation for your growth.

Building a solid listening skill set is crucial for LOs. These skills aren’t usually covered in training or education, but they’re just as important as the hard skills of lending. The better you listen across all of your business interactions, the more successful you’ll be as a communicator, and the more potential business growth you can achieve.