Advanced Stalls & Objections
December 2, 3 4, 2019
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Obtaining an Exclusive License to use the Certified Listing Expert Program in your market area will give you the path to raise your position on the Real Trends annual Sides Per Agent Report to 20 or more in just a few years.
Call Paul Mitchell, VP 519-694-1561 for details.

Private Seminars and Courses Online or On-site

Real Estate Firms Can Get Better Results

Private Seminars are by Appointments Only.

Please call 586.749.8617 to arrange.

Historically, real estate has been a relationship business where individual agents call on, or respond to, home and property owners to represent them in finding qualified buyers. With the advent of the internet and other technological advances, many of the methods of representation will change, but the need for developing sound business relationships, based on marketing skills, will not change significantly.

A current challenge to new agent survival is that brokers, managers and agents, as a whole, are enamored by all the new technology and look to it as a substitute for selling skills. In reality, over the last ten years, in spite of the advances of technology, the failure rate of new agents has remained constant.

Bottom line: agents still need to be trained … still need to be coached … and still need to be led. The right training … the right coaching … and the right leadership … will produce significantly better results.

Some important philosophy and background about Direct Sales.

Here are some thoughts regarding Direct Sales and the keys to success for individual salespeople and, ultimately, company success and profits.

1. Professional selling is NOT something we do TO people – it is something we do FOR people.

The majority of ‘salespeople’ do not sell. They take orders. They offer products or services and let prospects buy. The counter clerk at Tim Horton’s happily claims he sold someone 12 dozen donuts, but in actuality a customer ordered them. The same is true in most situations where a product is involved. It’s especially true where the product has great appeal, as in a fad like pet rocks, hula hoops, or now, iPods.

In the real estate business, most agents seldom ‘sell’ a house. Instead, they take potential buyers on tour until the prospect says he/she will buy one … or not. Subconsciously, most salespeople think that asking people to buy, or even suggesting they do, is ‘doing something to them’. Conversely, there are skilled agents who seldom show more than three homes to make the sale and seldom show homes to prospects who do not buy from them. How? They sell the prospective buyers on getting specific about wants and needs, pick three good options and help the buyers select one. That is doing something for people. This skill can be taught.

2. The only difference between a con-artist and a top salesperson is delivery of the goods.

Consider the con-artist. He intends to collect money but deliver nothing. The bag will be empty. Knowing this, the con-artist must make a great first impression, by dress, grooming, bearing, leadership and words. Especially the words. He develops great opening lines, asks great attention getting questions, qualifies perfectly, paints great word pictures of the ultimate benefits and closes with great skill and urgency. He must do so quickly because the bag will be empty.

The average salesperson, having seen a con-artist at work in movies and maybe real life, decides to just show the product or service and let the prospect make their own decision. “I’ll let the product sell itself,” is their philosophy. Master salespeople, on the other hand, decide to emulate the con-artist on all points – first impression, dress, grooming, bearing, leadership and words – but deliver a full bag of benefits and value.

Related point: your car is a-moral. It is nether good or evil. Just a vehicle. You can use it for good or evil. You can use it to take an elderly neighbor to church on Sunday or as your get-away vehicle to rob a bank.

The sales training techniques I teach to salespeople are a vehicle. They can be used to create great sales and provide great benefits, or they can be used to con people into bad decisions. The philosophy of the company I train agents for will be the determining factor. Do they want a bunch of order takers or skilled salespeople who deliver the sales to the company and the benefits to the customers? If the goal is the latter, the client company must be willing to examine the needs for true and complete sales training to the same degree they have analyzed the rest of their Business Plan. Charles Kettering, an early founder and President of General Motors once said, “Understanding the problem is half of the solution.”

Too many salespeople fail unnecessarily.

The National Association of Realtors in the US reports that 83% of all new recruits fail within 3 to 5 years; that 60% fail the first year. In Canada, the statistics are similar. Life insurance, auto sales, and most other sales fields also have similar statistics.

This situation has gone on for so long, most people take it as ‘normal’.

On the other hand, there are real estate companies who can show that 75% of the new agents they recruited 5, 10, even 15 years ago are still active in the business and most are very high producers. The questions to ask are: what did they do differently and how can we replicate this?

There are two major problems that cause the massive failure rates for sales people in all fields. My experience is with residential re-sale real estate agents, so my comments will focus there.

1. The single greatest reason why salespeople fail, or fail to get beyond mediocrity, is because they do not learn the ‘language of sales’ fast enough to survived, or well enough or completely enough to reach their potential or even modest goals. Selling, especially an intangible, such as the service of listing and marketing property, requires words. Napoleon said “we can rule the world with words.”

