17 Feb Success Tips For Realtors and Independent Contractors
Clarifying Your Purpose:
You are independent contractors, so you don’t have anyone telling you what to do, so passion & purpose will be your driving force.
Without purpose, your lives can be dull and ordinary and your sales number will prove it, who wants that!? With purpose, you have something to strive for & your life will be extraordinary and purposeful.
Get clear on what inspired you to get into this line of business in the first place:
- Was it because you missed out on the last real estate boom and you don’t want to miss out on that piece of pie this time around?
- Was it because someone you know has done well and you want to jump in on the action?
- Was it because you found joy in helping others?
- Was it for the freedom?
Discover more about your purpose; http://jodyagard.com/2014-the-first-page-of-your-365-page-book-part-two/
Putting Your Clients First:
When I say putting your clients first, you may think you are doing just that by being polite, offering a good value, being fair and honest…all good intentions.
But then there are those small aspects of your day-to-day habits and decisions that take precedence over your clients’ well-being. Telling your clients “Thank you for your business,” offering discounts for continued loyalty, or working the occasional few hours past close-of-business to resolve a client’s problem is nice and even commendable. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you are putting your clients first.
Here are 5 ways you are not putting your clients first….
1. PROFIT FOCUSED
Yes, making money is the point of working, but it is not the point. When you focus strictly on the bottom line number, it takes your attention off of the people who are going to enable you to raise it: your clients. Your clients can always tell when they’re not your first priority. This may feel uncomfortable at first, but the more you practice, the better you’ll get at it.
Focus on how best to serve clients. As you walk through your day, if it serves the client, you do it. If it doesn’t, you don’t—even if you make less money. This can have a huge impact on your growth and success.
2. LETTING THE LITTLE THINGS SLIDE
Rushing through paperwork so you can get home early, failing to spellcheck an email or two, and running late to a meeting probably won’t matter much, six months from now, you think. But that’s not necessarily the case.
Not just in your work, but in life too…it’s the little things that matter the most, differentiating you from good to great. If it impacts your clients best interest, happiness or anything else the slightest bit…then it’s not a little thing. But when you fail to get the small things right, you fail at putting your client needs before yours.
But when you meet those deadlines, keep your promises and even go out of your way to perform acts of kindness for your clients….you have happy clients.
3. WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH…
At one point or another, you’ve had to deal with a difficult client. You see their name pop up on your caller ID and you ask yourself “Do I want to really deal with this right now?” Nah, and you hit the silence button and let it slip right into voicemail. The drama, the accusations and the whining is just too much.
But avoiding them or just going through the motions could backfire later because you might think you are pulling one over on them, but they will remember and notice. Let me ask you, do you like it if when the going gets tough and you’re ignored? Clients are no different than your partner, some are more needy then others.
Putting your clients first means that you put ALL of your clients first! Even the difficult ones.
Here’s the payoff: When you make the choice to stand by all of your frazzled, frustrated clients, you will eventually reap financial and personal rewards. Your clients know they are being difficult (to some degree), so they will be grateful that you never gave up on them.
There are over 5,000 agents in this county…be the one who stands out and goes above and beyond their call of duty.
4. WHITE LIES ARE STILL CONSIDERED A FORM OF DECEPTION
Honesty is important in any profession, but it’s paramount in an industry such as real estate. You are helping clients handle one of the most substantial financial transactions of their life. Never take that for granted. Unfortunately, the real estate agent industry is saddled with a poor reputation — not unlike that of lawyers or even car salespeople — because some agents don’t know the difference between truth and lies.
So it is imperative for the client to feel that their agent is honest, ethical, professional and experienced.
It’s easy to justify such behavior (She’ll never know, and it’ll save me hours of work, for example). But these little ones can be just as bad as the big ones.
Honesty can be tough in the moment, but a reputation for trustworthiness—or untrustworthiness!—can stick with you for a lifetime.
