Like many professions, the Real Estate sales industry is one in which it is common for prospective clients to interview multiple salespeople before selecting one with whom to work. Google How to select a Realtor, and you will probably be exhorted to interview a minimum of 3 prospective salespeople before making your decision.
Salespeople know this, and the more successful of them, thrive through this process because they have honed their skills to such a degree that they know what their odds are of winning the job. Just like how a baseball player hitting 300 knows that on average, for every ten at bats he or she will get three hits, salespeople know what they are batting, and they work hard to improve their batting average (and get more at bats). When they win the job – great! When they dont, hopefully the reason they are given is truthful enough so that they may learn from the process and improve. This has become the accepted common practice in our industry, and I would venture to guess also in most other industries. However, that doesnt necessarily mean that it is the best way to do business.
As my days as an actual salesperson are long past, I am no longer in the position of either trying to win the job, or receiving the unfortunate news that I didnt. So when my wife and I recently put ourselves into the position of obtaining multiple quotes for a construction project, I found both the process of interviewing contractors, and especially the task of delivering bad news to the unsuccessful candidate, less than an appealing endeavour. Ultimately, I will be left with the feeling that we have wasted someones time and energy. Standard industry practice – yes. But that doesnt mean I have to like it, and I dont see myself doing much of it in the future.
Until this project, I cannot honestly remember the last time I got multiple quotes for anything of significance – even, believe it or not, when I selected a builder for the construction of our office building. I recall meeting with a couple different builders for informal conversations and selecting the one who instilled me with the most confidence. I received my only quote from him. (Though to be fair, the builder I selected probably obtained more than one quote from some sub trades) Could I have obtained a second and third quote knowing full well my decision had been made? Yes, but not without wasting builder # 2 and builder #3s time. Understood, this may be a textbook case study of how not to do it. But dealing with another human being with whom I have developed a bond of trust does more to help me sleep at night than three quotes ever could.
Would following this example open you up to the possibility of being taken advantage of? Sure, I suppose it could. But for every single person that may decide to take advantage of your naivet, Ill bet there are a hundred who appreciate the loyalty and confidence bestowed upon them and will go the extra mile to serve you well. In that hundred, there is a lot of good business to be done.
Thanks for reading,