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By Darryl Davis

RISMEDIA, May 27, 2008-It’s been over a decade since teaching my first training session and there have been many changes in our industry. Innovations in technology such as the computer, Internet, lock box keys which keep a record of “who showed it when” and a landslide of rules, laws and regulations which govern how brokers and agents must do their job. But throughout the United States I still get the same questions from brokers and agents of all levels and they invariable have to do with The Forgotten Basics, which are the foundation of any good sales career.

davis_darryl.JPGIn this article I will share three essential tools for your sales arsenal that will help you increase your effectiveness, take better control of your time and increase your income. How do I know they work? Students in The POWER Coaching Program, a real estate training course I created which meets once a month for a full year, double their production, on average over their previous year. That’s how I know that these three tips can help you.

You have two ears and one mouth so you should listen, twice as much as you speak. It seems that as soon as someone gets into sales they think that it’s about talking people into doing things. Even though that is a way some salespeople get others to “buy” it’s not the best way and will always prevent you from establishing quality relationships with your clients and customers.

Try this exercise: Choose a 4-hour block of time (longer if you can) that you will be around other people. Then continue to have the conversations you would normally have with them but with one minor difference, you can only ask questions. See how long you can go through a day without giving advice, or telling people how it is etc. You’ll find if you do this exercise, that you quickly develop the ability to ask questions in a deeper and more meaningful way. This will lead to your ability to be with people and really get to know them, and as we all know, the quicker you get to know someone the stronger your relationships are

“Master The Three Knowledges.” This ties directly into the previous point because the Three Knowledges are “Product Knowledge,” “Market Knowledge” and “Customer/Client Knowledge.” Studies prove that people “buy” from someone they “feel good about and believe can do the job.” What makes them feel good about you is your ability to make them comfortable and having them “open up” to you. Then, in order for your clients / customers to believe you can do the job it’s essential that you know what you are talking about.

Product Knowledge is having the numbers, facts and statistics that show how effective you, your office and your company have been in closing sales, getting the most for homes you list and having the least amount of hassle during the process. I realize that every single real estate company has the same three goals. What will make you distinct is your mastery of The Three Knowledges.

Example: You are having a commission debate with a seller. She wants you to lower your commission 2% because the other agent said they would. If you know your statistics and that your List Price to Sales Price ratio is two or more percent higher than your competition it would be easy to show why you and your company are the best, most logical choice.

It also works with knowing your advertising coverage, expired ratio as compared to your competition, number of offices / agents in your company etc. The more you know and can share with your sellers and buyers the higher your “hit ratio” will be on appointments. Knowing the “Market,” which is comprised of understand the inventory and the availability of mortgage money. Sometimes the difference between a deal that goes sour and one that goes to closing is the ability to find a loan program that works for your particular buyer. You can never know too much when it comes to the three knowledges.

Follow Up Now…and you can follow up again later. There is a great old saying, “Little things mean a lot,” and there is no place it rings truer than in sales if you are serious about relationship building. A simple thank-you note, without an overt solicitation, will usually put you ahead of the pack and in the company of the few who actually do send notes. This is especially true after the closing. Most agents rely on their companies “automatic follow-up system” and that turns out to be a generic set of cards or letters sent by a computer to your “target list.”

One of the major challenges of these systems is that they don’t notify the agent that a card or letter has been sent. Someone truly interested in a long term relationship would use the opportunity of a sent card or letter to follow-up with a phone call. The combination of mailing pieces and phone calls is the most effective way to insure that your clients, customers and sphere of influence always remember you when they think of real estate.

Remember that these Forgotten Basics are easy for newer agents to do on their own and simple enough so the seasoned agents can make sure they get done. There is no doubt that we are in a relationship business. The more people you have spreading your praises to anyone who will listen, the better we will do in this business of real estate. So when you find yourself “telling it all,” try to sit back and listen. If you realize that you’re presentation lacks “POWER and believability,” learn the facts, statistics and information that will let you speak like an expert. And finally, after you have gone to all the trouble to get those clients and customers closed, be sure you don’t lose them. Someone once said, “It takes years to build a relationship but seconds to destroy one.” You took the time to build your relationships, take the time to keep them healthy.

For over 15 years, Darryl Davis has traveled around the country coaching agents and brokers on how to achieve their Next Level of success. He is the creator of the nationally acclaimed POWER Program, the only yearlong coaching and training course where Power Agents, on average, double their production over their previous year. Darryl is a best-selling author, one of the highest rated speakers at the NAR Convention each year, and has a career-curriculum that brings agents from “Rookies to Retirement”. To find out about his training programs and/or speaking availability, please visit or call 1-800-395-3905.