The ‘Culture is the Culprit’. Tragically, our very culture is a major part of this problem. We think that if we give a budding salesperson some product knowledge about our business, and the general idea of what to say, they will put it in their own words and eventually become good at selling. That doesn’t work. Too many otherwise capable people fail. We don’t ask a music student to write their own music to make a living as an entertainer. Why should we ask budding salespeople to write their own scripts and dialogue?

2. The second greatest reason why salespeople fail, or fail to get beyond mediocrity, is because they don’t do, on a daily basis, the very things they need to do to succeed. Dr. Cliff Baird, PhD, a Canadian educational psychologist, believes that people, as a whole, are ‘addicted to avoidance behavior’.

Basically, he is right. As humans, we react to danger by running or fighting. ‘Fight or flight’ is a human instinct. We learned that from our caveman ancestors who discovered that some of their potential food fought back.

We tend to fight when we think we can win or are desperate and need to win. Otherwise we run.

Now, consider the average new salesperson. We send them out to hunt (prospect) by calling on strangers (who probably won’t like the interruption) and ask the stranger to spend money (give up part of their food) for our benefit (and risk rejection and humiliation – “I don’t know you. You just want to get your hand in my wallet/purse so you can get a commission”).

Worse, we send the budding salesperson out with no tools or blunt spears. Giving new agents a ‘few sales tips’ of ‘general ideas’ is giving our new hunters very blunt tools indeed.

Bottom line, as humans, we avoid risk. Risk can be physical … or emotional. We avoid rejection; we avoid situations we perceive as potentially humiliating because we are not prepared and don’t know how to get prepared. And, as franchisers, brokers, managers and trainers, we wonder why salespeople don’t make enough calls, or don’t ask for the order when they do.

The fault can be remedied.

As noted above, 83% of new real estate agents fail. The average production or U.S. and Canadian real estate agents is about 10 or 11 transactions a year. Remove the top 10% of those agents and their production from the equation and the average production of the bottom 90% is about 3 transactions per year. That’s not enough to live on, therefore the massive failure rate.

Conversely, there were and are a handful of real estate firms that can boast an average production of 30 transactions per year with no agent producing less that 20 transactions annually, and enjoy an agent survival rate of 75% for 5 years or more,

Some years ago, two young brokers took my Advanced Listing Course and decided to make it the core of their training and listing system. For the next four years I provided one five-day course every year in their city. They provided the coaching follow up and, because they had personally learned the system first, they could inspect their agents’ skills. As a result they grew from 10 agents averaging 10 transactions annually to 81 agents averaging 33 transactions in under four years.

Part of their success resulted by establishing four key requirements. To join the company, the agents must agree to enroll in the Advanced Listing Course and pay for it (we financed the agent on our unique pay-as-you-earn plan … except for a small registration deposit to cover some course material and initial costs, the balance was payable at 10% of each commission earned. Until they received a commission, they did not have to pay); they had to agree to participate in the coaching program every week without fail, and, to stay in the company, they had to maintain 3 transactions a month. A transaction meant a well priced listing or a sale. Finally, they had to earn a certain amount a year. If they did not take the course, attend the coaching or meet the production and earnings minimums, they were required to transfer their licenses elsewhere.

One of the benefits of raising the bar was that it became easier to recruit agents. Experienced agents wanted to come ‘where the action is’. New agents wanted to become part of a winning team.

Important note for brokers, managers and in-house trainers: you do not have to master the training content or training method to lead people. Think like the conductor of a symphony. Conductors don’t have to know how to play every instrument, or any instrument at all. They must have a good ear for music and a good ear to hear who is off key or off the beat. If you have the first five pieces of the puzzle in place, and you can read the training material, you can measure skills and hold people accountable for becoming the experts they need to be to be on your team.


Robert Kennedy, in his famous speech to young South Africans, said, “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”

To paraphrase Kennedy’s statement, ‘No one salesperson will make or break your company, but each of them can change a small portion of events and in the total of all those acts, under your leadership, will be written the history of your company.’

Making sure that new agents, and experienced low and modest producers, receive training, coaching and leadership built around complete and precise listing and selling language can cause a tidal wave of achievement that will carry your company to a size and reputation beyond today’s expectations. You can become bigger and more profitable than most people conceive.

If any of the above makes sense, I will be happy to provide details.

What do you want your history to be?

To discuss setting up personal training sessions or seminars with your agents, please call 586.749.8617.