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Revolutionary or Evolutionary?

What if your company’s sales growth was based on a strategy that you can create a revolutionary team that progresses the evolution of your firm?

There are usually two strategies when it comes to growing a sales team: hire experienced talent or grow new talent.

But there’s another way of thinking about your sales team: It should really be a revolutionary or evolutionary strategy.

You’re captivated, right?

Well, hold on to your seat! We are going to shatter some perceptions together!

Some people are uncomfortable with the word “revolutionary.” It evokes images of hardship or, in the extreme, maybe even violence.

The word “evolutionary,” on the other hand, tends to imply passivity, a strategy of allowing things to progress somewhat organically.

Revolutionary Sales Strategy Equals Evolutionary Growth

I tend to lean more toward the “go big or go home” side of things, the “reach for the stars” mentality that sometimes requires boss moves. Can you see your company at the top of the leader board? Do you believe so deeply in magic that it’s impossible not to see it as reality?

Whether you are going against the grain or dealing with the uncertainty of whether an idea or strategy will take your firm in the right direction, you will be driven by your experience. You’ll also likely be driven by emotion (positive or negative).

In a recent “Business Unusual” podcast with Barbara Corcoran, her guest Ed Mylett said something that resonated with me: “You gravitate toward your most common emotion, even if it’s not positive. Getting your confidence is a matter of shifting that.” I couldn’t agree more! What if a sales growth strategy was based on the confidence that you could create a revolutionary team that progressed the evolution of your firm? I will wait while you read that again … revolutionary sales strategy creating evoluti-onary growth. But how?

5 Magic Levers

Sales growth itself can be like your favorite roller coaster or the dreaded spinning teacups! Navigate the ups and downs by keeping your group moving forward versus the never-ending spinning of building momentum that ends with nothing but whiplash and an upset stomach. If you have been fortunate like me to build high-performing sales teams, you know there is probably more magic than science in doing so. I lean into the magic, the feeling, the artistry of leadership that makes people not only want to work for you but stay working for you. There are any number of highly rated books that all kinds of industries have used to advance their sales organizations, but I would hesitate to tell you there is one tell-all that will be the one for you. Through the years, I have read many of these and applied pieces from each of them. Here are my five “magical” levers (the order of importance is negotiable):

  1. Take your time. I know you feel like you have to make a hire right now. You don’t.
  2. Trust your gut. But be willing to “fly the plane while you are building it.” Bad hires will happen. Knowing how quickly to move in a different direction will be the measurement of success.
  3. Diversify your hiring strategy. Depending on your strategy, your immediate need may be for a highly experienced salesperson with a book of business, but consider a strategy that can take a great salesperson and build them into a high performer within your model.
  4. Create entrepreneurs in your entrepreneurial business. Encourage fast decision-making. Encourage the activities it takes for your salespeople to be successful. Most salespeople have an innate sense of wanting to be big impactors. If you hire someone who tells you they are OK with just being in the top 10, most likely they will be in the bottom 10.
  5. Be the cheerleader, the counselor, the advocate. Tell your people when they are creating magic for your firm and tell them when they are not. Kind candor is a real thing, and you should consider it one of the most valuable points of feedback you can provide.

Leading the Team

Anyone on my current team or past sales team has heard me say, ”As long as you are doing all the things you need to do to accelerate your business, you work for yourself. When you stop doing those, you work for me, and nobody wants to work for me!” It’s a funny way of saying, “Do all the right things and you have my support to take it to any level of success you want!”

Revolutionary teams start with a leader who is willing to trust and create accountability—and be held to those standards as well. You will make mistakes (I make them every day), and sometimes you will even repeat those mistakes. That’s OK. But let me encourage you to own those mistakes up and down the food chain. You will win the respect of your team, you are less likely to make that mistake again because you have acknowledged it as one, and if you’re reporting to someone else, you show a willingness to learn and grow.

You may have inferred by now that the evolutionary strategy is less appealing in the fast-paced world of private lending (humbly stated). But it doesn’t mean you should altogether avoid a gradual development. It can be an extremely helpful process for things like the pace of hiring, ensuring a balance between sales and ops to create exceptional customer experience, and for measuring twice and cutting once.

Plainly stated, I subscribe to the more magic than science approach in any sales strategy, and I firmly believe when you hire and train the right talent, commit to them in a professional and even personal way, you will build a team that will have others clamoring for your talent.

What is more magical than that?


Dana Georgiou is a seasoned mortgage professional with nearly 30 years of mortgage lending experience, including 15 years of executive management experience in production and operations. Her expertise includes the development of corporate sales growth and strategy, perfecting and implementing solutions to streamline new loan production, and asset management as well as managing large-scale mortgage operation centers.

Georgiou has a deep background in mortgage compliance, including CFPB mock audit efforts. She has worked in all channels of the mortgage business, with the last few years focused on the private lending/business purpose entity lending space. Her proven track record covers operations, credit/risk, and sales and marketing. She is an avid speaker/presenter at numerous mortgage industry events and believes in deep advocacy for education in the private lending space.

Georgiou is a published author, with some of her most recent articles appearing in Mortgage Women Magazine. She sits on the advisory council for the National Alliance of Commercial Lending Brokers and is actively involved with Habitat for Humanity in her local area as a financial counselor helping families achieve their dream of homeownership.



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