Would you pay somebody $9,400 to ‘hold the fort’ while you had a day off? If this sounds like an expensive day off to you prepare to be shocked: there are many leaders who pay this kind of money to non-performing salespeople for little more than the luxury of having somebody in the office while the leader rests.
I recently spoke to one leader who was on the verge of closing his doors. He cut almost every expense he could; he even considered operating out of his home. This leader’s wife went to work every day. The leader worked hard every day. But one expense this leader refused to cut was the salary of a ‘salesperson’ that had not made a sale in over two months.
There comes a time when ‘nice guy’ turns into ‘soft touch’. This employee was taking advantage of his leader, who was too weak to terminate the services of a chronic non-performer. For a person to draw a salary yet steadfastly refuse to do the actions that lead to results is, in my book, fraud. If a person will not do the actions, and will not either begin doing the actions or resign, this should be a criminal offence – it is taking money under false pretences.
Attitude: we all know how important it is, but how often do we allow a person with a lousy attitude to get away with negativity or laziness without calling them on it?
Geoff Burch, in his excellent book, Writing On The Wall, said:
Ihave noticed recently that a few business books have used Dilbert cartoons to give a wry insight into management, but despite them being very funny I hate the Dilberts of this world. Dilbert is lazy, disloyal and seditious. Tip number one – Sack your Dilberts. The first battle, then, is for the attitude of the entire team.
The most common complaint of real estate agents is that they don’t have enough listings. But it’s impossible to be short of listings when you have good prospecting systems in place.
In our Real Estate Agency Management Program, https://pittard.com.au/blog/wp-admin/post.php?post=525&action=editwe show attendees how to implement Permanent Listing Enquiry, which is one of the Six Essential Elements that are necessary to make a highly profitable real estate agency. Permanent Listing Enquiry requires total team commitment.
There are three main ways that sellers are located.
The first way is when sellers walk into or phone your office and say that they want to sell – we call these P.I. (Phone In) Listings. In far too many offices, these are the only sellers that are found.
The second way is the Solo Seller Sources that we examine in our sales program, Winning Ways. About half of the listings that come into your office each month should be generated by team effort – prospecting, hunting, actively seeking out business.
Management Systems, the third way, is where management promotes the business to sellers by way of Leaflet and Letter prospecting systems and by employing permanent prospectors – we call them HomeFINDERS.
MBWA – management by walking around – is a good thing for leaders to do on occasions. It gives you an opportunity to listen to what your salespeople are saying to their clients. You may be unpleasantly surprised by what you hear.
“Yes Mrs Seller, our company’s service is terrific!”
“We’re the best!”
“We’ll get you the best price.”
Such statements are rhetoric. Everybody says this kind of stuff. Most fall far short of delivering on it too.
As the leader of your agency, you must help your people to get past the rhetoric. Provide your people with training and sales aids that put an end to them making shallow statements and move them into the realm of the professional salesperson – salespeople that make memorable and powerful statements that are backed up with solid PROOF.
We’ve just booked Rob Redenbach to present his seminar Straight Talkin’ Teams at our Winners Circle Workshops next month. The reason we engaged Rob is that we want to encourage within our team members a culture of straight talk – ‘cutting to the chase’ – in all communication.
Salespeople who waffle confuse clients and lose business. Salespeople who waffle to their colleagues lose respect. Have you ever noticed how some people say five sentences when a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ would have sufficed? Some people speak a lot but say little. You cannot afford to have team members like that.
Allow me if you will to teach you some words from a unique language that I call ‘Salesperson-ese’.
One of the biggest handicaps we face as leaders is that many of us are really salespeople. We think like good salespeople. Good salespeople, that is.
A good salesperson wants an instant result. It gives you a ‘high’. This is where a lot of us go wrong – we don’t knuckle down and take care of the hard management and leadership tasks that are necessary to our long-term success. We want results NOW.
I know how you feel. It’s like going to a nursery and being told a shrub grows to ten feet fairly quickly. How quickly you ask. Seven years – that long! “How much for one that’s already ten feet tall? I’ll have that one!”
