Podcast Interview

Real estate investingI did a podcast interview with Rod Khleif of Lifetime Cash Flow through Real Estate Investing. Rod has graciously agreed to allow me to post the link to the interview here. I hope you enjoy listening in.

Listen in here>> https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ep-98-tom-hopkins-returns-tom-is-recognized-as-worlds/id1097449598?i=1000381280696&mt=2

Here’s some of what you will learn:

  • First and most important thing to learn to improve your sales skills.
  • How to use The Chamber of Commerce as a resource.
  • Selling is not what most people think it is.
  • The 2 extremes in personalities and temperaments.
  • The traits of the best sales people.
  • The greatest investment a person can make.
  • The importance of Practice.
  • Practice, practice, practice, (lessons learned from watching Tiger Woods practice golf.)
  • Repetition is the mother of skill.
  • The importance of using scripts and elevator pitches.
  • How to overcome your fear of sales.
  • Using rituals to improve your confidence.
  • What is a shower card?
  • The importance of gratitude – count your blessings every day.
  • People say yes to your enthusiasm and excitement before they say yes to your technical skills.
  • Consider doing 2 things at once.
  • The steps to truly master the art of selling.
  • How to get started in selling for absolutely nothing.
  • The basics of negotiation.
  • What is the difference between an objection and a negotiation point?
  • “5 Words to Live by, Do What You Fear Most. It’s what most Top Producers Do!”
  • We all have 86,400 seconds in a day. Do the most productive thing possible at every given moment.
  • Focus and set priorities – don’t waste time.
  • “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job to become a person people like and trust and want to listen to.” – Tom Hopkins
  • Love people and use money. Never love money and use people and you will make all the money you could ever spend.” – Tom Hopkins
  • “You’re in the people business, work on the skill of getting along with people.”
  • The things that have made the biggest difference in my life.

Book recommendation: How to Master the Art of Selling

Working with Hostile Buyers

hostile buyersIt’s inevitable that you’ll eventually find yourself working with hostile buyers. Confronted by a buyer who has suddenly turned hostile, average salespeople get anxious about their own dignity. If it requires shouting before withdrawal, they shout; if their dignity allows a silent stomp out, they silently stomp out—to oblivion with that particular buyer in either case.

Champions see the situation in an entirely different light. They know at once that their buyers are in pain—that countering the buyer’s hostility with more hostility is non-productive—that their own dignity is beside the point. As human beings they want to help relieve the other person’s pain; as business people, they want to move that pain aside so they can get on with business.

Here’s how Champions win by casting themselves as the good guys: They keep calm, listen carefully, and speak to the heart of the matter at the first opportunity.

“Jim, I’m getting the feeling that you’re really more troubled by something that has nothing to do with me or my company than you are about what we’ve been discussing. [Don’t pause.] I’d like to understand what’s bothering you. Why don’t you lay a little of that burden on my shoulders? I think that’ll make it easier for both of us. Getting things like that off your chest is something you just have to do, and talking to someone not directly involved can be a great way to clarify your thinking about a challenge. Would you like to tell me about it?”

Speak clearly as you say these words, and don’t hurry them. The hostile buyer usually waffles at first—denies that he has a problem or pretends to ignore your statement. But, then, if you’ve demonstrated genuine empathy, chances are that he’ll drift into talking about what’s bothering him. Once he gets started, he’ll probably use up the available time telling you all about it. Don’t worry. He’ll invite you back, or he’ll say something like, “Enough of my personal problems. Let’s get back to the matter at hand.”

There’s almost always a way to win buyers over when you get yourself out of the way.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

For more information on how to work effectively with buyers, read When Buyers Say No.

3 Ways to Put Potential Clients at Ease

Sales presentation

Positive business people gathered to discuss some innovative ideas

To grow a successful business, it’s important to learn to put potential clients at ease. I’ve seen some salespeople in financial services so intent on controlling the sales process that they act like demanding choreographers training young dancers for a Broadway show. “Five-Six-Seven-Eight! Dance-Dance-Dance!!!” Dancers, military recruits, and members of the high school marching band may respond to that kind of direction. Prospective clients will respond by finding another salesperson. Yes, the salesperson has to control the process, but you don’t and can’t do that by being pushy or demeaning. You do just the opposite and put your prospects at ease and doing everything you can to make the process an efficient and pleasant one.

