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Part Two: Three More Principle-Based Lessons For Commission Sales People

Written by on Wednesday, 04 August 2010 7:00 pm

In my July 22 column, Three Principle-Based Lessons For Commission Sales People , we discussed the first three lessons learned about commission selling. "Lessons can be expensive, but invaluable, because they are true. Most lessons learned were from "collateral" mentors." They were bosses, other agents, and employees, mostly.

As the saying goes, their actions spoke so loudly I could not hear what they were saying.

As I look back, I realize that "lessons" changed my behavior. Knowledge without change was not that powerful.

The first three lessons were:

1. Your purpose is to 'get their money." Crudely put, but crudely taught as a high school shoe sales clerk. But true.

2. If your prospect is not ready, willing, and able you don't have a prospect.

3. Not asking for the business can be extremely costly.

4. Be Patient. This truth came from Mr. Chet VanScoy, who had I not known better, sold time share on Noah's ark. He had been in the business for 30 years when I met him

He was my first sales manager when I sold my marketing company and become project manager of a large condominium project in St. Peterbsburg, Florida (Bay Islands Club).

I knew a lot about marketing and selling, but nothing about real estate. I asked him one day if there was one lesson he could teach me about being a success in real estate what it would be.

Without hesitation, he said, "Patience, David, patience."

Frankly, that surprised me. I thought he was going to suggest a sales skill of some kind.

I had to ask, rather impatiently no doubt, "What do you mean?"

Chet explained that it is important to not let things like 'no shows', 'closings that fall through', and dismal market conditions cause me to give up. Oh. Ok.

I thought he was kidding, but he was dead serious. He told me that if I did not learn to be patient, to keep learning, to keep focused that I would not only not be successful I would seldom enjoy what I do.

Mr. Vanscoy was also my first character mentor. He didn't tell off color jokes, didn't drink, and went home to his family. He sang in a choir at some local church. There was something really different about him that I came to greatly admire and eventually, thank God, understand.

Lesson 5: Commission sales people make their living with the words they speak or do not speak.

I learned this lesson from a trainee! I knew this, but never quit knew how to explain it, Kemp Howland, explained it to me. He was a computer consultant for a big lender and had been a new car sales person for general motors.

Certainly, with his technology background we all felt that Kemp was going to be a huge success in real estate. Kemp came to class every day. He had more sales training than anyone did in the class, but he listened and contributed every day, as if he was starting over.

After the training classes ended, he did not start prospecting like he should. When I asked him why, he said he had been in sales a long time and understood the importance of scripts, and that if did not learn the ones I gave him now, he may never get back to them.

A few days later, he started prospecting. His first month he got four listings and made two sales.

Later after some continued success, I asked him if 'technology' was his secret to sales.

He replied, "No. I am selling, because I know how to sell."

Kemp went on to become a sales manager in a national franchise office.

I will hasten to add here that he knew how to sell, before I trained him, so I don't take credit whatsoever for his, or anyone else's success.

Lesson 6: Be able to explain the money.

Col. Ed Stansbury, a retired Air Force Colonel, my office manager at the time, taught me this important lesson. He said that if I cannot explain the money, people will not trust my explanations of anything else.

Simple. Straightforward. And absolutely true.

These lessons may or may not apply to you, but they are the truth. Whether or not I believe them to be the truth does not change the fact that they are true.

I may not believe in the principle of gravity, but it doesn't change the fact that if I jump Im going down. Whether I jump off the curb or the roof only changes the impact of that truth.

If you have a 'lesson' you would like to share, please email me. We need each other today, more than ever.

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  About the author, David Fletcher, NHCB

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