The 7 Secrets to your New Sales Success Blueprint

Two secrets are disclosed in this article, covering the process of how to use the complete functionality (left and right) of your brain to make more sales. More psychological sales secrets in the next issue of Sold.

The 7 secrets to your new sales success blueprint

Secret #1 – Your Rational Logical Thinking is Limiting Your Sales Success. Marcus Aurelius said…
You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.

We tend to see our real estate careers as a function of a series of activities. Marcus Aurelius would call them, “outside events”. I call them processes. Theses ‘outside events’ and ‘processes’ come in the form of: prospecting, listing presentations, open houses, advertising, auctions, market conditions, RBA decisions on interest rates to name a few. They’re examples of the activities or events which appear to make an impact one way or the other on our sales success.

Understandably then, the real estate industry has held a strong belief in process as it is expected to ensure consistency and to create desirable and repeatable end results. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. Process is important but it’s only one part of the sales success puzzle.

Here’s the thing, the real estate industry these days is flush with a plethora of great systems, processes and sales techniques. They’re readily available to every sales person out there. In the past 10 years agencies have fallen in love with process training and process full stop. For many it’s the holy-grail.

The goal of these agencies is to employ clearly laid out sales systems and processes so that every single sales person in their team has NO excuses. A great idea! But even with all these great systems, processes and best agent practices, why is it that the old 80/20 rule still remains in force? It’s baffling.

Just to be clear on what I mean by the 80/20 rule, here’s the definition…
The 80-20 rule (also known as the Pareto Principle, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Business management thinker Joseph M. Juran suggested the principle and named it after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population; he developed the principle by observing that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas. It is a common rule of thumb in business; e.g., “80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients.

The stats out in the United States confirm this…
• there are over 2.5 million real estate agents according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR)
• 7% to 10% of all real estate sales people generate 93% to 90% of all transactions
• first year dropout rate ranges from an estimated 40% to 80%
• after year three of those who survived the first year, only 10% continue on to year 4

So, clearly the proliferation of agent best practice through process has done nothing overall to change the 80/20 rule. So why is it that 80% (or more) of sales people never quite make it? If process does nothing to diminish the effect of the 80/20 rule, what will? So why is it that 80% (or more) of sales people never quite make it?

The secret is, it’s all to do with the way we THINK. Or more accurately, the way we use our brains. That’s right, I used plural. It’s not a typo. I said, brains purposely. How come? Well, you see you actually have two brains. A left and a right hemisphere or left and right brain. They are quite separate, held together by a thing called the Corpus Callosum.

The Corpus Callosum is a flat bundle of neural fibers beneath the cortex. It connects the left and right cerebral hemispheres and facilitates interhemispheric communication. In other words, it’s like having two computers side by side networked via a router.

Here’s the important bit… the left brain and right brain take care of quite different functions in your life. Such as…Your left brain is about: logic / rational thinking / based on experience / interested in ‘how’ / asks “who am I?” / past and future oriented / gives us an individual separate experience / sense of incompleteness / reactive / suspicious / safety & risk avoidance. Your right brain is about: big picture / end result driven / creativity / imagination / intuition / interested in ‘what’ / asks “what do I love?” / present oriented / gives us a connected to ALL experience / sense of completeness / proactive / risk taking / faith.

The left brain then is about “HOW”. The right brain is about “WHAT”.

Research reveals, 80% of people demonstrate a bias towards their left brain (‘HOW’). Their thinking is out of balance. This bias means that they predominantly think by asking the question “HOW?”. The left brain wants to know… “how is it here?”, “how to succeed?”, “how will I get what I want?”. It’s primary directive is trying to understand “HOW”. I put it to you, and it’s been my own observation over 30 years, that sales people who find themselves stuck amongst the 80% group of the 80/20 rule quotient have something in common other than poor sales results.

Mostly all of them are left brain bias. They are in the “HOW” of trying to create sales success. They’re stuck in what I call the “how-of-sales-success” rut.

Their focus is on “HOW”. To them “HOW” comes first. “HOW” is everything. Herein lies the problem. Although knowing “HOW” is helpful, having the emphasis on “HOW” will always limit your sales results. Why? Because they don’t know how to think out of the box so to speak.

What’s the alternative? (haha no pun intended) The alternative is to start with right brain “WHAT” thinking. When you approach sales with a mindset based on end results “WHAT” thinking, you are no longer limited by logical left brain “HOW” thinking. Einstein said… Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

Donald Trump is a great example of a “WHAT” thinking approach to business. Donald Trump obviously puts his right brain to work. He’s a big picture guy, a right brain trait. He’s a risk taker also, also a right brain trait. He’s a visionary, another right brain trait. He has proven to be somewhat impetuous at times, again, a right brain trait. When Donald Trump creates a new property development, his developments are huge. One of his latest Golf resort projects in Aberdeen Scotland worth around $1.5 Billion US.

There is no doubt left brain assisted planning is involved (the ‘how’). But there is also the original vision and all of the creative work, the ‘what’, a right brain function. Risk, creativity, big picture all needed to get a project like this off the ground. Could Trump do this with left brain functionality alone? Very unlikely. Trump must also engage the faculties of his right brain. Do you think he decides on whether to commit to a project based on satisfying the “HOW” first? No way. He starts with the “WHAT”. The rest follows.

The good news is, you have the power to control and direct your own mind to whatever ends you desire. Supposing, you’re left-brain biased. Imagine what it would be like if you were able to tap into the right side of your brain more than you’re doing now? To potentially go from using predominantly your left-brain to including and adding in the immense creative powers of your right-brain. Imagine that.