The nature of prospecting dictates that there will always be some element of tension in every contact. As a champion sales person, your success is mentally-accomplished before you even begin. Your prospects haven’t accomplished anything other than using all their fears and worries to build a wall of sales resistance.

“What if we lose all our money?”

“What if that salesperson takes all our money?”

“What will we do if we lose all our money?” [Read more…]

Business Productivity Close

business productivity

Business productivity is a great topic to include in your sales presentations. Who doesn’t want their staff members to  be more productive? With some products such as software, increasing productivity is a given–after the learning curve has been completed with training. However, with other products, it may not be so obvious that they’ll positively impact the productivity level of the company.

When you’re marketing products or services to businesses, the decision-maker’s main concern is always going to be the bottom line and whether your product or service makes or saves them money. If your product does not clearly and specifically make or save businesses money, the business-productivity close can help decision-makers view your product from a different perspective — that of having greater job satisfaction among their employees. I developed the business productivity close for products such as company-provided health insurance, retirement programs, and other benefits. It’s also a good one to use with office equipment, fleet vehicles–anything the staff members will use in the course of their jobs.

Here’s a sample of what you might say: Ms. Decision-maker, what I am offering is not just an outstanding product and great service. When you own/implement ________, you’ll also see a boost in employee morale. Haven’t you noticed that anything new increases job interest and excitement in your employees? Excitement increases morale. And, increased morale improves productivity. So, I guess what I’m asking you to consider is, what is an increase in productivity worth to you? 

What happens when you say those words is that the decision-maker starts envisioning their employees with more smiles on their faces, a little lift in their steps, and a general raise in the level of the entire company’s energy for getting things accomplished. Work on including a reference to business productivity in your sales presentations. You’ll be glad you did.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

Your Level of Conviction

You Truly Convicted?

What’s your current level of conviction about your industry and the products you offer? Do you believe 100% in the industry you represent? How about the products you’re offering?

There’s a maxim in the sales industry, “You can’t sell from an empty wagon.”  What does that saying mean to you?

The idea it conveys is that if you want to excel in the sales profession, you must have something of value to sell (or at least believe you have something of value.) Potential clients must perceive that value before they will trade you their money for it. It is even more important that you, the sales professional, perceive and believe in that value first.

Do you think it is possible that some salespeople sell products or services they don’t believe in? The truth is that many salespeople are not fully convinced of the value of their products or services, of their pricing structure, that their company provides quality customer service or has the best interests of their clients in mind, or that their sales manager or company management is competent.

What do you believe about your company and your industry? This is time for some serious thought. Your level of conviction about what you offer to clients and potential clients directly affects your compensation. In fact, your compensation is a mirror reflection of the amount of service you give.

Most people can’s provide good service if they don’t believe in what their products do for their clients. Your level of conviction also directly affects your job satisfaction. It directly affects your internal access to your sales potential. If you don’t feel great about what you do, you will subconsciously limit your ability to truly excel in your endeavors.

When Buyers Say NoExcerpted from When Buyers Say NoCopyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc. & Tigran LLC

Working Expired Listings

expired listing homeExpired listings provide a wonderful opportunity to find sellers to work with. In every area, there are bound to be people who listed their properties with agents and the property didn’t sell. Please note that with expired listings, you may need to handle the emotional aspects of the listing before getting down to business.

These people may be disappointed not only in the fact their home didn’t sell, but in the real estate industry as a whole. What you need to focus on is the fact that these people did have a need and desire to sell their home at one time and to find out what happened before you reached out to them.

  • Perhaps they listed it for too high an investment based on market value.
  • Perhaps their situation changed.
  • Perhaps there is something wrong with the property that the previous agent wasn’t bold enough to point out—something that kept it from selling.
  • Perhaps the market was flooded then with similar properties.

In any event, by contacting these people about their expired listing, you may be able to re-kindle that old desire and help them to market their home professionally and at the right price to have it sell.

Note: These people are likely to be disappointed in the entire process. If they had a bad past experience with an agent, you will have to tread lightly. Never knock the other agent. Just encourage the sellers to tell you everything they didn’t like. Then, tell them that you’re here to help them never to go through that again.

Move into your presentation on your personal experience, and talk about some creative ways you’ve helped others get happily moved. Your goal is to be  a breath of fresh air to their dilemma of selling their home.

