Things Sales People Teach

Last week, I went to a Real Estate seminar hosted by a local bank.  They advertised it as a “How to do business in a tough market” sort of thing, with information about market trends and projections.  I’m a numbers gal, so a presentation full of shiny charts and national vs local numbers sounded like a great way to get back to work after slacking during the wedding.

Unfortunately, most of the time was devoted to Nationally!  Acclaimed! Trainer! With Impressive Credentials!

There are few things in the world I like less than sales trainers.  I always hate their priorities and find them to be abrasive and insincere.  Some day I’ll meet one who’s down with the Anaea school of whatev’s salesmenship, but I’m not holding my breath.

Since I wound up trapped in the middle of the middle row with people to either side, I couldn’t flee.  Instead, I took notes on the helpful lessons.  And now I share them with you.  Also, a bit of commentary.

Sure, unemployment is 8%, but that’s not a reason to feel all doom and gloom about your business because that means 92% of people are employed.  I agree with the sentiment, though I’d quibble with in on a straight-up factual basis.  There’s a huge difference between “Employed enough to count for national statistics,” and “Employed enough to think about buying property.”  To get a sense of how bad 8% unemployment is for a Realtor, you want to at least combine it with the Consumer Confidence numbers.

Besides, that 8% is unemployed because they don’t want to work anyway.  Er, buh what?  This is something I hear a lot, but I think the people saying it must not understand where the unemployment numbers come from.  You have to be actively applying to jobs to hit the unemployment rolls.  The people who are just sitting at home have fallen out of the accounting.

Going to conventions and taking training classes is how you learn to make money.  It’s also how the WRA, NAR, and Nationally Acclaimed Speakers make most of their money.  Let’s all ponder the sincerity of this advice for a moment.

Canada is a blighted socialist failure.  The guy claims to be from Canada and I have no reason to disbelieve him.  I do wonder why there aren’t droves of Canadians emigrating, if that’s true.

Antitrust laws are a punchline.  No really.  Just because there’s a law saying we’re not allowed to all get together and agree that, say, 6% is a standard commission doesn’t mean we shouldn’t all nod and agree that 6% is standard and make jokes about the meddling feds coming for us in the night.  (I work at 7%, btw, so I’m sorta down with not establishing standards)

Training seminars are targeted to people in their late ’40’s.  There’s no other way to explain the rampant insults for young people who apparently are too lazy to work and have no ambition, or the assumption that everybody in the room has traumatic memories of working in Real Estate during the late ’70’s.

Don’t be a dick.  This was phrased more as highlighting the opportunity cost of throwing a trantrum when the dry cleaner screws up instead of shrugging it off and pumping them for business.  I have no quibble here.

Go to church to make money.  This was the first of many, many references to higher powers, putting your trust therein, and how being on their good side works out for you.  This, er, did not go over well with me.  I doubt any of the people nodding along split their commission with the big invisible man, either.

The current generation would be better off if only they had their grandparents’ values.  Yeah, because having my whole ambition involve getting married and having kids would make me so much more productive in the workplace, or switching sides of the family, willful ignorance and anti-intellectualism mixed with casual racism would work out really well for me as a Realtor in the Madison market.  Let’s get on that right away!

Believing you can achieve is all you need to find success.  This is the saccharine bullshit that chokes me every time I run into it.  I guarantee you that if I spend the rest of the week reading travel guides and believing I can succeed, I’m not making any money this week.  And then my mortgage starts to get scary.

The US is the greatest nation in the world.  Do you know why?  Because the US military goes to other countries and liberates them!  I? Wuh? How is this relevant?  And why do you think I need a Canadian telling me this?

Single parents are a punchline, but we’re not going to go there because that would be politically incorrect.  Except that you went there.  Also, don’t they buy houses what with the, you know, having kids they need to store somewhere?

Women are far more intelligent than men.  Especially if it sets up the punchline of a cheap joke.  I’m not one for generalizations, but I can think of at least one woman smarter than this guy.

Beating children is funny, but then Oprah ruined it.  Oprah came up as a punchline in a lot of ways, actually.  I guess he’s too old and Canadian to have gotten the notice that she retired?

If you exercise blind faith that repeating sales activities will work, the higher power will reward you with success.  Or you could, I don’t know, look at cost-benefit analyses and ROIs, develop a good business plan, then stick to it?  One of those is more likely to get backed by a bank…

Old unmarried women got that way because no man wanted them.  You’ll all be happy to note that not only did I not kill this guy, I waited until after he’d left the country to express my contempt for him.

Previous generations weren’t as smart as us, or as educated.  But they had better values, recall.

Affirmations.  Use them and you will find success.  “I am a pissed off Realtor.  I will write vitriolic blogs about this later.  That will keep me from getting charged with assault.”  Like that?

The Creator didn’t guarantee success, just offered us clean air, water, and fresh fruit so we could go find success ourselves.  Yeah, about that, who are we talking about, and how much of the above do we have?

There you have it, everything I learned over the course of two excruciating hours.  Now you know it, too.

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