Why I LOVE a Good Salesperson!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate

Good SalesHave you ever been in a class where the instructor asked the real estate agents to name what the public thinks of real estate agents?  Inevitably, someone will raise their hands and say...they think we're like used car salespersons?  The tone & subsequent commentary indicate that this is NOT a good thing...

In a recent class setting, the instructor went further and asked everyone to raise their hands IF they LIKED salespeople.  Only a few brave souls dared to raise their hands.  We all felt it...it was not cool to 'like' salepersons.  One brave soul actually said he enjoyed a purchase when it was assisted by a good salesperson.  Which got me to thinking...so do I!

Even though I often enter a store and respond to an initial inquiry for assistance with the proverbial, 'No thanks, I'm just looking,' when I want to make my selection, I'm always grateful when a salesperson shows up, particularly when they are a GOOD Salesperson.  

So what's the difference between a good Salesperson and a lousy one?  Well, one could write a book about that and since this is a short blog post, I'll just highlight a few key points which make a huge difference for me.

1.  Good Salespersons LISTEN with two ears & TALK with one mouth

While, this may seem to be the nature of creation, I'm often amazed by how much talking a poor Salesperson does.  I guess it's called 'Selling' me a product.  Problem is, I don't need to be SOLD something, I'm already indicating I'd like to buy.  I simply need assistance in making the right selection.  To help me with that, you've got to listen more and talk less.

2.  Good Salespersons NOTICE stuff.

A couple of years ago I bought a new car.  I really wanted to purchase a particular brand of car, but when I walked into the showroom and started to look around, no one noticed.  That's not to say, there were not sales agents there.  They seemed occupied, talking to each other, walking around...in fact doing anything other than noticing that there was a NEW customer in the showroom who might be interested in buying a car.  Well, after about 10 - 15 minutes, I walked out.  Fortunately, the competing dealer down the street had Salespersons who noticed.  Needless to say, I've been happy with my purchase.

3.  Good Salespersons don't tell LIES

Sometimes, the truth can be a tricky thing.  So what do you say when someone asks you if they look good in something and you really think they look awful? Not an easy situation, I know.  Yet, integrity in sales is the cornerstone foundation of good business in my opinion.  When people trust you, they feel comfortable with the fact that you are making a recommendation for their good, not simply to line your pockets.  Sometimes the truth is hard to swallow.  Like, 'Mr & Mrs Seller, your home has lost 30% of its value OR, you are not in the position to purchase a home right now.  But, it's better to tell the truth, albeit with politeness, than to lead someone down a false trail.

We're ALL in Sales...

Yes, we are.  Everyday, all of us are selling something.  Many of us are not aware of this fact and consequently do a very poor job at it.  If you're a parent, you're in the daily business of training a child to do the right thing and in a sense convincing them that doing so will be beneficial.  We sell when we present ourselves to the world every morning.  

We're selling even when we don't think people are watching.  We're selling every time we convince or ask someone to do something.  When selling is done from good intentions and motivations, it has the capacity to influence lives in a very compelling way.  People want to know what is best and how to make quality decisions.  They want to have the knowledge required to prevent mistakes.  They want to know that you care about THEM, not just the product you're selling.  When I meet a salesperson like that, irregardless of whether they're a REALTOR®,teacher or a clerk in a retail store, I for one, appreciate the service!

Comments (68)

Christine Rae
CSP International Business Training Academy - Saint Catharines, ON
Founder of CSP Intl Academy & StagingTraining.com

Good post Lola; what you say resonates with me too.  I hate to be sold but love to buy on my terms when I am ready.  A savvy salesperson who is "helping" me stands to get repeat business if they sell my way.  I teach a segment in my class which I do think is under valued called "How Buyer's buy"; understanding you can;t have one spiel and one approach for all will help your make your sales targets in 2012

Jan 13, 2012 07:32 AM
Lehel Szucs
All Seasons Real Estate, Inc. - Covina, CA
REALTOR of choice

we are always on ... we are always selling  ... if not the product (homes) ... than ourselves ... thank you for sharing

Jan 13, 2012 08:46 AM
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


I appreciate a good sales person, too.  I enjoy buying from someone who is friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable.  Someone who will take the time to answer any questions I may have.

