This morning on my Twitter feed was a quote from a real estate sales trainer, along with a link to a book called…
Fanatical Prospecting: The ultimate guide to opening sales conversations and filling the pipeline by leveraging social selling, telephone, email, text and cold calling.
Now to be clear, I haven’t read the book so can’t really comment regarding the quality of it’s content. But I can tell you here and now, I won’t be reading it. The description alone made me want to vomit and I’ve got a pretty good idea what it will be all about.
I felt the need to share my thoughts because it’s an example of exactly what, in my opinion, is wrong with this industry. It’s what we’re on a mission to change …. the commission-only sales culture.
But before shining the light on the book, lets get back to the sales trainers comment. I’m not pointing at him personally. His comment could have been made by any of the thousands of traditional sales trainers world wide. It’s the mindset I’m questioning …
“If we do not constantly look for business, we will run out of business.”
There are plenty of awesome businesses that don’t need to be constantly looking for new clients. In fact I’d say, the best businesses are the ones who don’t have to be constantly looking. They have a steady stream of clients and customers flowing to them. Why? Because they are the great at what they do. They give outstanding service. They care for and protect their clients. They add genuine value to their clients, and most importantly… their clients become raving fans – telling others about how great the business is. This in turn attracts more clients to the business, which negates the need to be constantly scratching around looking for them.
However, that being said, when you operate with a self-serving sales culture – a commission-only business model. One that’s seen by it’s clients as untrustworthy, shonky, chest beating and egotistical. One that charges exorbitant commissions. One where your clients struggle to see how you’ve added any value (to them)… well yes… agreed … you will need to be constantly looking for new clients. Because very few of them will become raving fans recommending you to their friends and family. Therefore I promise you, it will be a never ending battle to find the next big one-off commission.
Believe me, I’ve been there done that. I too was sucked in by that culture for far too long. Thinking back makes me shudder. It was a miserable way to do business.
Now lets take a look at the intro for that book…
“Superstars are relentless, unstoppable prospectors. They are obsessive about keeping their pipeline full of qualified prospects. They prospect anywhere and anytime—constantly turning over rocks looking for their next opportunity. They prospect day and night—unstoppable and always on. Fanatical!”
Yuck… For a start, it implies that if an agent doesn’t prospect, doesn’t constantly hound people for business – then they’re not a “superstar” – they’re somehow defective. What a load of bollocks. In my view, a superstar in real estate is not someone who prospects constantly – it’s an agent who looks after their clients so well that they don’t need to prospect.
But what really gets under my skin is the mindset that is preached in this industry.
Did you notice the words used to describe you – their client, the folks who want to sell your property? In the salespersons eyes you are … “qualified prospects” and an “opportunity”. The other word often used to describe you is a “Lead” … like you’re the prey to be hunted… a commission cheque hiding under a rock to be dug out and closed.
How do you feel about that?
Don’t know about you, but that way of thinking sure doesn’t make me want to invite them into my home. And frankly, if they came a knocking at my door… I’d not so politely slam it.
No thank you.
That is not the mindset or culture we want to be involved with. We want the type of business I described earlier. One that has hundreds of raving fans. One that looks after it’s clients so well that it doesn’t need to “prospect”.
But to create that, we had to disconnect from the traditional industry way of thinking. We had to develop a completely new business model and nurture a healthier culture. We had to ‘restate’ what it meant to be a real estate agent.
Sure, it took some time for the word to start spreading, but I’m pleased to report we have not done any traditional prospecting since the day we launched Restate.
And the most important thing… what are our clients saying?. Well thats up to them to share.