If you have never worked a career in sales, you may be unfamiliar with the terms “Relational Business” and “Transactional Business”. And sadly, there are probably a lot of new sales people and even career salesmen and women who have not given thought to Relational Sales vs Transactional Sales. There is a very important distinction between the two, and I’m going to discuss that in this post. I’m writing this blog post because this is the time of year (winter) that Realtors gear up for the spring buying season and begin to implement their business and marketing plans for the current year. I’ve been thinking and reflecting quite a lot lately on what my business is, and what core principles it’s built around. I’ve also analyzed where I can go from here and how I can improve myself as a Realtor. One common theme that I came back to was this Zig Ziglar quote, “You Can Have Everything You Want in Life if You Just Help Enough Other People Get What They Want.” That is the core principle I’ve chosen to build my Real Estate business around: getting to know my clients and their needs, and then helping them satisfy those needs and achieve their real estate ownership goals.
Getting back to where we began, there is a place in sales and in many industries for transactional sales. While any industry can have either relational or transactional sales, we can generalize and use this example for a transactional sale – buying a TV at Target. More than likely, you know what type of a TV you’d like, how large, etc. You go to your local Target and talk to a sales person working on the floor. You tell them what you are looking for, they maybe make a few suggestions, and you walk out with your TV. You might not have caught their name. That’s a transaction. And in this scenario, it’s convenient and perfectly reasonable. There are transactional real estate agents as well. In fact, most low commission brokerages specialize in transactional real estate sales. There is absolutely a place for this in the marketplace, but the level of service, counseling, and advice you will get is commensurate with the lower price you are paying. Simply put, transaction sales focus on just getting the job done and completing that one particular sale. Nothing more, nothing less. Typically when people feel pressured by a salesperson, this is a transactional sales tactic. They are not concerned with understanding your needs. They are not concerned with getting repeat or referral business. They are concerned with making a sale today, so that becomes the priority, instead of truly helping you get the best product or service for your needs.
If transactional sales are Yin, then relational sales are Yang. The opposite. Relational sales focus on the person, rather than the product or service. I, as a Realtor, focus on your needs rather than just selling you a specific house. As my mentor Bob Ritsch has always said, “It’s never about the house in Real Estate. It’s about you and what’s going on in your life.” A relational business is built around finding what’s best for you, not what’s best for the sales person. Here’s a great example: A farmer goes to a particular feed mill for years or decades to get their stock’s feed. While there, they always chat, laugh, and talk business with the sales people or owners. They know each other’s spouse’s names, what their kids are up to, and help each other with challenges they are facing. When tough times hit, they work with each other to find a solution. When times are great, they celebrate together. Simply put, they are friends who care about each other. In fact, the thought of going to another feed mill is crazy, because they get such great service and friendship from their current feed mill. That’s relational sales.
I will be in real estate for the rest of my life and the only way I choose to do it is by building a relational business. I may talk you away from buying a house that I don’t think is the right one, or that I think has too many issues. I may say now is not the right time to buy or sell for you. I won’t show you homes that are over your budget. Why? Because I believe that doing the right thing for my clients over the long run will result in not only a better, happier life for you, but also a stronger, more resilient business for me. I look forward to working with friends and family and helping referrals achieve their real estate goals. And, I enjoy working with folks who appreciate the hard work that I do and the expertise that I bring to the table. Real estate purchases are scary, no matter what anyone says. I want to work tirelessly to ensure that it’s a great experience for you – one that’s enjoyable enough that you will want me to help your kids buy their first home!
You’ve heard me talk about how terrific relational sales are. And while they are, I realize that there’s truly a need for transactional sales in the real estate industry too. If that’s what you want, then I’m the first to say: I’m not your Realtor. But, if you want someone to represent your interests, and walk away from closing with a new friend and ally, then I am your guy. I look forward to working with you.
~ Tim Nelson | RE/MAX Affiliates | 715-529-0239 | firstname.lastname@example.org