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Gold Star Mortgage

3879 Packard Rd.
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108

Daniel Milstein

When did you first realize that you had a gift for sales?
I was barely 15 years old when I realized that I was a very good salesperson. One of the things that I was taught young is that when you wake up in the morning, you should have a passion for what you do. When I wake up in the morning, I think about sales and assisting clients.

What spurred you to write this book?
This book is not just about sales. It’s about my life — how I got started and how I failed -twice. It was about immigrating here and starting with nothing. The book is more of an inspirational book, not just for salespeople, but also for anyone, really. I went from being almost homeless to realizing the American Dream and building a company that employs over 400 people. After many failures and banking jobs, I founded Gold Star in 2000 when I was 24. It was a few years before it took off.

What has your family meant to you on your rise to the top?
My parents taught their ethics to my brother and me: Work hard, do what’s right for others, don’t put financial rewards ahead of your clients’ needs. They actually made me become a better person. I didn’t get into any of the financial troubles young people seem to get into with their first credit cards. My parents taught me some very valuable lessons.

But you know what? I have a typical Jewish mother. If you ask her about me, despite my successes and my company and everything else, she still wants me to be a doctor.  I tell her, “Mom, I can’t afford the pay cut.”

Can you explain some of the sales strategies in your book?
One of my chapters is called “Lunch Is For Losers.” It started with this story. I had just hired my first employee, who liked to take a one-hour lunch. While he was out, I took a lot of phone calls and ended up selling four different transactions. Two of those would have been his had he been in the office. When he came back with a bag of McDonald’s, I looked at him and said I hope that Big Mac was worth the $3,000 that you just lost.

I always sit at my desk. I don’t leave for lunch and neither do most of my people. Being in sales is about being available 24-7 for your clients. I don’t believe in voicemails. If I’m not at my desk, the call will be forwarded to my cell phone so I’m always available. At 2:15 one morning, an airline pilot called the 1-800 number, which went to my phone on the fourth ring. He was surprised when I answered because he had planned on leaving a message. I ended up selling him a loan. Since then, this pilot has given me seven referrals and has financed a number of transactions with me.

What is the “ABC of Sales?”
It means, “always be closing” and is one of my favorite phrases, a motto that I live by and one of the prime reasons I’ve been successful as a salesman. Never turn off your selling mindset!

What’s next for you?
I absolutely love what I do. Five to 10 years from now I look forward to growing the company and helping my people realize their success. I’ll still be originating mortgages. One of the favorite parts of my job is when I see homeowners getting the keys to their first house.  

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