“Your rewards in life are in exact proportion to your service. Increase your service to others and your rewards will increase in proportion.”
– Earl Nightingale, Motivational Author
By Ernesto C. Perez II
For one semester, I taught Marketing Laws at the College of Economics, Management and Development Studies, in Cavite State University in Indang, Cavite. We discussed in detail Republic Act No. 7394, more popularly known as the “Consumer Act of the Philippines.”
On the first day of class, I announced to my students a truism: “We are all consumers.” In some shape, form, degree or level we are customers of someone or some entity. If they accept this truism, I also declared: “Everything in life is about selling.”
It was only about 5 years ago when I realized this statement to be true. I thought as a lawyer I should not learn the principles of how to sell effectively. And boy was I so wrong.
A lawyer provides a valuable service. And when I thought about it carefully, every time a prospective client consults me on a particular case, the way I responded affects how he or she decides whether to get my service or not.
Inadvertently and unconsciously, I was trying to sell myself and my service to this person. Everything in life, indeed, is about selling.
After that eye-opening moment, I started to consciously project myself more professionally and create my brand of doing and servicing my clients that will satisfy their needs the most.
The same thing is true for a practicing real estate professional. We are also in the service business. We are in the middle of the buying and selling of real properties of our prospects and clients.
There will be more than 10,000 licensed real estate brokers in the country by July 31, 2011. What makes you different from the rest?
We must not only learn the buying process of the consumer. We also must satisfy the needs of our clients who trust us to sell their property. Moreover, we should learn about the environment we service.
It is safe to say that almost all of the segments of our local real estate market in the Philippines are quite sophisticated. The only exception to this is the low-cost/socialized housing segment which has not yet matured and quite discerning as the other segments are.
The economic and high-end market segments are particularly more discerning. This is so because of their level of education and understanding of their rights as consumers.
They are tech-savvy. They use the internet as their tool to be better informed of the choices out in the market. They study the variety of products built by the different developers as an integral part of their buying process.
Nowadays, buyers don’t get easily hooked by what is written in the sales flyers of developers. Buyers are more skeptical about the promises and claims of accredited salespeople and licensed brokers.
Daniel Lewis, a top marketing consultant says “It’s just human nature for people to resist being sold… to resist being told what to do… to resist ideas that are not their own.” He goes on to declare that “the secret is to avoid giving your prospects anything to resist against…”
This is the modern way of selling and marketing to your customers: “Don’t try to sell them. Start by confirming their skepticism. Take sides with them, and show them you know how they’re feeling. When you do this skillfully, you bypass the natural resistance your prospect has to accepting your sales arguments.”
Mr. Lewis explains, “It’s just human nature. When someone agrees with us, and then adds to our understanding, our attention is transfixed. We willingly bond with such a person. We sell ourselves on their ideas, thinking they are our own. And we don’t even realize we are being sold.”
When we take the advice of Mr. Lewis to heart we can develop better relationships and attain greater level of service to everyone who seeks our service. But, we should never overdo things and sacrifice our integrity just to make the sale.
As licensed real estate professionals, we must be aware of the specific provisions of RA 7394, which protects consumers against “deceptive, unfair and unconscionable sales acts or practices.”
We must not make any misrepresentations about the property we are selling to the detriment of the consumer. We must always be ethical in the way we practice our profession. Our Code of Ethics serves as a guide to keep us on the straight path.
Treat your clients exceptionally well and you just got yourself a walking and talking promotional tool singing praises in favor of you. Treat him terribly and you get exactly the opposite. Your best advertisement is a satisfied client or customer.
But in the end, the selling process is also about building relationships. How you handle these relationships will determine your success or failure. Just because you are successful in one transaction doesn’t guaranty that the next one will be successful as well.
The customer or the client is king! He is the one who pays our professional fee. Therefore do the best job for him. Cut no corners, take no short cuts. Deal with him with complete honesty and integrity.
Earl Nightingale said “If you begin to do your work better, better than you’ve ever done before, you will immediately begin to receive incalculably more inner satisfaction.” He asserts that there are two ways in which we’re paid for what we do.
One is tangible in the form of money, and the other is intangible in the form of inner satisfaction – a satisfaction in position and the standing it gives us, which to many is more important.
To sum it up, it is important for us to learn about the selling process as well as the market we are servicing. We then apply the proper techniques to consummate many transactions. However, we should not close the sale for the sake of monetary rewards only.
As professionals, we must maintain honesty and integrity always. Why? Because ultimately, our reward [monetary or otherwise] is based on the level of service we provide. The better our service, the bigger our reward.
Don’t believe me? Go ahead, provide mediocre service.