Anita walks into a car dealer. The guy above in that photo is out in the open, staring at her just like that photo and smiling. There’s nothing around! No cars to duck behind, no restroom sign to divert to, nothing. Just him and Anita.
And then your phone rings… An unrecognized number pops up. You’re expecting someone to call, and this might be them? You aren’t sure because you don’t have their number saved. “Dear Lord, what if it’s a TELEMARKETER!?” You cringe as you accept the call and pray it isn’t regarding your car’s extended warranty.
Meanwhile, down on Broughton St in Savannah, GA, a young lady is walking into a department store and gets approached immediately. “Hi ma’am, what brings you in today?” The young lady skulks and gives the same old, “I’m just looking. Thank you” response that the last 14 people gave.
Over in Houston, Dante is calling a new insurance company. He feels like his rate just shot up and wants to interview a few providers to save himself some money because the bills are getting tight.
At the same time in Nashville, my email inbox is dinging like a pinball machine with 7 mortgage lenders asking if “I’d like to get together for coffee sometime this week?”
Why do we hate communicating with salespeople? Probably because we feel like we’re being sold a bill of goods. Deep down, we know that if we’re LUCKY, only some of it will come true. And guess what? We’re exactly right. Salespeople have the same persona as a Politician. All talk, no action. That’s why people don’t trust us. This article is a Call to Action for the salespeople. For the public, it’s a guide on how to choose the right salesperson. Hopefully you’ll take some satisfaction in knowing that your deep, dark hatred for us is being discussed.
Here are 5 questions that you can work on right now to improve as a Salesperson:
#1 | What Makes You Different?
- I have the best customer service
- I have the best product
- I’m the cheapest
- Because NO ONE cares like I do
- No one has as much experience as I have
- I was born to do this
Stop… All I’m hearing is, “Blah, blah, blah. I’m just like everybody else.” I asked what makes you DIFFERENT? If your answer is just like everyone else’s, you aren’t different. You’re average. The consumer doesn’t want your life story, either. I learned that one the hard way! This is a true story. I have a Father that committed suicide in 2011.
Stop again….. Think about how that sentence just made you feel while you read it. It didn’t make you excited about finding a beautiful new home? It didn’t make you think about how much money you’d save by refinancing due to how great mortgage rates are? It certainly didn’t make you want to open a new Insurance Policy that could deduct $73 from your mortgage every month. You see where I’m going?
That correlates with our next question.
#2 | How Can You Benefit THEM?
Take a long look at Ben Caballero. Watch that video interview. He doesn’t have the eloquence of Sinatra. He isn’t as handsome as Denzel Washington. In fact, he claimed that “he worked just as hard as the Agent selling 50 or 75 homes, just like you.” Look at how he laughs. His face barely moves! How did this guy sell 6,438 homes in 2020?
- He noticed there was a need in the industry – AKA Demand
- He created the vision for his system/process
- He surrounded himself with talent – people that could help him execute the vision
- He raised/spent the capital needed to build that system, and launched it
- He raised local awareness about his system, and sold it to the right people
- He continually improves that system, giving him an edge in the marketspace
Value. That’s the secret! He built a process that made people’s lives easier. Money doesn’t exchange hands until a problem is solved. How can you add value to your customers’ lives and truly make a difference?
Not by “checking-in” with me. Not by saying, “Hey – just wanted to follow up.” Do something that adds value to my finances. Add value to my lifestyle. Offer something that makes things easier for me. Save me money so that I can buy my wife more spa trips and improve our marriage. Save me time so that I can spend it with my two-year-old before she’s able to start talking with full sentences. Save me effort so that I can use my time more wisely and improve something in my life, like my business.
Value will make you different. It will turn you into a magnet that attracts, rather than one that repels. And if you improve on how you explain your value to people, and you DO IT, you’ll never have to look for business again. People will come running to you for help because your industry has a lot of average salespeople in it.
#3 | How Prepared Are You?
The phone is ringing. Your potential new client answers. You strike up small talk, and make an attempt to meet with them. They tell you, “I’m already working with someone.” What’s your response? How can you show them that you’re a better option than Sally Jo’s Company?
