Did you ever hear your mouth moving without your brain being present? Someone just asked for a totally unreasonable request and you are there nodding your head, while your brain screams, “What the Hell, I told you not to do that again!”
It’s too late, we’ve already committed, and we know we are going to hate doing that thing. Women are more culpable of giving in because we try to please. It’s in our DNA and controls the tongue. A sales coach explained the difference between men and women in selling. Men say, “Here’s the thing. The thing costs $xxxx. Are you interested in the thing?” The customer will say yes or no. If it’s yes, they hand over the requested amount, the man says, “Thank you, here’s the thing, have a nice day.”
Saleswomen say, “Here’s the thing. It costs $xxxx. Is that too much? Is it the right color? Maybe you’d like a bigger one? Would you like me to gift wrap it?” Women in the audience roared with laughter. We all do it. After 20+ years of selling I STILL DO IT! It became a topic in my own mind because of particular incident with an acquaintance.
An acquaintance that I’ve known for years, but never made a dime on any of his fanciful flights that never landed, called on a busy Monday. He wants to downsize, buy a smaller home that he can rehab for his family, and sell his current home. This would be wonderful, but we’ve had this conversation 5 times over the years. He tells me that he’d never use anyone else, I’m like family. That means he wants something for nothing. I email him a list of homes. He says it didn’t arrive. I resend to 2 emails he’s given me. Still no arrival. Then I sent the list to myself and forward to him, the 3rd time is the charm. The next day, he calls to say that I have an eye for what he wants, there are a lot of possibilities on the list. THEN, he says, “I’m willing to put down 50% of my own money if you find me an investor who’s willing to put in the other 50%. I don’t want to risk my own money. And, I don’t have a crew, I really need a plumber, can you send one over?” Then you say, “Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the dumbest Realtor of all? Why did I answer the phone?”
It’s not only clients, sometimes it’s us. A new agent asked for my help. Aren’t we always willing? She was in divorce, devastated, and starting over. It was a struggle even though she had been selling before. I must interject that she was a tiny blonde Barbie with huge sad blue eyes. She said she was having a tough time with a client, could I help? Sure. Then she called back, “Good news! I’ve booked us to show four houses to one client, and then we’re going across town to spend a couple hours with another client all day Saturday.” After I caught my breath I choked out, NO! With a totally milk toast excuse. “But, “she whimpered blinking feverishly, “you promised to help me.”
I’m sure that we’ve all had clients who complain about never having money. They seem to live a pretty good life, but it’s never up to their expectations. I had a client’s house listed who found an opportunity to travel to Africa for 10 days, but someone needed to take care of her dog. That would be the Realtor, who loves all critters. She had broken up with one boyfriend, was travelling with another which isn’t any of my business. So, I took the dog for 10 days with directions that the ex-boyfriend might want to see the dog. That was ok because the dog needed more exercise than I did. Sure enough, the ex-knocked on my door for visitation rights, “I need to see her, we’re really close and she’s used to walking with me. You can’t keep her away from me.” I handed him the leash with dog attached. Jog on. The house eventually sold, except that the seller, back from Africa mentioned, “There might be a lien because I borrowed a little money from my boyfriend.” She had FOUR mortgages, and not enough money, so she wanted part of my commission. Need I say where this is going?
Sharing lunch at a conference, another agent was recounting her difficulty with a client she helped find temporary housing, showed him 40+ homes, but he was cancelling a contract over a fixable repair. I found myself pounding the table, “Just tell him NO! He’s being unreasonable, just spinning wheels. No, no no.”
It’s so easy when it’s not your client, friend, or even family. Just say NO!