Good agents can deliver good news. Great agents know how to deliver tough news.
In today’s real estate market, we need more agents that will tell the truth, even when the client doesn’t want to hear it. We need agents more worried about their client’s family than they are about their feelings. We need agents who can get the house sold with high integrity!
Live by a policy of never holding back or sugarcoating and you’ll gain loyalty that money cannot buy. Plus, when you have only the truth, you don’t have to worry about getting the story straight or remembering what you have and haven’t shared. You know you’re doing the right thing.
5. POTENTIAL CLIENTS & ESTABLISHED CLIENTS
Chances are, you roll out the red carpet in order to get prospective clients on board. You patiently answer all of their “silly questions” and you are willing to bear with the requests of fairly new clients whose business isn’t locked in yet. Kinda like when you go on a first date, right?
But what about older, more established clients? Do you take the same amount of time and care with them, or do you hurry them off the phone and assume they’ll stick with you out of habit and convenience?
We know what happens when a spouse stops caring about the needs of their spouse. So don’t stop “courting” your clients, don’t let the romance die…work at keeping your relationship alive.
As you go about your day and deal with clients, ask yourself these questions:
- What could I do to make my clients feel confident that I can get the job done?
- How could I make their life easier?
- What can I do today that will make me stand out from the other 5,000 agents in this area. How can I step up my game?
SALES CONVERSATIONS VS SELLING:
What has happened to us? Can’t we just strike up a conversation with people we don’t know and build a relationship that way?
Naturally communicating with our friends, family and colleagues comes easy to us, so why do we become robots when it comes to selling?
Because when we make a sales call, we want something. And the person on the other end senses this immediately and as a result, they put up their guard. Our hidden agenda and their reaction immediately destroys the trust-building process of communication.
We go into our personal relationships wanting to simply know the other person. But we go into sales situations with agendas and assumptions. And because we’ve been conditioned that a sale can happen only if we control the process, we never even consider the possibility that there can be total flexibility in how we communicate and build trust.
There is nothing necessarily wrong with the traditional way of selling, but it goes much deeper that what you see on the surface.
The “problem” with all of the outdated sales messages is that it fails to address the core issue of how we think about selling. And unless we get to that core, and change it once and for all, we’ll go on struggling with the same counterproductive sales behaviors time and time again. We’ll go on experiencing the same difficulties and frustrations.
And we’ll continue to believe that we’re always just one new sales technique away from the breakthrough we’re looking for.
So the #1 rule right now is: Be willing to challenge everything you have learned about selling up to this point. If you aren’t open to questioning traditional sales thinking, you’ll never have a chance to experience selling in an exciting new way.
It’s time to throw out your “selling” language and unlock your natural language.
Let’s go over some traditional sales mindsets vs new sales mindsets:
- Traditional Sales Mindset: Always deliver a strong sales pitch.
New Sales Mindset: Stop the sales pitch — and start a conversation.
When you call someone, avoid making a mini-presentation about yourself, your company, and what you have to offer. Start with an opening conversational phrase that focuses on a specific problem that your service solves. If you don’t know what this is, ask your current clients why they hired you.
2. Traditional Sales Mindset: Rejection is a normal part of selling.
New Sales Mindset: Sales pressure is the main cause of rejection. Rejection should never happen.
Rejection happens for only one reason: Something you said, as subtle as it might have been, triggered a defensive reaction from your potential client. Yes, something you said. To eliminate rejection, simply shift your mindset so that you give up the hidden agenda of hoping to make a sale. Instead, everything you say and do should stem from the basic mindset that you are there to help potential clients. Relax
3. Traditional Sales Mindset: Keep chasing every potential client until you get a yes or a no.
New Sales Mindset: Never chase a potential client — you’ll only trigger more sales pressure.
“Chasing” potential clients has always been considered normal and necessary, but it’s rooted in the macho selling image that, “If you don’t keep chasing, it means you’re giving up — and that means you’re a failure.” This is dead wrong! Instead of chasing potential clients, tell them that you would like to avoid anything that resembles the old cat-and-mouse chasing game by scheduling a time for your next chat.
