In Praise of the Un-Natural Salesperson

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Have you ever known a real estate salesperson who succeeds in spite of himself? He's sloppy, he's careless, he neglects to return his phone calls and he's always late? His listing presentation consists of an unorganized last-minute print-out from the MLS, handed to him by his assistant as he runs out the door (already 20 minutes late?). His planner is a collection of sticky-notes plastered all over his computer? Yeah, you know the type!

salesAnd darn-it, if he doesn't do well! How can this be?

Well, he's probably charismatic, charming and friendly. These characteristics will take a flibbertygidget salesperson a long way in his sales career. And, fortunately for him, he can always hire out the detail work.

We introverts - well, that's a whole different story. We wouldn't dream of using our personalities to cover up poor preparation (yeah, like we could!). If we're going to be two minutes late, we call ahead to let everyone know... and then we're still the first one to arrive. Our listing presentations are things of beauty. Our contact databases are up-to-date, our taxes are complete way before April 15 and we get true joy out of a marked-off to-do list.

And get this... if we screw up, we admit it. We take responsibility for it. Heck, if YOU screw up we might even take responsibility for your mistake!

This is just how we are. We're reliable, we're organized, we're punctual, and we're respectful.

And yes, we are salespeople. Good ones, even.

Go, us! Un-Natural Salespeople Rock!


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Lance Winslow
The Car Wash Guy - Malibu, CA


Here are some titles I am kind of working on:

  • Sales Management Strategies - Sales People are a Different Breed - Learn the Secrets into Harnessing this Powerful Personality to get Quantifiable Results on Your Time Schedule

  • Sales Training Tips From the Real World - Overcoming the Barriers of the Dominant Sales Personality to Teach them the Techniques and Relationship Strategies to Win for Your Company's Bottom Line

  • Winning at the Sales Game - Tips, Techniques and Tactics to Turbo Charge Your Sales and Top Your Customer's Expectations During the Sales

  • Of course, one for real estate would be fun, my expertise in sales has been Aircraft Sales, Franchise Sales and "fleet vehicle washing contracts" of all things. But, if we could help some realtors, that would be very nice. Yes, let's talk, maybe we can do a project. I have about 250 articles 300-500 words completed, but they would need some upgrading and editing for a book and could be custom tailored to Real Estate. Or since I am writing about 4,500 words a day now, it would not be a problem to start from scratch. You my friend are a very good writer, I love it, you very talented at this writing thing. Anyway, I subscribed to your blog, I think folks could learn a lot from you, Everyone at Active Rain should be subscribed to your Blog.


    Dec 23, 2007 08:46 PM #4
    Lance Winslow
    The Car Wash Guy - Malibu, CA
    Sorry to interject, but Susan, what a killer story. That is really cool and you deserve it too, BTW - Susan, I enjoyed your Blog very much and it made me hungry to read about your food making there for the family. Hope you are staying warm, I hear it is cold there.
    Dec 23, 2007 08:49 PM #5
    Chris Griffith
    Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
    Bonita Springs Listing Agent
    I don't think I'm a particularly brilliant salesperson.  I think I'm good at marketing and data collection and presenting the information.  I can't sell, sell it makes me queezie.
    Dec 23, 2007 10:20 PM #6
    Clint Miller
    Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT
    One other thing to point out is this...Have you ever bought something large from someone you didnt like?  Unorganized, yes...Sloppy even...sure.  But, likable!  Thats the key.  People dont buy things...people buy people.  And then they buy things from those people they like.
    Dec 23, 2007 11:16 PM #7
    Charlie Ragonesi - Big Canoe, GA
    Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros
    Thanks for the post. Have not seen your blogs in a while good to see you back
    Dec 23, 2007 11:25 PM #8
    Patricia Kennedy
    Redfin - Washington, DC
    Home in the Capital
    Jennifer, I think a lot of us have trouble with the "sales" part of real estate.  It's a paradigm that does not really fit, especially for those of us who see ourselves in a more consultant role in the transaction.  And your punctuality, preparedness and responsibility will go a lot further even if you have no personality whatsoever - and something tells me that you have more than your share of that!  
    Dec 23, 2007 11:52 PM #9
    R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham
    Bank of England (NMLS#418481) - Raleigh, NC
    Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)

    All I can say is that a clean desk is a sure sign of a sick mind! ;-)  As a broker I've seen both ends of the spectrum....from the agent who makes sure that every paper clip in their desk is accounted for to one lady who would come into the office in gym shorts and a tank top on her way to a listing.  Personally, I think that a happy balance is the BEST way...but as long as they make what they have work for them, I'm cool with it.


    Bob Mitchell

    ValueList Real Estate Services, Inc. 

    Dec 24, 2007 02:28 AM #10
    Wayne Miller
    San Diego, CA
    Jennifer, I think we all have seen those agents and yes I just can't figure it out...LOL. 
    Dec 24, 2007 04:49 AM #11
    James Malanowski (DRE #01373117) - Palmdale, CA
    REO Broker, Palmdale, Lancaster, Rosamond, CA

    How about those of us that are unorganized, write notes on whatever we can get our hands on while we're driving, and couldn't sell a glass of water to someone lost in the Sahara for days?   I'm not a 'people person,' can't stand being in a crowd, and God forbid I need to go up to someone cold and start talking. 

    I wonder how I've been doing this for so long myself.  Someone must be looking out for me.


