Is success really about who you know?
Or is what you know more important in today’s marketplace?

“It is more about who you know than what you know.” If you have been in any type of business for any length of time you have probably heard this old gem a thousands times. “It’s not what you know, but who you know that counts.” Well, while at one time this aged-old sentiment may have made some sense, it is certainly not true today.

Yes, some time ago, it was simple: the perfect average couple with a median income, 2.4 kids, B+ credit and a 20% cash down payment, came wide-eyed and bushy tailed to the real estate and mortgage professional looking for guidance. Sure enough, in that old-boys-club, good buddy era if you could name-drop a few important or familiar people; you got the business.

However, today we operate in a highly advanced ever changing marketplace beset by a volatile economy, fluctuating home values, upside down debt structures and a modern, educated consumer who has more options than ever before. Add to this the flood of agents, brokers and lenders that burst on the scene during the boom-years, and the result is that to succeed in today’s environment, it is not only about what you know, but how much you know and how you apply what you know. Simply put, today you have to be a true professional.

So the question arises, “Then what is it that makes one a true professional? When someone pays you to do something, does that make you a professional? I mean, isn’t that the definition of a pro?” I’m sorry: NO. If I put on a pair of overalls, put a paint brush in my pocket and under bid everyone else, I could probably find someone willing to pay me to paint their home. Does that make me a professional house painter?

But wait a minute! Someone may be thinking, “I have a license. I went to a few seminars, read a couple of books and passed the test. Doesn’t that make me a professional?” Someone who gradates medical school and completes a brief internship is a licensed doctor. Yet is this person a true qualified surgeon at that time? Your licensing and initial schooling is the beginning of your professional education, not the end. To compete today requires comprehensive and ongoing training to keep pace with the industry. The fact is that sales and marketing, customer service and mortgage lending are not natural acts; they are learned skills that will not improve just because you are an intelligent person. These skills will also not improve because of people you know or because you are so likable and personable. The only way to rise above your competition is to deliver a more complete service which requires the skills and training that enable you to be more efficient and proficient and to perform and communicate at a higher level.

Maybe you have heard that if you just take a few classes and pass an exam that the money would start rolling in and you could even sit at home, work part time and get rich. Well, I am sorry to tell you that it does not work that way. If you have taken some strides to upgrade your knowledge and have seen some level of success; then please understand that training is an ongoing process that must continue throughout your career. If you are fortunate enough to have sought high-level training and have enjoyed sustained success; please realize that you must continue to raise the preverbal bar to remain where you are. There is an ancient Chinese proverb that goes:

He who does not know and does not know that he does not know, is a fool. Shun him.
He who does not know and knows that he does not know, is a child. Teach him.
He who knows and does not know that he knows, is asleep. Wake him.
But he who knows and knows that he knows is wise. Follow him.

Understand the importance of training because it is not about who you know but what you know. When your training gets you to the point where you know and you know that you know, then clients will follow you!

© Copyright  Bryant Nielson. All Rights Reserved.

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Bryant Nielson is heavily involved in the Corporate Training and Leadership and Talent space. He currently is the Managing Director for CapitalWave Inc and the training division, Financial Training Solutions. He brings a diverse corporate experience of organizational development, learning and talent development, and corporate training, that also includes personal coaching of top sales individuals and companies of all sizes. For the prior 4 years, Bryant was the Managing Director and Leadership and Talent Manager for Lengthen Your Stride! LLC. In this position, Nielson was the developer of all of the courses for MortgageMae University (MMU), the Realtor Development Center (RDC), and of Lengthen Your Stride! (LYS). In that position, he developed material, refined over many years of use and active training, and condensed the coursework and training to be high impact, natural learning, and comprehensive. Bryant has over 27 years of Senior Management experience encompasses running his own Training and mortgage firm, in New York City. He strongly believes that the corporate training is not to be static but should 'engage and inspire' students to greater productivity and performance.