Being a good leader is a balancing act. You have to get results now and, at the same time, lay the foundations for your future success.
I’ll give you one example: Spotter Ads. In ourReal Estate Agency Management Programwe advise leaders to place regular advertisements in their local papers advertising for home owners who may wish to sell to buyers we have on our books. We give specific examples of buyers and describe the type of properties they are looking for.
What most real estate agents refer to as Marketing is really nothing more than Advertising. Advertising is just one small component of the large umbrella that is Marketing.
Agents place ads on websites, in newspapers, they erect signs, they place leaflets in letterboxes, but all of these are advertising. What other MARKETING do they do? Not much really.
I see agents place ads in newspapers, sit in open houses, and watch as ‘buyers’ wander through the ‘open’. At the end of the open, they close that property, travel to the next one, open that and… guess what?… many of the same people attend the next open house.
Do you see what is happening here? The agency paid for two advertisements – one for each property opened for inspection – and many of the same people attended both opens. Continue reading Money In The Bank
Over the years many leaders have said, “Myteam loves me. They would die for me.” This was said when the office’s month-to-date results were pathetic. Your team does not have to die for you, but is it too much for you to expect it to sell for you?
Expenses are incurred by a business daily. You cannot ring your landlord and say, “My business is closed for twelve hours each day. Therefore I will pay only half the rent.” While this concept is laughable, there are many offices that, in spite of the fact they accrue Expenses on a daily basis, fail to accrue Results daily.
Commit to one listing result per day. Any office can achieve this. Once this result standard has become a habit, the next stage is to make a sale each day. If you have the stock, this too is possible.
I recently attended in Sydney a leadership seminar presented by Professor John Adair. He was the first person ever to be awarded a chair in Leadership Studies by any university anywhere in the world. I thought he’d be worth listening to. He was. But only thirty-nine other people agreed. There was hardly anyone in the audience.
Late last year I attended in Brisbane a seminar presented by John Maxwell, in my opinion one of the best speakers and writers on the subject of leadership. I thought that he, too, would be worth listening to. I was right. Again, however, the audience numbers were low – under one hundred. There should have been thousands of leaders and would-be leaders at this seminar.
My experience, and from the experience of other training companies, indicates that Sydney appears to have the lowest regard for training, followed closely by Brisbane, but the numbers at both seminars in Melbourne wasn’t much better.
Over the past seven years I have volunteered my time on an industry advisory body. I hear about industry attitudes toward training from several training organisations and institutions. All lament that training appears to be held in low regard.
When you write a cheque, you would do well to remember that money is about to leave your bank account. Before signing it, ask yourself, “What is this expense for?” If the cheque you are writing isn’t directly contributing to profit, chances are that you should seriously consider never agreeing to this type of expense ever again.
Things like rent, telephone, postage, insurance, stationery and electricity are must-have items and little scrutinisation of these costs is necessary. Other expenses such as sign erection, window cleaning, advertising, leases, entertainment, gadgets; etc, should be viewed with suspicion and traced back to see if they truly lead to income and profit.
Most agency owners would love to have that extra sale a month, one that they could ‘;squirrel away’ into a profit account, which is just for themselves. If you examine your expenses closely you might just get the equivalent income from the slashing of unnecessary expenses. Continue reading The Cost of a Cheque
How much focus do you give your Break Even Point (BEP)? How many sales does your office need to break even each month? This is a figure you MUST know. Once you know your BEP you can focus on:
Reducing it – get your BEP as low as possible;
Reaching it – by the 7th of each month. Break even early.
Some leaders say, “I can’t manage to break even by the 20th, let alone the 7th“, and they are right. This mission is doomed before it starts. It begins the moment they utter those fatal words, “I can’t…”
Many years ago we used to say that office’s should break even by the 20th of the month. We changed it to the 7th. At the time there were very few offices regularly breaking even by the 7th. Those leaders who succeeded at regularly breaking even by the new day did so because they had a leader’s mindset: they focused on breaking even sooner rather than later.
