Category Archives: Negotiation

You Can Be Better

Hey all! Long time, of course, and this blog deserves a full update. But a bad interaction with a Zillow sales rep left me thinking. Despite the fact that we are ALL very hungry to close a deal, first thing comes first (and will make us more money): Be a decent human being always!

I know we’ve all felt like Alex from Zillow. He wanted to close the sale. He felt I wasn’t “getting it”. I didn’t like something he said and it offended him. He decided I was ridiculous and “trite” and told me so.

There’s a certain way of thinking that says sales is only a numbers game, and the point is to WIN.

I completely disagree.

Sales is first and foremost a SERVICE industry.  We are servants, who make money by serving the best interests of our current clients and our potential ones.  We should not set out to conquer anyone, or aggressively approach leads as if this is a sport. There is no winning – there are only people who need your service or product, and people who do not.

I’m assuming you are a professional.  Professionals are great at what they do, and they focus on doing that.  If you are a real estate investor, you KNOW real estate. You know the market. You can spot a good deal.  You are a creative problem-solver.  Be those things. Be truly excellent at them.  And then go serve.

By the way, if you are excellent at what you do, you have 80% of your job done.  You will speak confidently. You will provide your prospective clients with everything they need to make an informed decision and your current clients with the expertise to get the transaction closed. Alex had this. I could tell he was great at what he did: he knew the product and followed up with me consistently.

Service may represent only 20% of your activity, but as an attitude it’s the foundation of what you do because it shapes every interaction you have with your clients and sellers. Are you here for them or for you? Are you coming from contribution (as Keller Williams likes to put it) to add something of value to their lives, or are you there to close a sale and move on to the next one? Your prospects will know!

Being better at service is a practical matter.  Unfortunately, the sales rep’s lack of a service-minded attitude lost the sale for me. It made me question his commitment to ME. Service may only be 20% of your job, but without it you will lose clients and money. An aggressive, overly-eager, greedy or arrogant mindset is off-putting and people will go elsewhere.  (I’m planning to find another Zillow rep to help me.)

Approach each lead as an opportunity to serve.  This is called love, by the way: putting someone’s needs before your own. It takes trust in that principle to let go of the gnawing, anxious need for a “yes” and focus on the needs of the individual in front of us.  We need the affirmation…and we need the money! Without even realizing it, though, we become adversarial and treat sellers and prospects as if they are standing between us and what we want.  But they are not – we are there for them, not the other way around.

Be humble. Ask a lot of questions. Provide lots of answers. Get to the bottom of their needs. Don’t be offended. Don’t be superior. Be helpful. Be honest. Don’t sell them on “yes”. Accept “no” graciously.

So yes, you can be better! You can be better at your trade. Start by being a better person. Let go of the need to close the sale, and embrace being a servant who knows her stuff. This will result in a low-key approach that will actually end up attracting much more business your way, because it exudes kindness and confidence all in one.  And everyone loves that.

Is this how you already look at your job (my husband thought most people already do)? How do you handle bad service? Friend me on FB and you can join the conversation.


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Filed under Ethics & Etiquette, Fear, Marketing, Negotiation

How to Talk to Motivated Sellers

Hi friends,

Getting involved in real estate investing promises at least one terrifying experience: talking to a motivated seller the first time (and even the second, third and fourth time…).  I remember the first few months I started getting calls, and how cold my hands and feet went, how shaky my voice sounded, and how tightly I held onto my script!

My friend Sharon Vornholt hosted a fantastic call with me on how to approach talking to motivated sellers, and we literally flew by the seat of our pants doing a role play call.  I was really nervous going into it, but it ended up being a blast.

I hope you enjoy it.  Write me an email or leave a comment and let me know how you liked it!



Filed under Education, Fear, Negotiation