There was once a wife who asked her husband, “Honey, could you please go shopping for me and buy one carton of milk and if they have avocados, get six?”
A short time later, the husband returned with six cartons of milk.
The wife asked him, “Why did you buy six cartons of milk?”
The husband replied, “Because they had avocados. ”
So the wife assumed that the husband would bring one carton of milk and six avocados. Yet the husband had assumed that she had said, “And if they have avocados bring me back six [cartons of milk].”
Some women will probably read this and think, “God, that’s a man for you!”
While some men will think, “God, that’s what I have to deal with every day!”
Chalk it up to having different perspectives.
Likewise, my selling perspective might be different than yours. I have been involved in selling real estate full-time for over 30 years. Some of you might be thinking “Wow, that’s a long time!” Others may be thinking, “Oh God, not another cheesy realtor! This book is going to be useless to me! After all, aren’t real estate salespeople more plentiful than iPhones?
For those of you in the latter category I encourage you to give this book a chance. You are probably a lot smarter than me because you don’t sell real estate for a living but during my time on this planet, I have made some observations that often have been called unique. More than once I have had someone tell me, “Gee, I never really considered that,” and it wasn’t just a prostitute who’s told me that.
When I was a young boy, for example, watching The Wizard of Oz on television was a big deal in our family. We would visit my grandma to watch the movie at her house because my grandmother owned a color TV. Half of the movie was in color and that was a big deal back then. Anyway, one time after we had watched the movie, I made a simple observation: why would the Wicked Witch of the West keep a bucket of water there in the kitchen with all those flying monkeys hanging around? An angry monkey could easily douse her and cause her to melt. It doesn’t make sense.
“Thanks for ruining the movie,” my older brother griped.
When I attended Catholic school, I made a simple observation about the Bible when I asked: “Why did God create Adam? In chapter One, the Bible says, ‘God created man in His own image, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, man and woman created he them he.’ So why does God make Adam in Chapter 2? It doesn’t make sense.”
“Thanks for ruining my religious beliefs,” I can almost hear someone say.
When I first started selling real estate, I was taught that the proper way to sell a home was to take a buyer to see three homes with the best home being the last house. Then I was supposed to bring the buyers back to the office and have a lender talk to them about financing the purchase. What if the buyers didn’t qualify? I was told that the buyer would find the money, or borrow it from their nearest, solvent relatives. I used this approach until one day, my buyers didn’t qualify. They didn’t have any solvent relatives either. After that experience, I suggested that buyers sign a credit authorization, which allowed the lender to run their credit report. Then I would fax their financial paperwork to the lender and the buyer would talk with the lender before we looked at homes. Then, rather than going back to the office, I would visit a fast-food restaurant (usually a McDonalds) where I would buy coffee and the kids could play on the playground, while the adults talked business. I ended up selling a number of homes this way and when I told other salespeople my secret. I was told that it was a “novel” idea. I was thinking “outside the box.”
Without realizing it, I was developing strong psychological triggers to make a sale. Getting people to sign a credit authorization with me made it easier for them to sign the purchase agreement. Using an expert to talk about financing helped rub off on me, as people often associate you with people you hang around with. Buying coffee was giving them something first so the buyers perhaps felt a desire to reciprocate and buy from me.
Having said all that, I still understand how you may feel right now: your sales market may be very different than mine. Your product and the way you sell it may be very different than buying real estate. Believe it or not, many people have felt the same way as you. You may be selling Amway products or involved in selling dolls on the Internet. But what I have found is that the scientific research that backs up the ideas found in this book is solid. So I want to put your mind completely at ease and let you know that there are plenty of great ideas in this book, and that if you give it a chance, this book may be able to help you too.
Can I guarantee 100% that they will work all of the time? No. That would not be truthful. My goal is to simply help you increase your odds for making sales. There may be a gap of knowledge that you hadn’t considered. Maybe the creative problem solving questions at the end of this book will help you solve a problem? If not, skip them. But they may help you create a new and exciting product. It is my privilege to share this information with you.
Now, this book is titled “Selling Outside the Square” but what if you are unfamiliar with that term? In other words, how can I sell “outside” the square if I don’t even know what selling “inside” the square means? What if I don’t even know what the square represents? Good points, so in this book, I am going to first explain what I mean by the square. Then we’ll move to how salespeople normally sell “inside the square” using a dozen psychological tactics or “triggers.”
We’ll pepper these scientifically tested triggers with ideas about selling out of the square. Finally, if you have a challenge and are looking for a creative way to think about solving problems, the seven creative problem solving questions section is for you. And if you are ready to get started, please turn the page!