Hawaii Randy's Real Estate Opinions: Did You Just Call Me Stupid?

Did You Just Call Me Stupid?

CupidThis hit me as I was reading a conversation on a blog about one franchise over another.  It kind of hit home with me.  I had a similar conversation with a representative from a large franchise who was trying to recruit me.  After the pleasantries the conversation moved towards how much better his company was than mine.  Hmmm did he just call me stupid?  Or did he call my decision to work there stupid?  Isn't that the same thing?

When talking to "For Sale by Owners" (notice I did not call them FSBOs or any other nickname designed to make them feel inferior), do you start with belittling their decision and tell them how they are too stupid to sell it themselves?  I know many agents who use this approach.  Notice I did not say successful agents.

When talking to other agents you would like to see join your company; do you say negative things about their existing company and call their decision to be there stupid?

When trying to pick up a listing that had expired do you start by calling any of the owner's previous decisions stupid?

If the answer is yes to any of the above, you may want to rethink who is the one lacking the intelligence, it may not be them.  No one responds well to having their intelligence questioned.  I try to keep the conversation upbeat most of the time.

When talking to the owner of a For Sale by Owner or an Expired Listing you can't start by insulting them and expect to get their business.  If you start by complimenting their home or their courage to try it themselves and share what you have to offer to improve their lives you may have a chance.  Let me repeat that in other words: Tell them what value you will bring to their lives without insulting them!

I learned this many years ago while selling large machinery.  I was new in the business; my biggest competitor had been around for many years.  He would go around and tell customers what a piece of junk they had and how much better his was.

Did you hear the two insults?  He called their decision to buy that machine stupid.  He also called their product junk, because after all, that machine produced their product.

I visit the same customer, research his business and his needs.  Then compliment the great job they were doing and offer them ways to enhance their business through improved profits while continuing to improve their products.  You can guess which tactic was better received.  You can also guess who sold more machines.

This is salesmanship 101.  If you call someone's decision stupid you just called them stupid.   Ok I will get off my soap box, I promised my family we would hand Christmas decorations today.



Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®

Broker-in-Charge, ABR, AHWD, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR

eXp Realty

Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"

Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers.  His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area.  His luxury home listings sell faster and for more money.

Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors.  To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents. 

www.HawaiiRandy.comOahu (Honolulu County) Property Search  Hawaii Military Relocations

Comment balloon 11 commentsRandy Prothero • December 02 2006 06:56PM


Good stuff Randy, I agree it is so important to not only respect other people's decisions but to reinforce them The whole purpose of selling is to make the potentail customer feel good about themselves. Do this and the business is yours for the taking.
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 12 years ago
That's an excellent post-i'd give you a gold star if i had one!  But mine are reserved for the kiddos in the Sunday School class tomorrow. =)  It's true no matter what you're doing in life-if you slam anything, you are slamming that person's decision to do/be/try whatever it is you are against.  And that makes you smaller than they might happen to be.  One of the first things we remind ourselves in recruiting agents is that there will always be things they like as well as dislike in their current company, and our job is to see if we fit the likes and can improve on the dislikes.  There are no absolutes!
Posted by Leigh Brown, CEO, Dream Maker - Charlotte, NC (Leigh Brown & Associates, RE/MAX Executive) over 12 years ago

You are absolutely correct.

To me, people will go negative when they do not know how to "overcome an objection".  I also don't understand how people use negativity to motivate.  To me, that is a #1 turn off.

When you are smart and know what you are talking about you can remain positive when you are overcoming an objection  You know how to kill them with facts positively and there is no way they can object!

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) over 12 years ago

You cannot sell with insults. I like your analogy and your stupid cupid is adorable. Good post.



Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 12 years ago

Bryant - It works on us too.  Thank you for the positive reinforcement.

Leigh - Very good points.  Once you hit them with the negatives it becomes and argument best.

Renee - You are absolutely right.  They go negative when they do not know how to overcome objects. 

I like using the phrase "that is a great question" before responding to a tough question.  If it is something that requires research I will say something like:  "That is a great question.  I wish I new the answer.  I will research it and get right back to you with the answer."  I never get a bad response from that.  I think most people find it refreshing that I don't try to fake an answer.

Margaret - Thank you for the positive response.  I usually use more masculine graphics, glad you like it.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 12 years ago

We must have grew up in the same neighborhood, only different parts of the county. 

my mother always said, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

actually she was funny, she said "shut up"

On another note, I think that there must be a very large sub culture of sado masochists because they seem to hire the very cocky agent.

Posted by Joanne Brown (Rockland County Real Estate) over 12 years ago

Joanne - I actually grew up in Chicago and moved to Hawaii about 25 years ago.  Your mother sounds like mine.

Some of these brokerages actually encourage their bad behaviour.  I know a guy doing a For Sale by Owner and he got several calls from new agents from the same company reading the same insulting script word for word.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 12 years ago
Randy, one of the large mortgage company was trying to hire me at the end of last year, and all this guy did was tell me how made other companies that were also trying to hire me were. Then he went on to tell me about how the mortgage company I work for now lacks in certain areas.  He was so busy telling me what everyone couldn't do, and didn't have, that he forgot to tell me what he could do, and what his company did have. I gave that job offer every bit of time that it deserved "0".
Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 12 years ago

George - Isn't it amazing that he thinks the other guys are so bad and he can't tell you what is so good about him or his company.

He should run for politics.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 12 years ago
Hey Randy, great advice. I have to go now and clean up my last blog!
Posted by Michael S. Mackey, REALTOR ABR, CRS, GRI, RSPS (CENTURY 21 All Islands) over 12 years ago
Michael - I will check it out
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 12 years ago

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