In Today's World... Sales Pitchee's Just Say No

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

I read somewhere (I believe it may have been in the book "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion") that human beings develop analytical short cuts in their brains in order to make judgments or decisions about new ideas or offerings that come their way. The example given was that of "You get what you pay for." Since we don't have the time or energy or even the desire to analyze every single product that is advertised to us, we make assumptions about the value or desirability of the product based on the price. Therefore, something that costs $9.99 (a too-good-to-be-true price) is not as good as a similar product that costs $99.95. While the $10 product may be every bit as effective as the $100 one, a vendor might actually sell more of his product if he increases the price, rather than put it on sale.


In 2009, we are overwhelmed by information and advertising. It comes at us from every direction and there's no way we can take it all in. Too many choices, too many options... to save our sanity we MUST develop an automatic evaluation method to avoid mental overload.

I'm reailzing that if something comes at me as a sales pitch, I Just Say No. I'm paranoid enough, suspicious enough and burned too many times by salespeople to give many the benefit of the doubt. I don't have time to check references or decipher trumped-up testimonials. If someone is trying to sell me something, my automatic evaluation system kicks in and I reject it.

I've found this to be true in my own world, with my own SWS "prospects." I get inquiries every day from people who want to interview me, who'd like a proposal for me to speak, who want to include my articles in their newsletter. They find me online or hear about me from others, and are intrigued. But I tell ya, the minute I approach someone and ask if they'd like to interview me, if they'd like a proposal for me to speak or would like me to submit articles for their newsletter, I almost ALWAYS get brushed off. Sometimes not even very politely! I approached a radio talk-show host once (he was just getting started, not some big shot) and he somewhat nastily accused me of just wanting to sell him something.

So, it appears that the way to sell something to someone is to let THEM find YOU. Create an attractive "product" and put it out there in the world for interested prospects to stumble onto.

I'm sure I didn't think this up all on my own, but I betcha' we'll see a massive paradigm shift AWAY from pursuit-oriented marketing TO attraction-based marketing. Might turn the sales-training world on its ear! (which is a very good thing).



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David Width Jr.
Little Egg Harbor, NJ

I can relate to what you were saying. I really have tried to be nicer to people trying to pitch me and listen to them and then be honest about what I think and tell them I appreciate the time they took to explain their product to me.

Jan 20, 2009 01:10 AM #1
Margaret Mitchell
Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty - York, ME
Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate

Hi Jennifer - Well written and so true.  Btw, I once captured a sale by raising the price on a house.  Two buyers on the fence both rushed in to get the "old" price.  Different market of course, and it was new construction which makes it a bit easier to raise the price.  I find myself brushing off telemarketers trying to sell me leads. 

Interesting story re: the radio host.  I can't imagine anyone not jumping at the opportunity to talk with you!

Jan 20, 2009 01:17 AM #2
Herb Hamilton
RE/MAX Preferred Inc. Realtors - Portland, OR
Real Estate Broker ,CDPE, Downtown Portland


Back in February of 2007 when I first joined AR I had the pleasure of stumbling across Teresa Boardmans blog. Her post fascinated me and I emailed her direct questioning her about her style of writing.

Of course back then I did not think about how many enquiries she might get or how busy she might be and the lack of good taste for me to ask.

Teresa was quick to respond and very helpful to me.

What intrigued me about Teresa's style was that it was almost always composed around Pictures of the St. Paul area. Many of the Photo's could have been from anywhere USA as they were not all land marks. In addition the photo's were often a little out of kilter as if shot while standing on a side hill.

Teresa's answer to all of this was that people that visited her site were not coming there to download the photo's in order to create a framable piece of art work.

The people came there to get a sense of what St. Paul was like. They enjoyed her commentary and sense of humor. From that they were intrigued and went on to see her web site and subsequently would make the decision to work with her.

Jan 20, 2009 01:18 AM #3
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

David - good for you! I'm sure they appreciate your kindness.

Margaret - that worked for me once, too. RE: the radio host - at first I was really hurt by his tone, but then I realized that he doesn't know me at all; he was just protecting himself from yet another sales-pitch... just like I do!

Herb - Great example - I enjoy her site, too.

Jan 20, 2009 01:21 AM #4
Mike Klijanowicz
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Perry Hall, MD
Associate Broker @ Cummings & Co. Realtors

Interesting perspective on the pricing.  I don't think that now is a time to be cutting and cutting and cutting any kind of prices...

Jan 20, 2009 01:41 AM #5
Kim Brown
Keller Williams Realty - Keene, NH
Keene, NH - New England at its Best!

I think you nailed this one, JA!  As society has shifted into the internet age, it's never been easier to actively seek the information I'm looking for. 

I don't want to be sold something! I will come to my own conclusions, thank you very much, and I respect other folks' right to do the same.  Make the information I want available, make it clear, make it provocative...get my attention.  If I'm inspired, I will take action.

