May 15, 2008

Bobby Fischer, Gary Kasparov and You

Chess is a game of strategy and tactics. So is real estate. One of the basic skills a good chess player has intuitively or will develop as they gain "game experience" is the ability to anticipate their opponents next move. Many times, a game of chess is lost by jumping to conclusions or not taking the time to clearly review the board and determine all options in front of you.

The chess analogy is perfect for this week's Business Principle. It's number #3 on our list of 14 and it's one of the most important to master in order to achieve our "truly remarkable service" Mission.

We identify and anticipate the needs of others and are empowered to take actions that exceed their expectations.

1. Today's consumer doesn't want a "product focused" salesperson to assist them, they want a "needs focused" salesperson. Consumers are more concerned with "what is in it for me" as opposed to "what do you have to sell me?" It is for this reason that we need to survey our chess board before making our first move. Identify... the needs of others


  • A waiter promptly fills your glass of water before you can even turn to look for her.

  • The hostess brings a booster seat with her as she seats a family with a small child.

  • The car dealer has pre-arranged for a rental car when you drop off your automobile for service.
All of these are examples of people anticipating the needs of their customers. When we can take a "under promise, over deliver" approach, our clients will remember us. Anticipate the needs of others

3. Realtors love to bask in the concept of being an "independent contractor." No boss man to answer to, no time clock to punch, no assembly-line protocols to follow. The feeling of control in our industry is powerful yet at many times can leave us looking for some guiding light. Today's agents must be confident in their own skills and knowledge that they can do the right thing. The training you have received should help you overcome any obstacles you may face.

If you are going to wear the "independent contractor" badge then you should know that you have the power to do what it takes to make things right. Warren G. Bennis once said, "Managers are people who do things right; leaders are people who do the right thing." We are...empowered to take actions

4. Successful sales can probably be boiled down into three simple rules: Give the customer what they want, when they want it and at a price they are willing to pay. Now please re-read that statement. I didn't say at the lowest price or the "price you think they want to pay of they could get it at the lowest price possible." We must always be showing the "value" we bring to the transaction because in the absence of value, price will always be a determining factor.

Meeting someones expectations and exceeding them are too different issues. There is a sign on my wall that says:

The 57 Rules to "Delivering the Goods"

#1 Deliver the goods

#2 The other #56 don't matter

If we don't do what we said we were going to do, "truly remarkable service" will never be an option. What we must do is find every opportunity to "wow." Find out if the client drinks coffee and show up at the appointment with a fresh cup of Starbucks. Send Happy Birthday cards to their children. Call and wish them Happy Anniversary. Send a hand written thank you note for every referral they send. Exceed their expectations.

How do you identify your clients needs? What do you look for to anticipate ways to assist them? How can you increase your feeling of empowerment? Tell me some of the things you might do to "exceed expectations." Please add your comment and let us know what you think.

Until next time...Build relationships...solve problems...and have fun!