Rick DeLuca, keynote at the 2009 MAR Conference, shares the 3 lessons to a great salesperson that never change.
I learned three great things from the finest salesperson I ever knew—my Dad. I was raised in the auto industry and watched with amazement the success my father achieved. He was, without question, the greatest salesperson I ever knew. He passed away earlier this year and it was upon reflection of his 85 years that I have come to appreciate and attribute a great deal of my success to him and was fortunate for what he taught me.
#1 – “Your sales success is secondary to the success of your service department.” At first I didn’t understand what my dad was saying. I was in awe of his sales ability and attributed his success to those sales skills. He explained to me that the first sale is made by the sales team.
However, all subsequent sales come about because of the customer service “after the sale.” He told me that if they make one purchase from you and then have a bad experience with your customer service you will never see them again. On the other hand, if you provide a high standard of customer service, you will have a customer for life. I made a decision then and there: my real estate career would be founded on customer service.
#2 – “This is and will always be a people business.” Our product is real estate. However, as the way we do business changes due to technology, legislation, and other factors, the one constant at the heart of every transaction is a person. I remember my Dad coming home each night from work and pulling from beneath his desk a shoebox. He had several of these boxes and in each were index cards of every person who had ever purchased a car from him. Each night he would call a few of them to see how they were enjoying their car; and when he hung up, more often than not, he wrote them a personal note. From that memory, I discovered that the more experience and success you achieve, the more it means to people when you take the time to stay in touch.
#3 – “Every salesperson needs specific direction.” Although most salespeople have great people skills and are by nature very creative, many of us are not very organized and systematic. Dad taught me if you’re going to do an activity more than one time, then you must have a system for it and be consistent. During the course of my career, I made a sincere attempt to create systems and checklists for everything I did; for example, when I make my phone calls there are five things that I say; when I do a listing presentation 11 things are covered; when I add someone to my database there are five pieces of information I include.
As I moved from sales to management during my career, I never forgot the three most valuable things my Dad taught me. I built a company of nearly 200 salespeople that achieved national recognition for per agent productivity.
Whether you are in sales or management, you would be well served to focus on: customer service, it’s a people business, and the need for specific direction. You can thank my Dad.
Rick DeLuca, Buffini & Company, will present “Understanding the Demands of Today’s Market” at the MAR Conference, marconvention.com.