Karen Hambleton-O’Grady has an impressive resume. The mentor/trainer/program writer/mortgage broker founded Simply Mentoring and introduced her own platform, Training the Mentor, in 2009. She speaks to us about how she can help you develop greater skills to tap into even more opportunities for growth.
Tell us how the idea for Simply Mentoring came about?
One of the biggest difficulties I faced when I first started was understanding all the products and policies, understanding all the nuances of lending and the process from beginning to end.
Then the other one, of course, was remembering that you’re in sales essentially, so you’ve got to get out there and pound the pavement to get referrers in.
I had a mentor for around six weeks, maybe three months, and it was probably the best thing that ever happened because I hadn’t come from that banking background.
When I was getting up and running in those first few months, getting that advice was tremendous.
After [a few years] is when I said, “Well, I can give back a little bit”, so I used to have informal training sessions, and then I joined a group where we had weekly training sessions, and I was conducting those, and from there I went on to write my own program Training the Mentor [as part of Simply Mentoring].
So the training program is to help new brokers overcome those difficulties you experienced in the early days of being a broker?
Definitely. I thought, “OK, what are the roadblocks in the way of success?”
One is confidence, one is product knowledge, one is not understanding that you’re in sales, and one is not knowing how to structure a business.
So the program is written around those four areas – getting the business ready, getting it sales-ready, getting your client ready, and getting your products [and services] ready.
Do these four areas fall under the one program or can brokers pick and choose depending on what they feel their weaknesses are?
Essentially we approach it like a jigsaw puzzle. So if we had a financial planner coming to us, or an accountant wanting to merge into mortgage broking, we would sit down with them and say, “Everybody should do module one because that has all the behaviours and the set-up tools in there”.
After that, we would sit down and match the jigsaw pieces to what their learning needs are, and create a program designed for them.
They might only need one module because they’ve got all the knowledge but they’re lacking in the self-belief.
What are some of the common fear factors associated with trying to grow your business?
Most people aren’t frightened of failing, they’re frightened of maintaining success, so we work through all of that with them and ensure they’ve got good systems in place at the business side of it.
In our Training the Mentor program, which is a three-day program, it discusses the behaviours behind why people are successful and why they’re not. We teach existing brokers how to recognise and understand the behaviours of a successful person.
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