Ask the Expert: Success depends on seizing opportunities

by MPA18 Aug 2014

By Dave Hershman
Special to MPA

I am thinking about becoming a loan officer. A friend of mine said that he will be training me and I have already taken the 20-hour course. What is going to determine my success?
--Peter from Seattle

I will end this series of answers focusing on one word: Opportunity. With regard to success we know there is a series of traits that will determine whether a loan officer succeeds -- from hard work to attitude to investment in their business. And each of these are important traits which cannot be overlooked.

But what really separates top producers from the middle of the pack? There are plenty of loan officers that work hard and have great attitudes but are not top producers. So there has to be an “overriding” element.

If you would go to national events and hear top producers speak, you will hear them say, "This is what I do." And they all deliver great tips. Yet, when the attendees go home and try to do these things, they work for some and not for others. And they are more likely to work for the top producers. How can that be?

Here is the difference. Top producers see opportunities and take advantage of them. Those who are not successful either miss the clues or when they see them or they don't act upon them because of certain "reluctances." This is something you can't teach, which is why you rarely hear it mentioned at these events.

To me, the goal of training is to open people's eyes wider so that they will see opportunities and actually help them overcome reluctances which keep them from acting. Not as “sexy” as some other training topics — like magic bullets to fix things all at once. But you need to build a foundation otherwise success will be fragile at best.
--Dave Hershman

Do you have a reaction to this commentary or another question you would like answered? Email Dave at
Dave Hershman has been the leading author and a top speaker for the industry for decades with six books authored and hundreds of articles published.   His website is  If you have a reaction to this commentary or another question you would like answered in this column? Email Dave directly at   



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