Brokers need to engage in “Kaizen” – the Japanese word for constant, never ending improvement. Toward that end I read books regularly to improve my skills. There are several books that I read annually and one is perhaps the greatest sales book ever written: Green Eggs and Ham. Yes, Dr Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham can teach us all how to be better Brokers.
The book’s protagonist, Sam I Am, never gives up as he incessantly “markets” his product Green Eggs and Ham. Fighting through constant rejection, Sam I Am never loses sight of his goal of influencing his foil to try Green Eggs and Ham and in the end he finds out Green Eggs and Ham are delicious.
Green Eggs and Ham was one of my children’s favorite books and I can only hope that they will be as persistent as Sam I Am in the face of life’s inevitable setbacks. So what can Brokers learn from Sam I Am?
1. Sam I Am is persistent. In brokerage, we confront obstacles, setbacks and rejection daily. They do not determine our success; how we react to them does. A positive response to adversity differentiates top sales performers. Sam I Am never, ever gave up and neither do top brokers.
2. Sam I Am sets clear goals. Sam I Am’s clear goal was “selling” Green Eggs and Ham. Successful brokers know what they want and set SMART goals to achieve it. The goals are specific and measurable. Goals keep you focused on the prize. Winners keep score.
3. Sam I Am asks questions and listens patiently for responses. Sam I Am may have been more effective if he asked open-ended questions but who can argue with results! Brokerage is about information management and that is why questions are so important. Questions allow you to gather information, direct focus and understand the emotional state and motivations of another person. It is best to ask a balance of open-ended (to learn what is important) and closed-ended (to gain specific information) questions.
4. Sam I Am is excited, positive and enthusiastic. Sam I Am believed in his product and would do anything he could to sell it. Top Brokers possess that same unbridled passion and energy. Sam I Am adheres to the sales motto “you don’t have to believe what I believe but you have to believe I believe it.” Passion, enthusiasm and optimism are contagious.
5. Sam I Am knows he controls his results. Top Brokers take responsibility for their success and don’t make excuses. They make the right choices and spend their time on productive activities. They realize that everything in life and business is about choices. Nothing ever happens by chance.
6. Sam I Am is extremely industrious. Top Brokers work harder and smarter than their peers. I used to think that hard work leads to success. What I know now is that hard work does not inevitably lead to success but it offers the chance for success. You will never see a lazy top Broker. In fact, they get in earlier, stay later and have non-stop work ethics. They make more calls, presentations and meetings than their peers. Sales is an action sport.
To all of you Sam I Am’s out there: give me a call. I have a job for you!