Even winners upset people from time to time. Winners speak to scores of people in a working week. The Law of Averages works for and against them. When you speak with many potential clients, you are going to meet some who are a delight. With others you won’t get along. Perhaps you just caught these people on a bad day, or perhaps they aren’t very nice people, but when you speak with lots of people the chances of offending are higher.
Whether it is with potential sellers, and winners constantly look out for new business, buyers, or existing sellers, winners know that somebody is going to be unhappy occasionally. When handled correctly, however, complaints are an opportunity, not a crisis.
How to Handle Complaints
Here are the steps a winner used to handle a complaint from a seller whose property had not sold.
Hear them out. Don’t interrupt. Ever. Show the client that you are listening by saying such things as, “You’ve got a point there,” but let the clients say all that they want to say. This could take a while, so be prepared to stay silent for as long as it takes for the clients to say what they want to say.
Our When you examine the activities that salespeople routinely work on, you have to wonder whether they understand
exactly what a real result is. best leaders NEVER allow their offices to close unless the agency has at least one real result for the day. These leaders understand that they incur expenses every day, therefore they must achieve one real result a day.
As leaders, we must help our people recognise what constitutes a result, what actions are necessary to achieve those results, and then follow up to make sure they are doing those actions. All activities in a salesperson’s day should lead directly a real result. Continue reading What is a Real Result?
One reason real estate agencies don’t do as well as they should is that they are run by salespeople. It’s what is called the dilemma of salespeople at the top.
When an office’s leader is a person who loves making sales, you often find such people too busy doing what they love to spend time tracking where the income goes. This is a recipe for disaster. There is no point, no point at all, in making lots of sales unless you keep a good proportion of the sales income. It’s like setting sail in a leaky ship – sooner or later you’re going to sink.
In his book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill names Eleven Major Attributes of Leadership. Whether you run an agency and have a team to lead, or you are a salesperson with clients to lead, you are a leader. And let’s not forget that we always have to lead ourselves.
“I can get no remedy against this consumption of the purse: borrowing only lingers and lingers it out, but the disease is incurable.” Shakespeare.
Borrowing money is for fools – incompetent suckers. In business, and at home, there is rarely a need to borrow. People borrow because they don’t have sufficient funds. They don’t have sufficient funds because they don’t save. If they can’t save, how can they repay a loan?
Loan payments sink businesses. They destroy families.
To borrow money is to incur debt. But it’s worse than that – to borrow is to incur an obligation far greater than the debt. It’s an obligation many people regret. It’s an obligation we can live without.
I’m not trying to do myself out of business with this statement, but salespeople need far more coaching than typical salespeople receive. While there are many good seminars and presenters in the marketplace, there are simply not enough regular seminars in your town or city for that method of training to be sufficient to develop a winning team.
In addition to external seminars, the leader has to step up and coach.
If you do not have this already, your office must have a comprehensive training library of books, recordings, manuals, and DVDs. Ideally there should not be any problem your sales team faces that cannot be solved by a program that is in your training library. This is what the Pittard Training Group strives to provide its members and it is essential.
During a speech he made back in the late thirties, Dr Murray Banks, a New York psychologist, said that some people turn to insanity as an adjustment to a perceived tough life. Some people get knocked down and they get back up again. Others in the same situation whinge; a few turn to insanity as an escape, according to Banks.He believes that humans turn their fears into physical complaints. Fear of death, fear of old age, fear of losing money, fear of being found out, fear of failure, is turned by our mind into a nervous stomach, a weak heart, headaches, constant tiredness. A person complains, “I don’t know why it is but I’m always tired. No matter how much I sleep I’m tired.“
I read this a long time ago but cannot remember where I read it or exactly who was involved.
My recollection is that John D Rockefeller (I don’t know if it was senior or junior) was having his shoes polished, when the busboy gave him a ‘hot’ stock tip. The magnate sold all of his shares the next day, saying something like, “When the busboy buys, sell!”. Shortly afterwards the share market crashed, followed by the Great Depression.