This one’s worse, in my opinion… My phone rings. It’s a potential new client wanting to buy land and develop a subdivision in my city. They start asking questions… “What’s the cost per square foot on construction there right now? How much is land selling for per acre there? What does the average new home sell for in this city?” Now imagine yourself with $10M in your bank account, and your goal is to turn that into $12.7M in the next 14 months. Would you work with yourself?
How is it done? What are the numbers? What are the potential road blocks? Who do you know that can help you be successful with that undertaking? How organized are you?
Know your market. Know the processes. Remember, money only exchanges hands when problems are solved – whether you’re working with a small client, or a massive one.
#4 | Who Do You Surround Yourself With?
“You know Byron, I’m new to this City. I don’t really know anyone. I’m a little shy (introverted), and if I contacted so-and-so, I’d feel stupid because I wouldn’t know what to say?”
Stop with the excuses, and stop being soft. Or get out of the business? You aren’t helping a single person by sitting on the sidelines and spectating. You certainly aren’t helping yourself financially. Get your butt on that horse and kick it! Set some alone time aside and work on yourself. Work on your questions. Work on how you ask those questions. Work on your look. Work on your sound. Then go and inject yourself into the community.
The key word is work!
People are so afraid to ask questions. Who’s the head of that department? Who owns XYZ Accounting? Who’s in charge of that big portfolio?
Stop worrying so much and doubting yourself. Just go have fun! Stop letting your brain battle with you. If you’re doing what you love, it won’t feel like work. My wife and family will tell you; I love talking about Real Estate. You don’t have to pry it out of me. But if I was new to an industry surrounded by successful entrepreneurs, you know what I would do? I would ask questions and listen! I’d try to soak up every single word they told me. And I’d do some research on my own industry/company so that I could tell them something useful while in their presence. Imagine you, helping a millionaire. Providing…. What was it? Oh yeah, VALUE.
Chamber of Commerce Meetings, local banks/credit unions, the golf course, the gym, even the Yellow Pages! These are all places that we network. Some would suggest the bar, but that could lead to bad business. Not my scene. The point is, you’re the average of the 5 people that you spend most of your time with. Don’t be the broken fifth wheel when you do enter that professional circle, either. Be valuable. And if you’re in a toxic circle, leave it immediately.
#5 | How Are You Staying On Top Of Your Industry?
You made it to #5! Good job! (Unless you skipped ahead. Shame on you)
My real estate teams in Georgia and Tennessee meet with me once a month to discuss the stats of the previous month. Median home sales price, the Sales Price to List Price ratio, average days on market, and how the previous month compared with the two years prior. We analyze the market together, and we enjoy it! I like to attend Planning & Zoning Meetings and hear when new developments are being proposed. I attend City Council Meeting every so often, to hear that a community in either in favor of, or blatantly against.
It doesn’t matter what field you’re in. If you don’t research your industry, stay on top of the latest technology, memorize your local market, understand your stereotypical client, or inform your past clients of market-shifting changes as they’re occurring, you’re causing people to lose money. Even if those dollars are opportunity dollars that were missed, they still have value.
If the Fed raises their rates, I want to know about it. If flood insurance premiums are on the rise, I want to know immediately. If a local home builder is offering an incredible new incentive on construction, tell me! Please!
That goes for any market in any industry. If there’s a shift taking place, and you inform the people that it could impact the greatest… Don’t you think they’re going to want to keep you around? You’ve established… What was that word again? Value! That’s what leaders do.
If you’re the informant telling your local builders that a materials hike in lumber was on the horizon, or a medicinal sales rep that told all of the doctors that a specific drug was about to get dropped, or a car salesman letting people know that you’re seeing an abnormally high number of “Chevy Puma’s” in the repair shop due to transmission issues… You’re going to build lifelong relationships that lead to sustained success.
Final point… In sales, every day of your life is the Super Bowl. If you don’t know the playbook like the back of your hand, you aren’t positioning yourself to win. Pay attention to what’s happening in your industry on a regular basis.
The underlying theme in this post is putting others before yourself. It’s biblical, and it’s the basis of sales. There’s a lot more to this industry that will aid in you having success. There’s a balance behind all of it. I just hope you’re aware enough to put the pieces of the puzzle in front of you and perfectly fit them into place. That’s what separates the Greats.
Best of luck in your career! I genuinely hope this article has helped you.
Now get up on that horse and kick it! Yaw! (Haha)