Clean Slates Every Day

“Lessons from losses and only count the Wins”

I forget about the past, but sometimes a “special” person crosses your path after you were certain you’d never need to think before you speak again.  The challenge isn’t in working with the polite or considerate.  The challenge is in maintaining a professional demeanor with the morally challenged, rude, inconsiderate and unethical.  Details aren’t important, but the person doing something on the border of illegal/unethical, might be the buyer for a listing or doing work for one of your future clients.   20160418_142940000_iOS

An old coffee cup meme said something about professionalism and avoiding choking the especially deserving.  Funny as it may look on a coffee cup, controlling emotions when working with the public and leaving personal feelings behind, especially an unpleasant history with an unpleasant person, can take time to learn.  I’ve been lucky.   When I’m at work, I only worry about the offer or immediate transaction.  I may remember whether someone is generally honorable or how they tend to negotiate, but it isn’t personal.   Once, someone involved in a transaction literally screamed at me for calling their cell phone.  It was completely out of character, but I calmly asked for the information I needed and filed away the reaction for future reference.   Another client insisted a deal was off after having too much to drink and calling my home number at midnight.  The contingency period was over and treating the conversation the following morning as though we’d never spoken, saved the deal.

We’re all on stage to a degree.  Controlling how I react and understanding the way my demeanor could help or hurt a client is a part of being in sales.  Sales, acting and psychology are all so close, but controlling reactions and being able to set aside personal feelings is something to cultivate as a real estate broker.   To this day, I remember the good and bad behavior, but I file it away for future reference.

One of the more difficult lessons I still remember was with a site agent years ago.  He registered a client on first visit and we were back several times to look.  About a month later, they signed a contract and bought a home.  It was so blatant, I actually complained to the owner.  I still don’t know if the builder/owner was aware, but I suspect this was a rare case of the site representative seeing an increase in compensation if an agent was not involved.    The site agent was “factually challenged”,  …the owner believed him and, unable to do much in a bad situation, I let it go.  I did make copies of client registrations with that particular builder and the owner seemed to be honorable, just believed the wrong person.  Did it change the way I presented property to clients or my demeanor toward the company?  Of course not!   It was one of the earliest and most difficult lessons.   Life and real estate isn’t always fair.  Being in sales means growing a certain tolerance for bad behavior in others.    Maintaining a professional demeanor and the motivation to do this for years is the mark of a great salesperson.

At some point, I started keeping track of the wins and stopped counting the losses.   Whether I’m calling someone on the phone to ask for business or working with an unpleasant person or situation, the details don’t change my next day or motivation.  Sure, I file away the way someone behaves for future reference, but I wake up every day with a clean slate.   The only thing that matters is whether I performed and, if I make mistakes, how will improve in the future.   Professionalism is a clean slate every day.  It’s a shame we can’t pass this on to some of our political leaders.  Elected to represent us, too many take personal feelings into office and become ineffective over time.

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