This time last year I made a fundamental shift in the way I do business. I decided to stop begging people. Most people in sales-driven industries don’t call it begging. They don’t like the negative connotations. What I was told when I got into Real Estate is that you need to spend two hours a day on the phone with your sphere of influence, asking them for referrals…begging essentially.
But we couldn’t let them know that we were begging, Oh no. We had to be “providing value.” That’s why they have scripts. So you can dupe your friends and family into listening to your sales pitch. So you can cleverly overcome their objections because you know that they REALLY want to help you grow your business. I was made to feel guilty for not picking up the phone and calling YOU (I emphasize YOU because I suppose that only my friends and family read my blog) to ask for referrals. I was told that I must not want to be successful because I was not comfortable knocking on doors to solicit new clients. And on top of that, I was not having much success, so they must be right.
God forbid that I should object to the tried and true methods of successful real estate agents. But let’s be honest, I never call people. So why else would I be calling them now that I work in a sales-driven industry if not for selfish reasons? It seemed disingenuous. And even more so since I personally loathe getting unsolicited calls from people trying to sell me something. But I see it time and time again, even with friends of mine who get into the sales industry. They go from being normal people, to people always finding ways to steer the conversation back to their “exciting new business opportunity.”
I’M THE BAD GUY
A lot of people are put off by the way I talk about the sales industry, but I have to be honest with my perspective.
Here’s how I see it.
I chose to get into this business. I chose to forego a steady paycheck. Why is that my friends’ or family’s problem? Why should I be persistently asking them for referrals and making them feel guilty that I won’t succeed without them? Is it their problem whether my business endeavors succeed or fail?
THE NEGATIVE EFFECT OF OUR CROWD-SOURCING CULTURE
I dealt with a similar thing when I was still in a band. I would watch other no-name artists beg their “fans” to fund their projects and throw out statements like, “If we don’t reach our goal in the next 12 hours, we won’t be able to record the songs we wrote!”
I’m sorry, did I ask you to write songs and record them? NO. Then why are you asking ME to fund YOUR dream?
So many people would love to be able to get paid to do something they love, but they can’t. If you can’t fund your dream, then maybe you should try improving at your craft and putting in the work instead of short-cutting the system by asking other people for money. Money that could be used for much more noble purposes than getting you a CD with your name on it that will probably only be heard by the people who sponsored its production.
It just seems a bit illogical in my head. But it works, not with me, but with countless others.
PEOPLE STILL DO IT BECAUSE IT WORKS. UNFORTUNATELY.
And that’s the thing: cold-calling, door-knocking, begging, it works. Just like those people who stand on the side of the road with signs begging for money. They do get people who will give them money, otherwise they wouldn’t do it. But there are also people who are paid by an employer to stand outside and hold signs for the business. 50-70% OFF! GOING OUT OF BUSINESS! EVERYTHING MUST GO!
You know what I’m talking about.
A BETTER WAY
What’s the difference between those two people? They are basically doing the same thing, right? But one is asking for a handout, and the other is pointing people to something bigger than themselves. In the case of the latter person, the business has been established. The work has been done to get it off the ground. It provides value to people, and it’s that sign-holders job to spread the word. And interestingly enough, no one considers those people as being beggars. No one is thinking ill of the business for asking for customers. Instead, the signs are there to attract the right kind of customer. People who understand the value being offered.
I see myself more in the latter example.
Instead of begging…
asking people for a handout…
a referral to help me grow my business, I would rather point people to my business and show them how it is beneficial for them to work with me over others in my industry. And then it is up to them whether they want to use me or not.
Instead of spending two hours a day calling people, how about spending that two hours building a platform that will help people in the community.
For instance, a platform that gives money from every real estate transaction to help Habitat for Humanity.
Instead of interrupting people and encroaching on their day by showing up on their doorstep unannounced, how about providing consistent content so that people can get to know the REAL me at their convenience. That is why I have the podcast, that is why I write the blog, so that at any time, day or night, people can find out all they need to know about me and whether they would like to do business with me.
This helps me weed out those who would never want to work with me. More importantly, people I would never want to work with. I watch realtors everywhere chasing people down and wasting valuable time on people who will never be their clients. How about using your time to find ways to attract the right kind of people to you?
SO HERE I AM…
…finding new and creative ways to point people to something bigger than me. To find people who value authenticity and generosity. People who want to use their real estate sale or purchase to help others have a safe place to call home. My business platform has been established. The work has been done to get it off the ground. It provides value to people, and it’s my job to spread the word. Instead of begging, my hope is to attract people to me who think like I do, and subtract those who don’t.
Thanks for reading and Godspeed,