The Art of Being a Good Listener & Building Relationships:
When Lyndon B Johnson was a junior senator from Texas, he kept a sign on his office wall that read “You ain’t learnin’ nothing when your doin’ all the talkin.”
Most people are too busy waiting for their turn to talk rather than really listening to others. Whether it is your client, your spouse, your child, your co-worker, we are all guilty. Especially when someone is going in a direction you know you have the answers to.
Benefits of listening:
- Shows Respect:
- When you don’t listen to what your clients have to say, you are sending them a message that says you don’t value them. But when you listen to them, you communicate that you respect them and show that you truly care.
- Builds Relationships:
- When you become a good listener, you are able to connect with others on more levels and develop stronger, deeper, relationships because you are meeting a human need. I don’t care how old you are, what race you are, what your gender is, what your background is…everyone needs someone who he feels really listens to him/her.
- Builds Loyalty:
- When you don’t make a practice of listening to your clients, your colleagues, your spouse, your friends, your children, they will seek out people who will give them what they want. The consequences might include the end of your client-agent relationship, less parental influence or the breakdown of a marriage.
- But on the flip side, when you practice good listening skills, people are drawn to you, they are attracted to you. They want to be around you because you have shown that you value them and in turn, they develop a strong loyalty to you.
Top 4 Barriers to Listening:
1. Overvaluing Talking & Undervaluing Listening:
This happens so often, especially in sales. But effective communication isn’t about persuasion, its about listening. When you’re talking to a client, monitor your talking-to-listening ratio. Are you constantly trying to talk over your client? Are you truly letting them get a word in edgewise?
When you stereotype your client, it makes you hear what you expect to hear rather than what the person is actually saying to you. When you treat anybody as members of a group, rather than individuals, you cut yourself off and can get into trouble. If you talk to a potential client and find yourself thinking of them as a ditsy blonde, a broke plumber, a stiff engineer, a computer geek…take a step back and ask yourself if you are really listening to what they have to say.
3. Emotional Baggage:
Mark Twain once said “A cat who sits on a hot stove will never sit on a hot stove again. He’ll never sit on a cold stove either. From then on, that cat just won’t like stoves.”
If you are breathing, you have emotional filters that prevent you from hearing certain things that other people say. All of your past experiences, positive and negative, not only colors the way you look at life, but they shape your expectations. So if you have unfinished business and have never worked through strong past emotional experiences, you may be filtering what others say through those experiences. If a certain topic makes you defensive, this could be a clear indication that you may need to work through your issues before you can become an effective listener.
4. Lacking Focus:
For a lot of people, slowing down enough to really listen can be really challenging, especially if you have high-energy. Its been said that we tend to speak about 180 words/minute, but we can listen at 300-500 words/minute. That is a big gap, so what do you think happens within that time?
The listener loses his focus and then fills up that extra space with thinking about all the things that are their to-do list, going over a conversation they had earlier with a client, daydreaming or just looking around the room and watching people.
4 Steps to Becoming A Better Listener:
- Do not interrupt: This will make your client feel very disrespected
There are three reasons you interrupt:
- You want to impress your client by showing how smart you are
- You don’t place enough value on what your client is saying
- You are too excited by the conversation to let your client finish talking.
Look at your motives and decide to make a change and give your client the time to express themselves.
2. Determine the need at the moment:
People talk for many reasons; to be understood, to receive comfort, to vent, to persuade, to inform. Sometimes, the reasons why your client may be talking, may not match your expectations. When you can determine the need at hand, you can better understand them and better be able to assist them, or not.
3. Focus on Understanding:
To increase your understanding of others:
- Listen with your heart-head connection
- Listen with the intent to understand
- Listen to what they are saying & not saying
- Listen for the message and the message behind the message.
