"So WHAT!" Sounds insolent or rude, doesn't it? Wait a minute. It might just be the key to a successful future.
Before real estate, which BTW is the most profitable career I've ever had, I spent a few years as a traveling sales rep. That company put salespeople through periodic "sales training" courses. The most dreaded part of the yearly cycle for me, though, was filling out what the manager referred to as the yearly commitment forms.
One of the trainers kept saying "so WHAT?" during discussions with sales reps about their goal-setting or sales activities. I thought he was being a smart a**(smart aleck would be a nicer way to put it). In fact, most of the time, I did not like the brash, cavalier man who constantly challenged everything I said and seemed to have little faith that I would ever succeed in sales. Then the sales manager also started using the dreaded mantra, so WHAT?
I see the wisdom of his smart crack, now. He was not dissing the activity in question; he was demanding that I develop clarity about what I expected the outcome to be. Was this activity going to bring a successful result or merely make me FEEL productive?
We should ask ourselves that question as we evaluate every single career activity. SO WHAT? If we cannot quantify a result, it's time to focus on activities that produce measurable results. If open houses do not work for me, for example, I avoid doing them or re-evaluate why they do not. I don't keep doing them without expecting a measurable result. I hated giving sales pitches in that earlier job, and that's probably why I do not like listing presentations. So WHAT if I don't like listing presentations? Well, I miss getting the listings, and the people who would have benefited from working with me chose some slick-talking agent who did a better presentation. That's WHAT!
I am a REALTOR®; and in that capacity, I never give a "sales pitch." I do not miss that part of my former job, not for a minute. I do, however, have to close sales to make money, so I must adjust my systems and my techniques to the ever-changing market realities. I need to work on those listing presentations. I have been pretty successful without a hard-sell listing presentation, but I'm probably selling myself short.
Another thing I do not do is fill out an annual "commitment" form for a sales manager. My commitment is to myself. "So WHAT!" is a challenge I now pose to myself as I prepare for a new year. It's a challenge, not just a question, that's WHAT. And isn't it strange that I now can accept both the so WHAT and the commitment? Maybe this year, I will also embrace the listing presentations...
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