All successful agents know that “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Conversely, the key to success is to take as many shots as possible. It seems easy enough to apply this principle. It’s Nike’s “Just Do It” mentality. In reality, there are a number of reasons why it may not be as easy as you think to “take the shots.”
There are a couple of key points you want to keep in mind that should help.
- Productive Habits– In sales, when you take the shots, you leave yourself open to serious rejection. Sales is a numbers game, the more chances you take, the more success you will have. By forcing yourself to make the calls, or warm canvas, with a good strategy, you’ll find that the perception of the pain isn’t nearly as painful as you may have thought it would be. The key to success in building a more productive habit is to focus on two key points:
- What you stand to gain by developing the new habit. (i.e. financial security, recognition, sense of self, etc.)
- What you will lose (fear of loss), if you don’t develop it. (i.e. financial security, recognition, sense of self, etc.)
- Selling Isn’t Black & White– Most people respond well to structure because it’s far easier to follow a path that is worn than it is to blaze a new trail. Unfortunately, a career in sales involves a lot of gray. Unlike science, selling is an art. You must learn to follow the guidelines that have been established and still recognize that with all the rules and regulations that are in place, you are going to make some mistakes. In many cases, the mistakes should be welcomed because it means you are making a genuine effort. A good rule to apply to most situations is to look at the intent of a rule and bend it without breaking it. This approach is called the “Ask Forgiveness Approach.” It should never be applied to legal or ethical rules, but can be very effective with guidelines.
Here’s an example of how the “Ask Forgiveness Approach” works:
You live in a community that is gated and has a no solicitation policy posted. You have two options.
- You can follow the rule strictly and never visit any of the neighbors you don’t already know, or,
- You could knock on every door in the neighborhood, introduce yourself and drop of a year-end market update. Many agents will view this approach as violating the no solicitation rule. But, many very successful and very ethical agents will apply a more aggressive approach and view this as nothing more than providing a service to their neighbors. They reason that if using this approach causes a problem, they will politely apologize and stop using the approach.
Guess which agent is more productive?
As a real estate agent you must determine your own comfort level and must also determine for yourself when it’s appropriate to take the shot and ask forgiveness.