To read more real-estate-specific posts, click here.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

Professional Selling – Automotive

Professional Selling AutomotiveMany automotive salespeople who haven’t yet reached the professional stage think professional selling is exactly the opposite of what it really is. They get started. They learn the product and what the special offers are then push them on the next client who comes into the dealership.

When you entered the selling field, you may have thought, “Now my job is to talk and talk and talk.” So off you go. “Here it is folks. The single, best answer to your driving needs. Oh, you’re going to love it. You’d better get one now before we run out of inventory!”

The professional automotive salesperson, the true Champion, realizes that people have two ears and one mouth, and that they should be used in those proportions. This means that after talking ten seconds, you switch your mouth off, switch your ears on, and listen for 20 seconds. This also means that instead of overwhelming your future client with your knowledge of the automotive industry and your particular line of vehicles that, you encourage them to tell you what they know, what they need and what they want.

Let’s compare the two methods. [Read more…]

Strategies for Servicing Listings

Happy couple real estateIn order to be successful in real estate in the long run, it’s important to learn strategies for servicing listings well. In an active market, and when your listings are priced right for that market, you won’t spend much time servicing listings because they’ll sell quickly. You’ll spend more time monitoring transactions through to completion.

But we aren’t always in an active market. And, in any market, there are properties that appeal to only a small percentage of the available buyers. So you’ll need to know how to service listings over a period of time until the right buyers are found.

The Champion sets the sellers up for a smooth running relationship at the time the listing is taken. He tells them what to expect, what the market is doing, and how prospective buyers and the agents working with those buyers will operate. Then the Champion stays in regular contact with those sellers until the listing sells. [Read more…]

The Myth of the Natural Salesperson

It’s sad, but true, that many people think they can’t do well in sales because of The Myth of the Natural Salesperson. This common fallacy is a destructive idea that I’d like to eliminate from your mind right now.

Having trained more than five million salespeople on five continents, I’ve met a lot of strong individuals who are on the fast track. I’ve met with large numbers who haven’t put their foot on the lowest rung of their potential yet. And sadly, many of these people never will climb very high on their potential’s ladder because they are firm believers in the myth of the natural-born sales wonder.

The myth cuts two ways.

  1. A few believe they’re naturals. That’s great for confidence, but it’s often the source of raging overconfidence. When this overconfidence persuades people that they don’t have to bother learning to be competent like ordinary mortals, they trap themselves far below their potential.
  2. Many more people believe they’re not naturals, think it’s hopeless to work at becoming competent–and trap themselves far below their potential. “I’m just not a salesperson by nature. Wasn’t born with the golden touch like Joe Whizzbeau over there. If I’d been born with his wit, charisma, and bear-hug personality, I could tear ‘em up, too. But I wasn’t, so I’m never going to make it big in sales.”

Don’t be too quick to say you’re free of this myth. I hear it far too often from my seminar audiences to take it lightly. In fact, I’m convinced that most salespeople who operate far below their potential suffer from it.

Let’s attack this dangerous idea now and get rid of it.

There never has been a great salesperson who was born great. Imagine a woman in the delivery room. Her newly born infant is saying, “Make yourselves comfortable, folks, and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.” Pretty silly, isn’t it? The little feller has a long way to go before he can even start learning how to walk, talk, and operate without diapers. He’s got a lot to learn, and if he’s going to be a great salesperson, he’s got it all to learn.

Psychologists still argue whether it’s instinct or learning that causes us to jump at a sudden loud noise, but they agree that everything about selling is learned. So stop excusing yourself from the hard work of learning how to be competent in your sales career. It doesn’t matter whether you think you’re a wonder or a non-wonder; you still have to pay the learning “price.”

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

5 Ways to Rethink No

As a sales professional, I urge you to rethink no. Who knows what buyers mean when they say no? I certainly don’t. That is until I ask questions. The questions I ask when I hear the word “no” are designed to draw them out, to get them to clarify, elaborate, and simply “tell me more” about what they’re thinking–keeping the sale moving forward.

Here are the 5 most common reasons for buyers to use the word “no” during your time together.

1. “No, not yet.” If this is the case, you’ve created interest, but not enough urgency for the buyer to make a decision. This buyer likely has lingering questions that need to be addressed. The unaware salesperson will assume this “no” means “no sale” and move on. Well-educated sales pros understand that this “no” just means, “let’s talk some more.” [Read more…]