With the Holidays in full swing and most people in the giving spirit I've taken some time to think about the way I do business. I decided a long time ago that I would always give my customers what they need, regardless of whether it generates business for me or whether or not they like what I have to say. I figured that if I did the "right thing" and put my client's goals ahead of mine it would come back to me in the end. This last year has really tested my theory. On several listing appointments this year I had sellers literally offended/angry when I gave them their homes value. I never got those listings. Incidentally those homes eventually hit the market overpriced but never sold, what a surprise. When customers asked me, "is now a good time to buy"? I answered the best I could, and it usually wasn't. My number one sales trainer was my father and I'm sure it pains him to see the sale opportunities I've let go, and I'm certain it pained my bank account but there is something to be said about sleeping well at night. I would have trouble telling a distressed homeowner they should short sell when a loan modification is what they really want. I can't imagine encouraging a buyer to stay in a contentious contract when a better home is likely to appear in 6 to 8 months, maybe even at a better price. In the end I have to answer to myself, and I'm going to stay the course next year. I think it is very important for a salesperson to be assertive and even aggressive but I think I'll focus my aggressiveness and assertiveness on finding a person I can help instead of turning the sale in front of me.