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Two Types of Salesperson

A change in the market has exposed many of those who looked like winners during the boom. Back then, it was easy to look like a hero – if you could get the listings and held onto them long enough, prices would rise to the sellers’ enthusiastic expectations and you’d make a sale.

Times have changed. Now skill is required to make sales.

In the down-turning markets of Sydney and Melbourne I have noticed the emergence of two distinct types of salesperson:

  1. Those who can sell property;
  2. Those who can’t.

I recently visited a real estate office and spoke with a salesperson who last financial year earned $160,000. In this current financial year, he admitted that he’d be lucky to make $60,000. He said that he’d given up on his goals.

But did he really have goals? I suggested that if he had goals, he would have adjusted to suit the changing market, increased the actions necessary to achieve his targets, and got back on track to achieving his goals.

I asked him to show me his goal calculations and the plan he put together to show how he was going to achieve his goals. He didn’t have any plans. He hadn’t calculated his goals.

And in the absence of a clear reason to achieve, and to do the actions necessary to achieve, his results drifted downwards, helped along by the challenging market.

His leader asked me to talk to the team and suggest some actions. He didn’t like my reply.

The leader thought I was going to read the riot act to the team, tell them that they’re a bunch of lazy so-and-so’s… but instead I said that I didn’t blame them for not doing the right actions – I said…
“Nobody around here has a ‘Why’.”

  • Why would they need to prospect?
  • Why would they need to have those tough conversations with sellers about price?
  • Why would they need to study and hone their skills for this current market?
  • Why would they need to instil a sense of urgency into their sellers and get them sold?

Nobody had goals. Nobody had a reason to do the actions.
The result? They had become salespeople in group 2: they had become salespeople who can’t sell.

They can fix this, but not by doing the same things they’ve been doing.

It’s an old chestnut, but goals work. They inspire us to do the actions necessary to achieve them.

Sure, a downturn in the market might be a setback, but with a goals-focus, a market change is but a blip on the horizon – winners adjust and get back to work on the right actions.

After all, they have a good reason to do so!

Gary Pittard
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