Jan 13, 2012 09:31 AM
Winston Heverly
Winston Realty, Inc. - Atlantis, FL

Lola, this was a good read and all so true with every point.

Jan 13, 2012 11:23 AM
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Phil, thanks for stopping by to read & comment.

Marge...I like your way of putting it!  :)

The Christiansen team...Thank you.

Mike...that always amazes me too...salespersons who get offended because you don't buy on their time frame.  Definitely in the lousy category...

Michael...absolutely.  To a certain degree, we're in sales in life too.  Many of us have a limited understanding of what selling actually is.

Jan 13, 2012 11:52 AM
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Rob...you've named the remarkable benefits of being an entrepreneur.  When one can do this and earn a good living helping people, it really is a privilege.  Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

Thanks Nicky.

Adrian, You're welcome!  Best wishes to you in 2012 with successful selling.

Linda...sales is an honorable professions when done correctly.  Admitedly, it's take a long time for me to gain a fuller understanding.

Jan 13, 2012 11:56 AM
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Amazing that most commentators like most consumers appreciate a knowledgeable salesperson that provides them with enough information to make a decision to buy what they want or need.

Jan 13, 2012 12:01 PM
Leslie Ebersole
Swanepoel T3 Group - Saint Charles, IL
I help brokers build businesses they love.

Sales is important to capitalism....consumers should be free to make choices. A great sales person makes things move forward and creates great situations all the way around.


Jan 13, 2012 01:16 PM
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Listening is very important. I like to think I help people buy, not sell them on something. Plus a nudge here and ther.

Jan 13, 2012 01:36 PM
Jimmy Phan
Phan real estate group in hickory

i will go right, turn left, step backward and run forward to tell everyone that i am a realtor...never a second thought of not to

thanks for sharing Lola

Jan 13, 2012 01:41 PM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

There have been a few times in my life where I have had really good sales people that even after I left felt they were honest and had taken advantage of me.  On some of these occasions I had spent a lot more than planned too.  

Jan 13, 2012 02:12 PM
Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

You are right. We are all selling something. Some are just doing a better job at selling ourselves than others.  Excellent post, Lola. 

Jan 13, 2012 02:25 PM
Sylvie Stuart
Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta
It's our job to make our clients feel comfortable and happy with their purchase. We do this by focusing on their needs above our own.
Jan 14, 2012 09:25 AM
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Lola, what an excellent post from the into to the great point to make us succeed!

Jan 14, 2012 10:59 AM
Gene Donohue
Only Way Realty / UpstateHomeSeller.com - Greenville, SC
Flat Fee Service...Exceptional Results!

What you describe is not a person acting as a salesperson, it is someone acting as a consultant, your partner, someone who is looking out for your best interest, uncovering your needs and then fulfilling them.

As an industry we need to get away from the term salesperson precisely becuase of the negative connotation it carries.  We are consultants!

Jan 17, 2012 12:28 AM
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire


Maybe the first thing we should do is start calling ourselves, sales professionals. Most of the people here on the Rain and many of the great agents I know are true professionals at what they do.

This perception of the public in what they think about us has lasted for a long time and it is up to each of this to change it.

You are right on with your first point and this is my #1 resolution this year, become a better listening and to ask better questions. cheers in 2012 cvc

Jan 17, 2012 06:11 AM
Diane Rice
Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL - Lansing, IL

You've nailed it with this post Lola - Happy NEW Year to you!  As salespeople, we are defined by others based upon their expectations being met.  Popped in to say hello!

Jan 19, 2012 12:51 AM
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Lola, those are all great attributes of a sales person.  I left a comment on Maria Morton's reblog of the post about how unusual it is for a salesman in a car dealership not to notice...maybe they were taking the really, really laid back no pressure approach to sales???

Jan 22, 2012 07:33 AM
PRG Real Estate - San Jose, CA
VA Home Loan Specialist - SF Bay Area

Selling when no one is watching. I love that sentence. We all have to be aware of what we do, we never know who is watching Bwahahahaha

Jan 25, 2012 06:31 PM
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re

So many times I go into a retail store and the initial salesperson approach is how can I help and I also indicated thanks but just looking. When I am interested in a product I am looking for information to help me in the purchase decision. With so many of my purchases from online sources when I want info I need that knowledgeable sales person.

Jan 27, 2012 01:28 AM