The Difference Between Being Great and Being Good
I asked a friend of mine who has been in the commercial real estate business for over 38 years how many great brokers has he seen in his days. My friend has worked in the same institutional shop for his entire career. His office specializes in primarily retail investment sales. This particular office over the years has been known for doing some major transactions, yet his answer was surprising. He told me other than himself, just one great broker.
What is the difference between a good salesperson and a great salesperson? How do we measure success to even answer this question? Is it strictly production? Is it stature in the office or is it in the community where they serve? Is it their knowledge that they exhibit, or their sign of commitment?
I couldn’t believe only one great salesperson came to mind. My friend is considered one of the top brokers in the country for this international firm, and yet, in his measurement of success – he does not put himself at a level of greatness.
In the investment game, he said brokers “get lazy fast.” Once they have established a list of clients, they simply work that list over and over again. They start coming into their office later, take it easy until 11:00 and work until 4:00 and then go home early. They are smart and they do very well financially. They’ve developed a system that keeps them performing at a high level.
A GREAT Salesperson
In that group, there was one guy that was different. He came into the office around 8:00 and stayed till 5:00. He left to go home to have dinner with his family. At 7:00 pm, he came back to the office and often worked until 11:00 pm or later every night. He was active in the community and he made a point to take time off to see his kids play. But other than that, he was laser-focused on his work.
Over the years, he became known as one of the best retail investment brokers in his metro, then later he was recognized as a top broker in his state. A few years after that, he was one of the top five investment brokers in the country.
He came from nothing, but during his career, he was able to own his own private jet that would allow him to travel to meet his clients. He was a rock-star in his profession. Eventually, he left the firm and started his own company, buying assets for his fund while hiring brokers that mirrored his drive and determination.
Can Everyone Be Great?
No. I have seen many salespeople have long careers with success in a number of fields outside of real estate. I would not label them as “great” however, I certainly respect their work.
Can a Good Salesperson Learn From a Great Salesperson?
Rarely do great salespeople have time to mentor or teach up-and-coming peers. But you can certainly learn by watching great salespeople carefully and take notes. You can pick up a lot of ideas from them and use them to improve your skills and your business.
—Hans Hansson, Starboard Commercial/TCN Worldwide