September 27, 2016 by Jeff Lowen
First of all, I know of few people that enjoy being referred to as a “prospect,” or a “lead.” But in the world of sales, there are business owners and then there are clients and potential clients (prospects and/or leads). Put them all together and it becomes our “database.”
A little impersonal? Yes. Is it possible that this impersonality comes through in our day to day business dealings? Go ahead… Say no. C’mon, of course, it does. Have you ever heard of Shad Helmstetter? In his book, The Self-Talk Solution first released in 1987, as one of the most respected behavioral researchers of our time; he suggests nearly everything we think and speak is impressing upon our own behavior and interaction with others.
If our impersonality in our day to day thoughts command how we interact with others, why then do we continue to label the life blood of our business this way?
The people in our lives – whether you’re in sales or not (and if you’re a real estate agent and you don’t think you’re in sales, stop reading and click here), are a list of relationships when you put them all together. How you interact with your relationships should tell you how important they are; not only to you but to them as well.
The big push in the real estate business is more sales. Focus on setting goals like, getting an appointment by the end of the day or closing a deal by the end of the week, for example. Perhaps a necessary metric, yet here we are being impersonal again.
What I’m suggesting is by tweaking your paradigm just a little and changing the way you look at your potential and current clients as relationships rather than just a line item in your database; your focus will become more personal and you’ll begin to value each of them individually. Every person has a unique voice, a perspective, needs, and wants different from that of anyone else, so why would we put them in a container and call them the container?
Each of our clients and potential clients have a language all their own, so doesn’t it make sense that we spend a little time engaged in curious discovery to find out what that is?
The worst approach is to first tell someone what you want and how you work, and then attempt to fit this square peg into the round hole. Yes, you have a process, a system and a method by which you operate. Yet, if you take that approach to every potential client, you could be missing out on developing a mutually beneficial relationship that turns into great business experiences.
So, what the better approach? Well, I’ll be the first to acknowledge that some people need a little more guidance than others, which just proves my point. The ‘better’ approach is to listen. Learn. Ask, and then repeat. Most people will tell you what it is they want, how they want to be treated and what they need from you.
The whole idea of treating others how you want to be treated completely overlooks the fact that we are all different.
To master the language of others takes more than just practice. It takes a paradigm shift of your own. First, how you think and speak of yourself and your relationships, current or soon-to-be, shapes your behavior to them and yourself. Although, we all have our own unique gifts we each bring to the world if everyone is in giving mode, who is receiving? I think that’s called forcing. This is where your curiosity and genuine interest of others comes in. It’s not about trying to force fit a product or service. It’s about listening to your relationships and becoming more in-tune with them to determine whether you can be of service.
But wait! This sounds like a lot of work… Question: Is it really work if you love people? If you aren’t a lover of all things human, then perhaps it’s time to join Elon Musk on his quest to Mars. I hear the population there is quite low, and he’ll leave you there if you ask. Of course, if you’re the type that tells everyone you love people, but then resemble sailor speak with every other driver in rush hour traffic, maybe it’s time to read Shad Helmstetter‘s books. Twice.
Try this – Tell yourself that you’re going to develop deeper relationships with your current clients today. Make this a focus of your daily practice.
Develop and cultivate your relationships. Listen and learn their language. Respond in kind and the benefits will far outweigh any amount of transactions, money or other tangibles with which we seem to keep score in the business world. Remember, without our relationships, what do we really have, anyway?