July 26, 2018

My confession about being in sales

Handshake and friends

Once upon a time, I landed a sales position with a large (and now out of business) consumer electronics retailer. This was at the beginning of my real estate career when I was a brand new agent. I was working for a home builder and though I had a few contracts under my belt, in new construction nobody gets paid until the house is done and the transaction is closed.

Unfortunately for me, that meant months without a paycheck. So, I did what any able-bodied husband and dad would do… I took a part-time job to “make ends meet.”

I started work at the store on a Monday and was put through an extensive two-week training program. I was educated on everything from furniture and brand-specific flat screen TV technology to vacuums and home appliances. On the last day of training I was primed and ready to go; I was a consumer electronics selling machine, and I was ready to hit the sales floor!

I lasted the entire first day. I hated it.

Fast forward to a more recent event in my never-a-dull-moment life. I recently had the opportunity to make ‘cold calls’ for the first time in my real estate career. I’ll admit I wasn’t crazy about the idea to begin with, but I was willing to try it just so that I could have the experience under my belt. After all, it is said that real estate agents that cold call get results and end up with leads that can “pan out” to sales. Seriously, how bad can it be?

I lasted an entire hour. I hated it.

This made me think.  After spending some time reflecting on these experiences and why I responded the way I did, I came to a late in life realization.

I suck at sales.

Please don’t pity me; I’m actually fine with this reality, and quite proud of it frankly.  Yet it brings me to a second question: If I suck at sales, how have I managed to be successful in sales and marketing positions for over 20 years?

Answer: by making personal connections and developing long-term relationships.

Yes, I know… it took me a while to figure it out (I’ve always been a late bloomer). And the more I thought about it, the more it made sense particularly in a field like real estate. I’ve made some of my best friends in life because of a sale that started a connection that ultimately lead to a friendship.

So while you will probably never receive a cold call from me (unless you’re one of the lucky ones I managed to reach during my one hour cold calling career), you can bet that when we meet I’ll probably just try to get to know you better; that way I'll know the best way to serve you. And you should do the same… get to know me, decide if you like me and determine if we are a good fit where you can handle the idea of spending quite a bit of time working together to reach your real estate goals!

In my book, that’s how your relationship with your real estate agent should be… something that isn’t transactional, something that can potentially last a lifetime. Buying and selling houses is generally something we will do more than once; wouldn’t you rather work with someone you know, like and trust versus someone who is in it solely for the transaction, because you’re part of their numbers game?

And let’s be clear… by no means am I trying to get all mushy and say that you should necessarily ask your real estate agent to be your best man or maid of honor or that you should invite them to your child’s 1st-grade graduation. I’m only suggesting that they should be someone with whom you feel comfortable doing business, and you should feel confident that they are looking out for YOUR best interest.

Of course these are questions only you can answer, and I hope that even if we never get to meet, at the very least, this post has equipped you to imagine a better working relationship with a realtor by asking the agent and yourself more of the right questions when it comes to finding the perfect real estate agent for your needs.

If this post has been helpful to you, please leave a comment, or share it with a friend.

If you have an idea for a subject you want me to cover, or if you have a question you’d like me to answer, call or text me at 909-331-6452, or email me at

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