Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mastering the Primary Tool of Every Real Estate Agent

    When sales skills go up, income goes up. There is a direct correlation between sales skills and ability and income. I know there is a large group of skeptics reading this. Let me illustrate my point. To be successful at any profession, no matter what profession you select, you have to achieve mastery of the primary tool of the profession. There are other secondary tools that help, but the primary tool is the cornerstone or capstone to success. Without mastery of it, you will always be brushing up against a ceiling of production; you will never explode through.
    My father was a dentist for over thirty years. As a successful dentist, he had one primary tool that he worked for years to master, and a lot of secondary tools. As secondary tools, he had explorers, drills, polishers, Novocain, a dental chair, lights, scrapers, probes, amalgam fillings, sealants, gold crowns, different types of adhesives, x-ray machines ... you get the idea. All of these were secondary tools.
    What is the primary tool of a dentist? What is the one tool that must be controlled to let all these other tools work their magic? For a dentist, it's his hands. A dentist without skillful hands as his primary tool isn't a good dentist.
    As a real estate salesperson, you have laptops, blackberries, Internet sites, lock boxes, lock box keys, marketing pieces, mailings, flyers, customer relation management (CRM) software, computers, tracking forms, your car, your clothes, MLS, and countless other secondary tools. What is the primary tool of a real estate salesperson? For a real estate salesperson, it's the words that you say and how you deliver them. The message you present and convey either causes the prospect to work with you or repels them away. All the other secondary tools will not make up for a lack of skill in the primary area – the words that you say and how you deliver them.
    Most agents invest far more in their wardrobe than they do in themselves and their skills. I have listened to hundreds of very good agents' prospecting, lead follow-up, buyer consultation, and listing presentation tapes. I have never gotten one initially that I thought was awesome. The tapes I have listened to have come from some of the best agents in the world. That's why I can say confidently that the vast majority of you reading this article, even if you are doing a lot of production, have a message or presentation that is not very good, either. I am not trying to cause you to get mad at me, by making such a bold comment. I am merely trying to get everyone to face the facts of how important our message is and what we need to do to change it to improve our business.
    I had a client I worked with for a number of years who was an excellent agent in Cleveland, Ohio named Sheri Nasca. Sheri was one of the best salespeople I have ever worked with in terms of sales skills. She was forced to move and restart her business all over again in the Chicago area. She did sixty closed sales her first year in Chicago without knowing a soul. She was able to do it because of her superior sales skills. I think sixty units your first year in production without market presence, a sphere of influence, or past clients is outstanding. Sheri did it because she is the consummate professional in her sales skills.
    A professional football team will practice for forty to fifty hours a week in preparation for a sixty-minute game. How much time do you invest weekly to practice your craft of selling? Most agents will spend at least $500 on a good suit, $75 on a quality shirt, $75 on a nice tie, $12 on socks, and $200 on a quality pair of shoes. All tolled, we will invest nearly $850 to walk out the door dressed for success. Yet, we won't spend a dime on what matters most – our mind and our sales skills to create, convert, and service our customers well. The message you present and its quality are imperative. Today's Local Market Conditions Report

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Mastering the Primary Tool of Every Real Estate Agent

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