The more you learn to put yourself in the other person’s place, the more you increase your ability to understand and the better listener you will become.
4. Make it a Priority:
No matter how busy you become, no matter how far you go in life…be sure to always make listening a priority in all areas of your life. Make a deeper connection with your clients by asking about their kids, their pets, their hobbies, and their jobs or businesses. You’ll find that most of them are just like you: filled with worries, hopes, and dreams. Although most people can hear, few are able to really listen.
MAKING MORE MONEY, MORE MONEY, MORE MONEY:
Most sales people focus on the training they received, because we all know in sales, it boils down to numbers. It’s a numbers game.
The more people you talk to, the more calls you make, the more emails you send = ample opportunities. The concept of taking sales out of sales is to start to lead your business with the intention of service. It has been instilled in you to build a pipeline, so you are naturally inclined to map out the final outcome before you even begin.
You’re commission only, so of course you’re in it for the money to some degree and that is fine! But if you’re hiding out and not making your calls, then there is something wrong with YOU, not the system. So let’s talk about how to remove the blocks that stand in the way of making money.
When it comes to creating prosperity, one of the biggest challenges people face today is overcoming those self-limiting beliefs, essentially they are subconsciously sabotaging their efforts to succeed.
Some of the most prevalent and harmful mind viruses circulating today have to do with money and success. These include the ideas that money is bad, rich people are evil and it’s spiritual to be poor.
How are these beliefs formed? Through the data input we received from our well-intended parents, siblings, teachers and other important people to us as small children, we began to form some concepts about who we were, areas that we seemed to excel in and areas where we simply came up short.
By the time we reached six years of age much of our early self-concept(s) had been formed. And, they weren’t formed by the words we heard from others, but, rather how we interpreted those words with our own Self Talk.
Every week in my coaching sessions I help people to overcome the limitations that hold them back from having a wealthy, abundant and prosperous life. It never ceases to amaze me the limitations that people put on themselves when it comes to having more abundance in their lives.
So how can you break this vicious cycle and improve our self-concept?
- Awareness: Ninety percent of the fight is simply recognizing that you have been infected with these mind viruses and self-limiting beliefs on a subconscious level. Once you are aware of them, you can eliminate them and replace them with empowering beliefs. Literally listen to yourself.
- Challenge: Examine your core fundamental beliefs. Think how old you were when you adopted them and who taught them to you. And question if they really serve you. Because if they don’t – if they lead you to believe you are not worthy, not chosen, not good enough, or not equal – that is a crazy belief that you must let go of, and replace with an empowering belief that serves you. Don’t let other people’s limiting beliefs become yours.
- Create: Deliberately create new language that describes our new desired result. Through repetition our revised self-talk provides NEW instructions to our subconscious which immediately goes to work to fulfill these “new orders”.
4 Secrets to Abundance:
Having more money is often a high priority goal for most of my clients. In my coaching practice, I use a 4-step process to help them attract the wealth that my clients deserve…
1. Know what you WANT:
When finances are tight it is real easy to focus on all the things you don’t have. But when you know what you don’t want, you know what you do want. So focus on all the things you do. Think in opposite! This may feel counterproductive at first.
Client rejects you and it stings a little…turn your focus away from the problem and focus on what you do want….which is for your potential clients to hire you.
Spouse gives you a hard time for coming home late, then turn your focus away from the problem and focus on what you want…which is for your spouse to be home on time. Again, your subconscious doesn’t know the difference between real and imagined.
Write down a list of things you want and carry it with you as a mini-version of your vision statement.
2. Remove your RESISTANCE to being, doing or having what you want:
Resistance is simply the negative thoughts (fear, doubt worry), feelings, beliefs or behaviors that you currently think, feel, believe or behave towards being, doing and having what you truly want.
Spend some time asking yourself some quality questions about these negative thoughts, feelings, beliefs and behaviors until you get to the underlying issue that is causing them. Also ask yourself if they are even your beliefs.
