We’ve all known for a while that the real estate industry was due for a major disruption. I think most people have actually expected it to come much sooner than it did. 

While I believe the intended outcome may not be 100% good for consumers—and while there are things I hope they will really dig into and change course on prior to making all of this official—I do believe some good will come out of this.

The question is “Are you ready for it?” 

And if not, what skills do you need to get there?

The 8 Skills You Need as a Sales Professional

I believe the consumer deserves a more experienced, more knowledgeable and more professional salesperson.

Somewhere along the way, I think we lost sight of the fact that we don’t sell houses; we sell an experience. What consumers pay us for, whether it’s a seller client or a buyer client, is they pay us for the experience of what it’s like to buy or sell with each of us as professionals. 

And truth be told, we each sell something slightly different. 

I sell my market knowledge and my ability to market. I sell my work ethic and the fact that I am a masterful bulldog when it comes to negotiations

I am sure some of you will sell your connections to top industry professionals, your ability to find unique properties, or your deep understanding of a particular niche—maybe veterans or those downsizing to go into assisted living communities (or something else).

Truly the list of things you sell in your experience is limitless. 

The point is that we are all selling something, but I think we’ve lost sight of that as an industry. I almost feel that saying we are salespeople has become a dirty word. But why? 

I challenge you to consider whether it could be one of the best outcomes of the industry’s current disruption. 

I recently did a quick Google search: “What are the skills that all professional salespeople need?” 

Google popped up a list of 24 skills. I read that list, and it excites me to think about how it would not just elevate the industry but would also elevate the consumer experience if we embraced these. 

So, I thought I would share my eight favorite skills—in no particular order—from this list of 24. 

#1—Active Listening

Active listening ranks first among the qualities consumers value most in a sales rep. 

Sales reps tend to gain a reputation for talking rather than listening attentively. It makes sense to want to talk more because you need to convey the benefits of your product. But listening is of much higher importance when it comes to recognizing buyer needs. 

When a rep fails to actively listen, the prospect receives the following negative messages:

  • The rep wants to close this deal ASAP so he or she can move on to the next deal, or 
  • The salesperson’s requirements are greater than those of the potential customer’s

#2—Product Knowledge

Deep extensive product knowledge is the foundation of all effective sales pitches. This core skill equips you with the right answers when a customer asks a question about a particular product or service, as well as with the right solutions for when problems arise. 

#3—Collaboration

Sales collaboration is a team-based approach to sales in which teams work together to strategize, plan, and execute activities that lead to successful sales outcomes. 

#4—Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence—or EQ—allows you to understand how others are feeling and manage both your emotions and their emotions towards you. 

#5—Adaptability

Sales professionals often juggle multiple tasks and tight deadlines necessitating adaptability. Being open to new ideas and solutions and competently handling unexpected situations is key. 

Calmly admitting when you don’t have an answer and committing to follow-up is far more effective than guessing. 

#6—Critical Thinking

Critical thinking among sales reps can help them zero in on any customer challenges. 

Selling the solution is just the result of finding a path towards fixing the problem. Sales professionals who can think critically come up with innovative approaches to overcome objections and help clients. 

#7—Time Management

This also includes responsiveness and reliability. Customers expect to hear back from salespeople in a timely manner, especially when a sales professional has committed to getting back to them with what was agreed upon. 

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities

#8—Curiosity

Curiosity reduces the tendency to judge and builds an attitude of inquisitiveness rather than one of criticism. It makes you want to dig deeper and find out the reason why instead of simply condemning a decision that a prospect makes. 

A curious salesperson will develop a keen eye and keep watch on what would make someone change their mind and create opportunities for growth. 

I hope that I’ve maybe given you some food for thought. Ask yourself: 

  • Would it really be awful for our industry to be full of true professional salespeople? 
  • Would it be awful if consumers knew that when they hired their real estate sales professional, they could ensure those eight qualities would be present? 

Here’s a different way to think about it: 

How amazing would it be if you knew that on the other end of each and every transaction was another real estate sales professional who embodied all of those qualities working towards the same goal you’re working towards achieving for your own client?