All agents are the same. All clients are the same too
Not. Not the Same.
More than a decade ago I took some really really good sales training. I did it by mistake, but sometimes, most times things happen for a reason.
What happened was that I met a crazy little guy at a trade show and not long after I found that I had signed myself up for some very expensive sales training running over the course of about a year. It was the Sandler Training, a unique training method based upon a1960 pop psychology fad called transactional analysis.
I’m OK. You’re OK.
Scripts people live.
Those are a couple of well-know books of the time.
The training? I loved it and hated it. Every Tuesday morning I would dread going into class. The trainers were very good about breaking down and killing off the way I did sales and how most sales people still do sales.
We all know about features and benefits.
We all know the alternative close, the hot button close and the concession close.
We all know to show how capable we are and demonstrate our ability. The tough sales people handle objections and close. ABC. Always be closing. The nicer sales people are consultative but ultimately have to find a way around to asking for the order, whatever close that is.
The Sandler method is different. There is a lot to it, but one of its essences is that you stay behind the customer in terms of selling. It means that he sells himself. No closing. Harder said than done. But what I liked and still like about it is that you don’t give the customer any pressure. He shouldn’t feel any pressure at all. He should know that you are completely on his side.
I guess you could broadly call it reverse psychology.
But it is not trickery.
Anyway, I got as good as I could get in the year. I should go back and do a few more years, but I got the essence of it and it was not cheap.
I’m writing about this today because of expectations. Buyers and sellers (real estate clients) have expectations about the way things are suppose to go. I don’t follow the typical script, Sandler called it the buyer seller dance. For example, the home seller invites a few agents in to do home evaluations. The potential seller expects the agent to talk about how great he and his brokerage are. They expect to be asked to list their home there and then. They expect whatever it is we expect when we invite a realtor or any other sales person into our home for a quote.
The same goes for homebuyers, they expect things to go a certain way either because they have seen it that way in the movies or have been told about what to expect from friends and family, colleagues…Truth is that we see the world through our own eyes. We are always surprised when others disagree with our world view. As George Carlin once said about driving, “Anyone who is driving slower than you is an idiot and anyone driving faster than you is a maniac”.
Control and process
There are two things that most people don’t consider about the real estate relationship. Process and control.
A home buyer or a home seller has to trust his agent. The client has to give up at least some control to the agent and trust the process.
Someone recently said that you don’t know what you don’t know. There are known knowns and known unknowns but there are also unknown unknowns and nobody knows everything that they don’t know. In terms of process, some agents and clients can run around like free range chickens. The random method might work for them. Or it often is the first part of the process, the beginning stage before things settle down and everyone gets focused.
But I really believe that real estate is process driven. There is a certain order to things and I guess thats why I have a problem with following not leading, working with private home sellers, and the idiotic concept of bully offers and most everything else that falls outside the way real estate usually works.
And that brings me to my reason for writing this today
There are two reasons.
1) I have promised myself to write 300 words a day. I am going back to the workshop, back to why I am a well-known and successful real estate agent. I write therefore I am.
2) Sometimes it is not a good fit. There are lots of different kinds of agents and lots of different kinds of clients. You need a good fit. One of the most popular posts on my blog I’m sorry to say is, “How do I fire my real estate agent?”
I do not work well with investors for example. Investors don’t have a problem with the process, but they have a problem with control, giving some of it up. Investors, because they are not emotionally invested in the purchase do not jive well with my Sandler method of sales.
I am very fortunate that I can (to some degree) pick and choose the clients that I work with. Sometimes it is just not a good fit, not a good fit for me and my clients style or my style and my clients needs and wants. —> Some clients like to be directed. Some clients like to be made not responsible for their decisions. The truth is that there are lots of different kinds of agents and there are lots of different kinds of clients. Somehow most of us don’t seem to realize that.
Clients think an agent is an agent is an agent and agents think clients are all the same, more are better than fewer. It’s a numbers game.
I don’t agree.