Currently, you’re probably only using about 10% of your overall brain’s capabilities. Start accessing the neglected functions of your right-brain and any small percentage increase will have a profound effect on you.

Increase your sales maybe? No doubt. I’d go as far to say that not only will your sales increase, they could double, treble, quadruple even!

So Secret #1 is learn to use your right brain more. Ask “WHAT” not “HOW”!

Secret #2 – Know What You’re Aiming At.

You’d think knowing what you’re aiming at is a no brainer for real estate agents right? Well ironically, it’s literally a no brainer, a no “left-brainier” that is (or at least it should be). Allow me to explain…All good sales people set sales goals right? Sure they do. Their sales goals, of course, are what they’re aiming at. Or it’s what they THINK they’re aiming at.

Herein lies the problem…. Your THINKING could well be causing you to aim at the wrong sales target. Or even if you’ve set the right sales target, when you take action for it, somehow you miss your target altogether.

How could that be?
Well, you see, when you make a sales goal and set your aim, you rely on your thinking to determine…
1. The sales target, and …
2. How you’re going to hit your sales target
In the first secret I revealed that there’s two different kinds of thinking. And one of these thinking processes is causing you to choose the wrong sales target to begin with or at the very least miss your target!

The two modes of thinking are indeed, ‘HOW’ and ‘WHAT’.

HOW’ THINKING: Is based on logic, so called rational thinking, experience and your current level of knowledge. It’s based on the past and future. This thinking is about being more interested in ‘HOW’ you’ll get somewhere rather than where you want to go. This kind of THINKING is what’s generally considered to be the function of the left brain.

‘WHAT’ THINKING: Is the other kind of thinking and is actually not really thinking at all. It’s using your imagination, creativity and intuition. It’s based on the present moment. This is BIG picture thinking. The focus here is in the end result or the ‘WHAT’. This mode of thinking is a faculty of your right brain.

The problem with ‘HOW’ thinking alone is when you set your sales goals, when you take action for them, not only will you be going for what you want, you’ll also be taking into consideration ‘HOW’ you’ll achieve your goal and that invariably includes what you don’t want. Specifically, you’ll be taking into consideration what you don’t want to experience…

In other words, you’ll have a list of items you’ve stored in your left-brain which you think you need to AVOID. A simple example of this, is someone who needs to avoid embarrassment.

Let’s say this person needs more property listings. They have a target of 2 new listings. Let’s call this their ‘TRUE’ goal. They may know cold calling is one of the best ways to get new listings. But they don’t do it because they’re embarrassed to make the calls. So they’ll avoid making cold calls at all costs. They’ll probably make all kinds of excuses as to why they’re not going to make the calls.

This need to avoid embarrassment may exist in a person’s mind due to an uncomfortable past experience. When this person sets their aim to get new listings, they’ll first ask the question: ‘HOW’ will I get more listings? Cold calling may be the answer but it’ll be quickly dismissed due to their need to avoid embarrassment.

As a result, they’re not aiming at their ‘TRUE’ goal. They’re more interested in working out a way to achieve their goal whilst avoiding embarrassment. I put it to you that this person is placing greater importance on avoiding embarrassment than achieving their goal of listing more properties. They have a ‘FALSE’ goal of avoiding embarrassment.

So guess what, they’re not aiming 100% at their ‘TRUE’ target (i.e. more listings). Their focus is partially on the thing they don’t want to experience (i.e. embarrassment). Their thinking is based on ‘HOW’ they can list and avoid being embarrassed at the same time. They’re focused on a ‘FALSE’ goal.

I don’t know about you, but if I’m not 100% focused on my ‘TRUE’ goal, I’ll often miss it. It’s a bit like the painful lessons I learnt when I started snowboarding. My ski instructor said… You’ll go where you look, so it’s vitally important that you ONLY look in the direction you want to go.

That sounded like good advice to me. But putting it into practice, was a whole other story. I kept looking down at what I wanted to avoid… the ground. And yep, that’s what I kept hitting. OUCH!

Here’s the thing. What you resist persists. In other words, what you try avoiding, is the very thing that causes it to happen.

Back to my snowboarding story…
After some practice and having learnt the painful way that looking at what I wanted to avoid (stacking) was in fact not helping at all, I learnt to stop worrying about what I was avoiding and just to look where I wanted to go. That’s when snowboarding became fun for me.

So the first secret in Your New Sales Success Blueprint is to really know and be totally clear on whether you’re aiming at your ‘TRUE’ target or your ‘FALSE’ target.

You need to be completely satisfied that you have your ‘TRUE’ target in your sights and you’re NOT being distracted and taken off track because of a ‘FALSE’ target (i.e what you’re avoiding).

It’s all about being honest with yourself.

Here are some simple questions that will help you…

Ask yourself these questions every time you take aim at your sales goals:
* What is my ‘TRUE’ target?
* What am I trying to avoid (i.e. my ‘FALSE’ target)?
* What am I making MOST important, my ‘TRUE’ target or my ‘FALSE’ target?

They say, the truth will set you free. Just answering these questions honestly has the effect of freeing you to achieve your goals.


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Peter Hutton

Peter Hutton is the Director and CEO of Hutton & Hutton Real Estate. Peter brings over 25 years real estate experience as well as a wealth of expertise to the industry through his book, ‘The Love Price’.