The art of assuming status, expertise and credibility

What is your first impression when someone starts telling you how successful, smart and accomplished they are. That’s right. It turns you off at the beginning.

In our line of work, I would love to tell you we have known and practiced this for years, but that would be untrue. Brokers and sales people love to tell clients their performance history, but man, what a mistake that is. It is always better to be asked about performance history than to offer it up. When you offer it up first, it makes you less likable than you probably are. When you are asked by the client to discuss your performance history, always take a more humble approach and answer. Over the last several years when I am asked how many hotels I have sold, I always answer that I have been able to get several hotels closed over the last 29 years. Humility always works better than arrogance.

I learned a great statistic today taken from exit interviews from brokers that didn’t get hired. It said that when you start a meeting talking about yourself, you lose 9 out of 10 assignments. When you start the meeting talking about the client and his business, you win the assignment 9 out of 10 times. While I understand these percentages vary wildly depending on who is involved, but even if these statistics are 50% true, wow what an insight.

When you start the conversation talking about the client, you have in effect, done something that is very powerful. You have assumed status, expertise and credibility. Without talking about yourself, you have taken the position that the client already knows who you are, or you wouldn’t be in the meeting. That may seem subtle, but it is a very very powerful assumption and attitude. When you are asked to make a presentation, always start with the client.  Where you see their company, their assets, their business and their future. If you are asked to make a speech, always start with the audience and their needs. This one simple adjustment could very well be the difference maker to you being liked and trusted and those two things are the main reasons people get hired and who people want to be around. KT

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