Last night was a wonderful evening. I, along with many of my Bradford colleagues, witnessed Leigh Richter win the much deserved and coveted Outstanding Achievement Award, Commercial Real Estate Women’s highest level of recognition. Obviously this win was the highlight of the evening, but there was also a keynote speaker who caught my attention. He spoke of Happiness.
His speech was full of humor and you had to listen carefully to hear the real nuggets, which although simple, were quite profound. He spoke of a minimum wage worker at an airline terminal who remained happy and helpful while distraught fliers complained of delayed planes and thwarted plans. Watching this man caused a change in attitude in those he encountered. His happiness was contagious.
The three “take aways” from his speech were that we choose happiness, must lead with happiness, and should act happy. He cited a study that demonstrated that happy people sell 37% more than those who are unhappy. I believe that.
My second career was in industrial chemical sales. I began in a time when the world was in crisis and the economy was wobbling, sound familiar? I decided to stop watching the news and to only listen to positive tapes as I drove from customer to customer. It was not a glamorous job, I carried a heavy bag filled with cleaning supplies and industrial lubricants, but I made a conscious decision to be a shining light to those upon whom I called. When I walked in, they would inevitably complain about the bad economy, how their business was hurting, basically, how they couldn’t afford my products. I listened then smiled and said something along the lines of “I just did business with 5 companies nearby and they all seemed optimistic, believing that we as a nation are resilient, and, they placed a large order with me.” They would look incredulous and start to second guess their feelings and decisions. As I kept talking in a positive vein, they too began to smile and nod their head as I took out my order pad and asked for their signature. Had their circumstances really changed from when I walked in the door? Of course not, but by not agreeing with their pessimism and in fact offering them hope, I won a new customer and put money in my pocket.
This definitely applies to the commercial real estate business. We deal with a lot of negativity and many more no’s than yesses. Dallas is full of very capable and highly motivated brokers. How can we differentiate ourselves? Clients have the right to assume that we have the basic knowledge to complete a real estate transaction. Given a level field of skill sets, I believe that people prefer to do business with people they trust and like. Our attitude can win us business.
Choose happiness for the next week and let me know the results. I believe it will make a difference and increase your business!
Sharon Friedberg is Senior Vice President for Bradford Companies. 9400 NCX, Suite 500, Dallas, TX 75231, Ph: 972-776-7150
September 24, 2014