Once you are clear on what the underlying issue is, then take 100% responsibility to remove it from your life.
3. FEEL: Think from the end…
It is the feelings that wealth, abundance and prosperity will give you that are the main reason you want to have wealth, abundance and prosperity in the first place. The actual, money, cars, houses, holidays, the freedom, etc that you have when you are wealthy are just the vehicles to give you these feelings.
4. TAKE ACTION:
Taking action does not mean just doing anything. I don’t care if you’re afraid, do it anyway! It means listening to your intuition and the ideas and instincts that you feel at any given moment and acting upon these. In a nutshell you only want to take action on the things that are in alignment with your goals and when you do act, act without question and very soon (through your positive behaviors) you will have manifested your goals.
What is one positive behavior that you can take action on immediately that will take you towards more wealth, abundance and prosperity?
STRUCTURE FOR A SUCCESSFUL DAY…
I have a motto that I live by…”It’s not about having the perfect life, it’s about having the perfect tools for my imperfect life”!
To create long-lasting success you must have balance in your life. If you are working 80+ hours a week and rarely get to see your family, are you really living a life of quality?
You have to have a balance of the YOU!
You might think you are being a good agent, parent, spouse, uncle, friend by pushing through everything, but you cannot possibly be all those things if you’re burnt out and stressed to the max.
If have a belief that you must work hard to be successful, listen up… You can work so much more efficiently if you pencil some time for yourself throughout the week. You will also find that you are working smarter, not harder.
Morning Routine: Most important part of the day: Start it out right
- Open your eyes, stretch for a moment, maybe read just a few pages of a book, magazine or newspaper while you drink your cup of coffee and head for the shower or gym
- You have to take a shower anyway, you might as well enjoy it.
- For those of you who turn on the news in the morning, stop! Think about what you are doing, before you even walk out into the world you are literally filling your pretty little heads with unnecessary negativity. I know we all can’t be walking around with bubbles around us, we’ve got to stay informed, so download the CNN app so you can decide what current events are truly worthy of your time and energy.
- Your main goal in the morning should be to cherish the time, so you are grounded and ready for your day.
- If you have children, wake up 15 minutes earlier so you can have time to yourself!
- As you’re driving into the office or to your first appointment of the day, vision your day exactly how you want it to go.
- Throughout the day:
- Stop and pause throughout the day.
- Take a few deep breaths.
- Go for a walk
- Sit in your car
- Stop and pause throughout the day.
- Go into an agent meeting or client meeting or make a phone call with the intention of a good outcome. When you are dreading something, or already have your mind made up that it’s going to be crappy or difficult, not only will it be that way, but you leave no room for the outcome to be a positive one. Step back and be sure you aren’t expecting the worst.
- If you had a bad experience during the day, let it go. Do not carry it into your next moment unless you want that one to go bad too!
- The ideas and resolutions can only come to you when you are calm, cool and collected. Not when you are spinning out of control in a downward spiral.
- Ending your day:
- When you get home. Leave your work day at the door. You can even put a bucket by the front door or the garage door, to help you to release your “work day” into the bucket.
- If you work from home, like I do…set your “clock-out time” and do something to shift events.
- Change your clothes
- Go for a quick walk
- Sit quietly for a few moments before starting dinner.
- Be present with your family
- Before bed:
- Read or watch something positive or uplifting. Again, for those evening news lovers, do not take up that precious space in your brain and fill it with unnecessary negativity before going to bed. You essentially take that with you as you drift off into the subconscious part of your mind.
- Keep a little pad on your night stand for those nights that you’ve got a million and one things zipping around in your head.
- Just as you are about to drift off to sleep in those last moments after you close your eyes, envision how you want your next day to go. If you know you have a meeting in the morning, literally picture yourself being in that meeting, expecting your desired outcome.
If you are interested in finding out more about my coaching services and speaking engagements, please click the link below: http://jodyagard.com/coaching-services/
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