Here are nine reasons why salespeople, especially those in real estate, fall short of achieving above-average success in their real estate career in London, Ontario. I know because I have experienced and been there and done that.
This was written by Colleen Stanley, a sales trainer, which I wish I had known years ago; it would or could have saved me money, time and even hair on my head!
(By the way, this is a long post, and if you manage to stick with it to the end, congratulations, you will be successful!
1. Ask for Help
Average producers are not good at asking for help. This may stem from a lack of confidence in not wanting to be transparent about a weakness in their selling process. Lack of asking for help may also come from not being committed to doing what it takes to succeed. If you ask for advice, people expect you to execute the advice. Top producers, on the other hand, are confident and have no problem admitting they are not perfect. They are also committed to doing what it takes to become excellent in their profession. Top producers seek out advisors and mentors. I have also noticed they are the best students during a sales training course. They bring case studies for review or call for extra coaching. Top producers understand that no one gets excellent by themselves.
- Sales Activity
I had a sales coach when I first entered the sales training profession. The first question asked during our weekly coaching sessions was, “Tell me about your sales activity plan.” At first, I found this question puzzling. I was in the sale guru business. Wasn’t he supposed to ask me about my ability to find “pain” on a call or uncover the corporate decision-making process? This wise coach understood that the sales training business is no different from any other business. If my sales activity plan didn’t lead me to prospects, it didn’t matter how good my selling or training skills were….no one would ever know! Top revenue producers understand that a consistent sales activity plan is the key to finding new clients and driving revenue.
- Eliminate Excuses
Poor producers spend most of their time discussing excuses that prevent them from achieving their sales goal, i.e. increased competition, problems with operations issues at the company, or the current market. Top producers invest most of their time discussing how to achieve results, how to beat the increased competition, ways to improve/work around operations issues, and how to sell regardless of economic issues. Top producers live by the mantra, “We are judged only by results, not excuses.”
- Lose Your Mediocre Friends
Remember your mom saying, “Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you what you are like.” (Okay, so maybe it was just my mother.) This quote is absolutely true in sales. Tell me who you “hang” with, and I will tell you what you are like—mediocre performers like to “hang” with other mediocre performers. The bar for success is low, and membership criteria are easy….expect and accept less. The weekly meeting agenda is always predictable and preset: Bring one new excuse for discussion.
- Get Rid of Arrogance
A producer who has achieved the “top of the hill” status can quickly move to the bottom because of arrogance. Arrogant individuals stop learning because, after all, they are the best in the business. What can they possibly learn after 20 years in the profession? The real issue is that young, hungry competitors haven’t caught the disease of arrogance. The competition continues to learn, change and grow. The result is a new king or queen of the hill looking down at a stunned, retired past king or queen.
- Get Focused
A poor producer can work very hard. Lack of sales isn’t from lack of effort; the effort is focused on the wrong prospect, activity and partnerships. Top producers have identified their ideal client and have built a strategy around the meeting, influencing, and creating value for that specific client. They are very clear on whom they will sell and what they will sell. Top producers walk away from prospects that don’t fit their ideal profile, leaving them more time to walk toward best-fit clients. They leave the price-shopping prospects to their competitors, who get to invest all their time in writing offers that go nowhere.
- Manage Your Time
Top producers are good at calendaring and set aside specific times each week for business development (prospecting calls, client retention calls, calls updating referral partners, etc.). Top producers have discipline and don’t allow outside distractions to deter them from their most important appointment – the appointment with themselves and working on their plan.
- Invest in Yourself
Top producers don’t wait for someone else to make them good (I.e. I will only attend a sales training course if the company is picking up the tab). I am reminded of a client, “Jill,” who came to me seven years ago. She was an administrative assistant desiring to enter the sales profession. Her current employer would not offer her a sales position because they just didn’t think an administrative assistant could sell. Jill believed she could be very good in sales and invested her time and money in sales training. She eventually applied for a sales position at another firm and became the number one salesperson at the new firm. (By the way, Jill also practiced all the success principles listed above.) Jill did not wait to get good based on someone else’s beliefs or dollars.
- Get Going
Are you getting ready to get ready? Listen up: Perfection is highly overrated. While you are waiting to get, all the research done on a prospect, perfecting your technique, or redoing your presentation one last time, the salesperson that is showing up is getting the deal. Strive for perfection, but don’t wait on perfection.
Those are my top nine reasons for success or failure in sales.
DISCLAIMER: I have never met Colleen and have not been paid by Colleen or anyone to post this blog.