Having a little trouble convincing people to do what you want them to do?

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Realty West CalBRE #01458572

When I take a peak at the list of corporate CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and CTOs, as well as many Vice-Presidents, it's always interesting that 80% or more of them got their start in sales.

Why do you think that is?

I suspect it's because sales gives one a very good start to learning how to communicate effectively with other people. If you can persuade people to do what you want them to do -- i.e., buy from you, invest in you, etc. -- you're well on your way to having a successful career.

Sure, there are people who made millions on things, like mood rings, pet rocks, and Rubik cubes, but the people who came up with those things still had to persuade someone to invest in them.

If you think you're communicating skills are lacking in any way, there are many ways to improve them:

  1. Volunteer as a chair for a community project
  2. Run for office in the organization to which you belong
  3. Join a networking group such as Le Tip or BNI
  4. Join your local Toastmasters
  5. Practice with your family in giving impromptu speeches. First, turn off the television, the iPods, and the cell phones. Have each person in your family give a two to five minute speech about a subject of their choosing. Critique each other — count the number of times each speaker says "you know," "um," "uh," and other words and phrases that add nothing to the speech.
  6. Record yourself on a video camera and then critique yourself. You just might be surprised at what you find out about yourself.

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Irina Riley
American Dream Colorado - Woodland Park, CO

Russel, you are absolutely right on this! I really like your ideas. Way to go!

Mar 09, 2010 12:58 PM #1
Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

Go, Russel.  That is the way to tackle any problem.  Head-on.  Not for the faint of heart.  I want to join you in a Margarita and a nice Mexican meal....not to see you stutter...just have a blast.  Take care! 

Mar 09, 2010 12:59 PM #2
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Russell, For me it was selling Discover Toys.  That was where I got my sales training to begin with.  Getting up in front of a group over and over gives you confidence. That was over 20 years ago but I'm still comfortable talking in front of groups.

Mar 09, 2010 01:00 PM #3
Jay Lloyd
Cape Coral Florida - Cape Coral, FL
Allpro Home Inspection

Great blog Russell, My first public speaking gig was a difficult audience indeed. I volunteered with Junior Achievement teaching a course in Economics and Business Ownership to 8th graders! The class was held in the computer room and it was difficult to hold their attention. Incorporating humor, props & prizes made the course fun for everyone.

Mar 09, 2010 01:26 PM #4
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Russel, Great advice!  My daughter just joined Toastmasters and I'm so happy....I have always hated speaking although I do it often and she'll be able to breeze through presentations. 

Mar 09, 2010 01:41 PM #5
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS, Broker
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

Great little story Russel. My Dad was a stutterer as well until he went into sales in high school.  He was a master salesman! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to think of my Dad and be grateful that I had such a great guy to learn so much from...................it's all good.

Mar 09, 2010 01:46 PM #6
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Russel -- communication is KEY!  I am not sure if I would be stutter or slurring after a couple of those margueritas LOL.  I think toastmaster is a great way to gain communication skills and get rid of the butterflies.

Mar 09, 2010 02:32 PM #7
Steve, Joel & Steve A. Chain
Chain Real Estate Investments & Mortgage, Steve & Joel Chain - Cottonwood, CA


It pays to develop our weak off areas. The strengths seem to take care of themselves.


Mar 09, 2010 02:54 PM #8
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce - Short Sale

As a former public address teacher...tape yourself....you will be surprised how you sound !

Mar 09, 2010 10:25 PM #9
Gerry Michaels
Glasswork Media Arts - Gettysburg, PA
GettysburgGerry Social Meida

Russel, #2 is a great idea, but it can get time consuming, I am on the board of our local SPCA and it takes alot time, but it is also so rewarding, great post thanks

Mar 09, 2010 10:42 PM #10
Debi Boucher
Real Estate Showcase Photography - Woodland Park, CO
"Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours

Interesting post, Russel - Never thought of taping myself!


Mar 10, 2010 02:26 AM #11
Diane Osowiecki
Diane O and Friends - Benchmark Realty - Franklin, TN
Greater Nashville Real Estate

Russel - The good CEOs and the like have a people background, the others come to us from the financial world where every thing goes in one column or another.  I bet if you looked at the company's with low turnover and high consumer loyalty they would be run by the sale person, not the financial guy.

Mar 10, 2010 03:25 AM #12
Ted Tyndall
Davidson Realty Inc. - Saint Augustine, FL
FL Homes for Sale-Palencia, World Golf Village,Nocatee,St. Augustine

Russel, good post. I have noticed over the years the top officers in major corporations tend to commonly come from sales.

Mar 10, 2010 06:05 AM #13
Maria Morton
Chartwell Kansas City Realty - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Great post, Russel!  When a person uses "you know" and "ums" in their sentences, they decrease their credibility.

Mar 13, 2010 02:23 AM #14
Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer
Russel Ray - San Diego State University, CA

Hey, Folks.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

I have read all the comments, but since this post is rather old, rather than making comments here in my post to each and every one of you, I'll just let everyone know that I have read all the comments and if there are any questions, I'll answer those below. Otherwise I'll simply post this comment and then head over to your blogs soon to visit and do some reading and commenting. I hope you'll have a nice welcome mat out for me!

Don't forget to let your cat come out to play with all the other ActiveRain kitties. Your cat-friendly dogs can come, too!

If you need a great cat book, get yourself a copy of Peg Silloway's The Cat Lover's Book of Days.

Hope all is well with everyone.

Mar 27, 2010 03:00 PM #15
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Jim Frimmer

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