It’s no secret: salespeople, and real estate sales people in particular, often get a bad rap.
For many, it’s deserved. We’ve all been harassed by a persistent telemarketer or an overly-eager junior sales rep who just didn’t know when to quit. Of course, for every obnoxious account executive, there’s an experienced professional who has dedicated their life to learning good salesmanship.
But even the most skilled seller can revert to bad habits from time to time.
Maybe you rely a little too heavily on email templates or maybe you’ve gotten in the habit of interrupting clients when speaking, but it’s never a bad idea to take a quick inventory of your habits and cull out the bad ones.
Here are some to start with.
1. Talking before you listen
The longer you work in the field of sales, the more you learn. And before you know it, you’ve categorized just about every type of person or deal there is. You don’t even need to ask questions, you can tell what someone wants and needs just by looking at them, right? Wrong.
The ability to listen is what separates the sales geniuses from the sales stereotypes. Regardless of whether or not you know what someone needs just by looking at them, it’s the act of listening that builds trust with your client.
Just by taking the time to hear them out and acknowledge what they’ve expressed, you’re proving yourself to be a worthwhile partner. You might already know what’s right for them, but you need to allow them to show you before pushing them in that direction.
2. BS-ing your way through tough questions
No salesperson wants to get caught off-guard by a question.
You’re trying to prove yourself as an essential part of the deal, so failing to have an answer can be humiliating. But that doesn’t mean you should BS your way through a challenge.
If your client is smart, this behavior will set off their nonsense detector and do more to hurt your reputation than simply saying, “I’m not sure, let me dig into that a bit more and get back to you.”
Rather than act ashamed, praise your client for having the insight to ask the tough questions and get back to them with a strong answer.
3. Relying on technology for everything
Technology allows us to be more efficient than ever before. And for those of us in sales roles, that means we can close more deals than ever...right?
But technology is also distracting. In an original study, HubSpot found that 82% of sales and marketing people lost up to an hour a day managing tools.
On top of the distraction factor, technology removes a layer of humanity from every interaction we have through it. In some cases, that can be a good thing. Do you really need wait on hold every time you update a flight reservation?
But in many cases relating to sales, there’s no replacement for a phone call or in-person meeting. Beware the never-ending text conversation or overly templated emails. At the end of the day, you want those you interact with to think of you as a real human being.
4. Putting off prospecting
In sales, you’re always insanely busy…until you aren’t.
Not having the foresight to continuously build your pipeline, even when you’re busy closing deals can be deadly.
The last thing you want is to close your last deal, only to find that you have nothing else coming down the pike. This is where having a strong process comes into play. Set goals and benchmarks for yourself so prospecting becomes part of your daily routine.
5. Losing control of your database
Your database, whether you opt for a CRM or not, is the information hub which drives all of your actions. It’s impossible to store all of the information and nuance necessary to form meaningful client relationships in your head. Invest in a system that works and keep it updated.
6. Taking rejection personally
Rejection is a major part of sales, but you already know that.
According to tenant rep broker Oliver Hunt, “The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten is to never assume people you’re trying to contact are ignoring you on purpose. Just assume they're really busy. When you’re working in a sales role, it’s easy to get frustrated and cynical, but that type of attitude won’t get you anywhere.”
The thicker your armor, the more likely you are to succeed, and do so with a positive attitude.