You never know where your next loan closing will come from. It’s surprising how often a conversation can turn toward buying a home. It could be at a friend’s barbeque, while dropping your kids off at daycare, at a chamber of commerce meeting, at a sporting event, or during a book club gathering.
Many times, there’s a small opening to connect with somebody when you’re asked about what you do for a living, but it doesn’t always mean it’s the right time for a full sales pitch.
If you’ve ever had the experience of telling someone you’re a mortgage loan originator or a loan officer and then getting a blank stare or polite smile in return, you likely know exactly what we’re talking about. The conversation usually ends there, and the opportunity is lost.
What Is an Elevator Pitch?
An elevator pitch is a brief statement designed to create curiosity around what you do—enough information but not too much. It should get the person you’re speaking with hooked and engaged, resulting in them asking you a question to further the conversation.
Why is it called an elevator pitch? Because you should be able to say the entire thing in the time it takes for an average elevator ride—about 30 seconds to a minute.
Why Loan Officers Need an Elevator Pitch
Successful loan officers should have a natural elevator pitch that’s simple and not pushy.
Once you’ve figured out how to frame your WOW factor in a few succinct words, it’ll be easier to have a memorable impact, even with a very short interaction time. Let’s be honest: There are thousands of mortgage loan officers out there. Your elevator pitch is what sets you apart from the others.
A good loan officer elevator pitch follows this basic formula: who you serve, what you do to help them, and how they benefit. You can also think of it this way: the problem you solve + solution + proof.
Notice that the pitch is all about them, never just about you.
7 Tips for Crafting a Loan Officer Elevator Pitch
1. Focus on differentiators.
Today’s consumers are more intrigued by relatable stories than the typical loan officer rhetoric. Don’t say, “I help first-time homebuyers realize their dream of homeownership…” or launch into how low your interest rates are right out of the gate. It’s what every loan officer says.
Do you have a knack for VA loans? Are you known as a local expert? Are you the go-to for tough loans that no one else in your area can do? Do you have exceptional experience with jumbo loans?
Start with a hook that’s relatable to the person standing across from you. You don’t have to have just one elevator pitch. Craft as many versions as you want and change them out to best fit the interaction you’re in.
2. Be enthusiastic.
Enthusiasm for a job is contagious. Show how passionate you are about lending and helping others, and everyone will feel your authenticity. Tell people exactly what excites you about your job and why.
3. Make the pitch about the listener.
Nobody wants to hear you talk about yourself. What they really want to know is how you can help them and why they should care. If your elevator pitch can’t answer the WHO and the WHY, then you’re missing the mark.
Nine times out of 10, industry jargon is not helpful. Try to connect your message to the emotions of the listener by creating a scenario they can relate to and understand. That’s what will result in further conversation.
4. Don’t try to close a sale.
An elevator pitch won’t close a sale in 30 seconds, nor is it designed to! An elevator pitch is about striking someone’s curiosity enough to make a connection, and in doing so, creating an opportunity for a further interaction down the line. This is a chance to open a door and invite people in.
5. Tell a story.
Once you’ve hooked them, it may be story time. Maybe you’ve been working with a family for several years while they worked to build their credit so they could buy a home and have just finished up the loan process with them.
Or maybe you’ve just helped a family get an accepted offer due to your unique loan program that provides a financial guarantee for an on-time close. These stories are powerful and relatable to what’s happening in the current market.
6. Tweak the elevator pitch as you go.
A good elevator pitch takes time to perfect. Once you say it a couple of times in a real setting, you’ll often find the need to tweak your pitch. The best pitch is generally the most natural, so if it’s not rolling off your tongue, it’s time to rethink it.
As already mentioned, you may need to create multiple pitches based on the audience you have in front of you. Knowing your audience is key to success, and with time you’ll get better at adjusting the message to fit the audience’s needs.
7. Practice makes perfect.
A perfect elevator pitch won’t land in your lap overnight. It takes practice to hone your message. Don’t be afraid to ask co-workers and family members if you can try it out on them. A precise, well-timed elevator pitch can become a powerful marketing tool in your networking arsenal.
And speaking of marketing tools, we’ve put together a whole ebook of resources on how to build your referral network that you may find helpful in your journey to fine-tune your elevator pitch.