Seems to me attraction-based marketing is more respectful of a potential customer's time and intelligence.  And isn't that all we really want?  A little R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

Jan 20, 2009 02:19 AM #6
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Kim - I hadn't even thought of that angle - DUH! We no longer NEED sales pitches because the information we need is at our fingertips... when we're ready for it!

Jan 20, 2009 02:26 AM #7
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Jennifer, I think we all hate to be "sold" ... and I think that is why the number one reason some one chooses a lender or a realtor is "referral". if we do our jobs right, stay visible people will find us, Just make sure you are there and that they know where to find you when they need you!

Jan 20, 2009 02:49 AM #8
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Jennifer - BRAVO!!!  You nailed it.  This is exactly the point I was trying to make (rather unsuccessfully as it turns out) in one of your previous posts WE want to be WOW'ed by our lenders... and that's exactly what OUR customers want, too! as well as Janet's post Inquiring Minds Want to Know: Why Do Realtors Trash Marketing from Mortgage Brokers?.

This is why I don't market to Realtors by trying to "sell" myself or PacFin with worthless marketing materials.  The best way to promote me, PacFin as well as the services and products that we have to offer our clients is to just be the best Mortgage Loan Consultant and lender that we can be by conducting ourselves in a professional and ethical manner and treating our clients and their agents in a courteous and professional manner.

PacFin has been conducting business like this for more than 20 years and I've been conducting business like this for nearly eight.  It's working!  Perhaps if more of us operated this way, we could possibly all get along much better.


Jan 20, 2009 04:12 AM #9
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jennifer, I have often said that the best way to get someone to want something is to tell them that they can't have it.

Jan 20, 2009 11:25 AM #10
Joshua & Kathy Schmidt
ERA Henley Real Estate - Cabot, AR


     Interesting article.  I believe that you may be right in a way.  I really think that MANY people are getting fed up with the pushy sales pitches they are getting from every direction.  Also, with the majority of America going online to find out about things first it is the nature of the beast that is marketing. 

Jan 20, 2009 01:00 PM #11
Linda Jandura
Raleigh Cary Realty - Apex, NC
Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist

Jennifer- I think you've hit on something here. I know I get tired of telemarketers  calling me to SELL me some leads. They always say that my business will increase 100x's. Mostly  their business will increase!  If it was so good, I would find it myself.

Now the trick is to have people who are willing to PAY you look for you!

BTW, I just noticed that this will be my 1000th Comment so I wanted to write it somewhere worthwhile. Your's was the first blog I looked for. Thanks for all the good advice over the last 6 months.

Jan 21, 2009 05:58 AM #13
Alan Brown
Coldwell Banker Montrose Colorado - Montrose, CO
29 Years of Real Estate Experience .

Good post...I agree. I usually tell the caller right away, "If you are going to try and sell me something I am not going to be interested in buying so save your sales pitch for someone who is"  Cold calling is the hardest sale anyone can make, having people come to you because of your product or services is definitely the way to go.

Jan 21, 2009 09:53 AM #14
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

LInda- I'm honored to be your 1000th!

Jan 21, 2009 10:10 AM #15
Bill Saunders, Realtor®
Meyers Realty - Hot Springs, AR

I personally cannot do the cold calling or worse, door to door...I feel it puts me (us) right in there with the guy that is selling magazine subscriptions that you watch in the neighborhood to see if he is casing the place out. What would you think if a lawyer came to your door knocking to see if we knew of anyone needing legal representation...hmmmm, now THERE's a winner :). It is the same with telemarketers. I truly feel sorry for them...what rejection they must deal with...I try to be nice to them and tell them to have a nice day, etc. Can you imagine when you go home? "How was your day, honey?". "Everyone I talked to today hated me."

I LOVE this philosophy here.

Feb 07, 2009 01:42 AM #16
Anne Vigneri
CASA VERO Staging & Redesign - Albuquerque, CA
Serving the Mariposa California

As a stager who's business had just begun to take off when the bottom fell out last fall, I am totally bewildered as to the best way to promote my business now. I have tried the "presentation" route ( I was so nervous I have no idea what I said, and left feeling almost ill).. I have done a mailer with what I thought was very useful info.. I have gone to open houses to introduce myself.. I send a  monthly email newsletter..I have testimonials and superb references.. All of these methods are about "selling" myself. And apparently they don't work!.. 

The ONLY thing homeowners and Realtors are interested in knowing is "How much?" ,, With homes staying on the market for far too long and prices being reduced over and over it's all about the money.. I am worn out repeating the same mantra.. "Staged homes do get more interest, and the investment is far less than continued price reductions.."... It costs money to hire a stager and that's where the conversation stops...

As good as I might be at what I do it seems to matter little right now...


Feb 15, 2009 04:08 AM #17
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