    - James 

    Dec 24, 2007 09:35 AM #12
    Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
    Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
    Author of Sell with Soul

    Merry Christmas all!

    Lance - sounds interesting! Let's chat offline.

    James - A flibbertygibit Introvert??? Tell me it ain't so!

    Bob - Ditto. And by the way, my desk is rarely clean, but I do know what's there!

    Patricia - I'm glad you mentioned that. I don't see anything salesy about my JOB - that is - what I actually DO all day for my clients.

    Dec 24, 2007 11:23 PM #13
    Diane Aurit
    LKN Realty, LLC - Mooresville, NC
    Lake Norman Real Estate
    Jennifer, I just stopped by to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a very successful 2008!  Thanks for all of your support this past year!
    Dec 25, 2007 12:41 AM #14
    Allen C. Wright
    RealtyU - Aliso Viejo, CA

    Yes a good laugh at the right time can get many people to do business ... just think of how many men have bought things they really didn't even want because of a smile a laugh ... personally I would rather hire someone that knows what they are doing


    Merry Christmas

    Dec 25, 2007 10:27 AM #15
    Birmingham Alabama Real Estate, Stephen Wolfe - Birmingham, AL
    Jennifer... YOU KNOW ME! YOU REALLY DO! This is the area of real estate that was so intimidating when I got started and actually is still probably the big stressor to me. I am not a sales person naturally. I do not like to get "sold" on something. I would much rather be allowed to make a decision after I have seen my options based on what I like/want/need. I try to do the same in real estate. I do not believe in the hard sale. The home should sell itself when it matches with the buyers dream...
    Dec 27, 2007 04:14 AM #16
    Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
    Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
    Author of Sell with Soul
    Stephen/Sally - you crack me up. And yes, I agree with you 100%. Seems obvious, doesn't it?
    Dec 27, 2007 09:54 PM #17
    Karen Rice
    Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
    Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales
    I'm kind of like that flibbertygidget (sp?) agent...though I am not a salesperson.  lol.  I want to be organized, but shoot, a lot of what you described about him (except for the presentation parts) sounds like me.  When I meet clients I am totally organized and have a kick butt cma to give them, our weichert doors program, etc....but they  never see the trunk of my van or the drawers in my desk...
    Jan 03, 2008 01:48 PM #18
    John MacArthur
    Century 21 Redwood - Washington, DC
    Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes

    Jennifer - I want to be more organized. I have bought books on the subject. I just can't get my wandering right brain under control. I usually have an idea where things are but there are times when I can not find that napkin that I wrote myself a note on. I have notebooks, all of them sort of half full of notes and numbers. My entire career is in a collection of spiral notebooks or composition books.

    I have three or four data bases and I am constantly trying to coordinate them. I hate it. I have been successful in the eyes of outsiders. I also know in my heart of hearts that I have lost ten times the business I have closed. You organized folk that break into a sweat at the thought of speaking extemporaneously do not comprehend the angst that accompanies flying by the seat of your pants.

    I work with 2 or 3 people at a time. This job is a struggle keeping track of who wants what and so on. I don't think the grass is greener on either side of the fence. It is just grass on both sides. One side is one kind of grass and the other is a different kind of grass.

    I have my most success just hanging out and driving around and visiting folks I know. One advantage to living this long and spending it in the same place is I know a lot of people.

    So, remember, those of us that can just smile and chat easily are often conflicted when faced with recording what the hell we have done.

    Interesting...SOI is the source of success for both styles.

    Jan 04, 2008 07:11 AM #19
    Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
    Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
    Author of Sell with Soul

    Brilliant. I don't think that someone who is basically unorganized is ever going to change, no matter how hard they might want to. So, even though people who are late drive me nuts, I don't get mad at them, I truly believe they can't help it. I give myself the same leeway when I don't want to go to a party because I'm feeling unsocial - I just can't help it!

    Is your wife more organized than you are?

    Jan 05, 2008 05:31 AM #20
    John MacArthur
    Century 21 Redwood - Washington, DC
    Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes

    Jenn - Probably so in her office, but at home we are two pigs in a pen. I hope all the people that have given us gift certificates over the years never know..........we can't find them. We could paper the office with forgotten rebate receipts.

    But, she can cook a  non-carb meal that makes me forget about mashed potatoes and she has the most powerful focus on some issues, I am amazed.

    She does handle all the money. I am always asking, can I get $20 bucks out of the bank. she shakes her head and says yes dear. I guess we aren't broke.

    I admire those that can keep track of everything. I envy the piece of mind they must have. Then I realize that they must envy my freedom. The voila, it hits me, there is room for all of us here.

    The main point I wanted to make is that organized or foot loose, working your SOI is the most productive way to promote whatever you are doing.

    I suppose being a blonde with a pretty smile doesn't hurt. (but little old semi-bald guys are cute too)

    Jan 05, 2008 11:50 AM #21
    Jackie -
    770.498.7333 - Atlanta, GA
    Learn to leverage technology to get more done.

    Jennifer - what are you doing in my head?  :-)

    This sentence resonated with me: wouldn't dream of using our personalities to cover up poor preparation (yeah, like we could!). While I'm no longer the wall flower, I'm not the life of the party either.  What I don't have in "sparkle" I make up for in consistency.  Great post!

    Jan 07, 2008 02:33 AM #22
    Jennifer Allan
    Jennifer Allan, Inc. - Denver, CO
    Jackie - you totally get me...
    Jan 07, 2008 11:06 PM #23
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