Starboard Commercial Real Estate

Starboard TCN Worldwide Commercial Real Estate | September 8, 2005

A successful salesperson needs three characteristics:

- The ability to open up opportunities: A successful salesperson asks questions such as, "Do you need what I have to offer?" and is able to convince the potential customer that he or she is the right person to provide that product or service
- The ability to service the client
- The ability to close the deal

Can a salesperson be successful with one or two traits but not all three?

Over the years, I have seen very good salespeople who are excellent "door openers". One agent I worked with could generate business with little effort. He was inquisitive, easy to speak to, and apparently genuinely interested. He was not afraid to ask if a person had a "real estate need" he could help them with. Once he got into a deal, he was aggressive in trying to close it. He was great at making deals, but he was eventually let go because customers complained that their accounts were not being properly serviced.

This agent had opening and closing a transaction down pat. His problem was that he did not provide service during the transaction. He loved the excitement of getting the business, and he loved closing a deal. What he disliked-and frankly never understood-was the need to service the customer.

Tony Robbins said the most important trait of being an excellent salesperson is to be a leader. He further described the various types of leaders. Leaders such as Hitler and Stalin lead by fear and by exhibiting power and control. These leaders see those whom they lead as servants who will help them reach their ultimate goal. Robbins' favorite leader is the "servant leader". This type includes Christ and Gandhi; these leaders serve their people.

If you are not about servicing people, being a salesperson is not a long-term career for you. One telling sign that you will be doomed for failure is whether you are counting your commissions before you start a transaction. With more than 25 years experience as a salesperson, I can advise that you should never focus on the fee before the transaction is complete. Sure, you may have a sense of what potential fee could be earned; every good salesperson needs to determine the best use of time. But if you are focused on the fee or the commission, you will find it difficult to provide true unbiased service for your client.

How many deals have you been involved with where the best decision for the client was not the best decision regarding the amount you could earn? If you waver at all about giving the right advice, you are not a servant leader.
Posted 14 years, 4 months ago on September 8, 2005
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