Over the course of 20 years, John Martinez has gone from a struggling all-commission insurance salesperson, to a nationally recognized sales expert. Along his journey, John has held many sales-related roles… Account Executive, Sales Manager, VP of Sales, Sales & Marketing Director, and Corporate Sales Trainer.
John has completed over 4,000 hours of study on sales and how people actually make decisions…what REALLY drives them to take action. His approach to sales combines neuroscience, experimental and behavioral economics, and cognitive and social psychology.
Because research into decision-making behavior has become increasingly computational, he has also incorporated new approaches from theoretical biology, computer science, and mathematics. This approach to sales, using a combination of tools from multiple fields, avoids the shortcomings that arise from a single-perspective approach to sales.
This might sound complex, but John has boiled down everything he has learned into a handful of simple sales tactics, questioning strategies, and communication techniques.
John has personally trained over 200 RE investment companies, hundreds of salespeople and acquisition agents, and has achieved amazing results. John is the go-to-expert in the field of REI Acquisitions & Sales.
Today, he works with the best-of-the-best in the REI Industry…the top 5% who are doing between 50 and 1,000 deals per year.
How John Got Started in Real Estate
Hey, thanks for having me, Chris. Happy to be here.
Yeah. We’re going to dive into some cool things here because it’s a little bit different. You know, these guys are used to hearing maybe the multi guy or the land guy, and that’s cool, but it’s always good to twist up the show a bit, and you’re perfect timing for us here. If you could, maybe before we dive into a little bit more of the meat, take us behind the green curtain, so to speak, and give some context to the listeners, maybe the when, the how, the why you got started in this field.
Yeah, so I was in my early 20s. I worked for a catering company. I delivered food, making eight bucks an hour, and it was time for me to make some more money, so I put a resume together. Lo and behold, a sales company picked me up. I thought I was special at the time. I didn’t know that they hired anyone who would be willing to work for all-commission, and that’s how I got into sales, so I took the leap. Everyone tried to talk me out of it, but I took the leap. I struggled for a bit, but I made it my career.
You mentioned all-commission, and what came to mind is over the years … this has been true and still is today … anything all-commission, or I think of, whether it’s commission or not, door-knocking, any of that’s hardcore training and hardcore, hey, there’s pressure here to perform. I think that’s the best, wouldn’t you think so?
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s put up or shut up. No one pays you just to show up. You’ve got to actually produce results, and especially in the real estate field, right? You can call yourself a real estate investor, but you’re not getting paid unless you actually make something happen.
Source: Pexels“You can call yourself a real estate investor, but you’re not getting paid unless you actually make something happen.” - John Martinez Click To Tweet
Why Questioning Strategies and Communication Techniques Needs to be Part of Your Real Estate Selling Process
Yeah. I was reading some of your stuff before the show, and there’s two things I jotted down on my notes here. One was questioning strategies, and one was communication techniques. The reason I say that is I always tell my students and my JV partners, “You guys aren’t salespeople, you’re not there to sell someone,” but in a sense, everyone in every business, even in Corporate America, is in some shape, form or fashion in the sales mode, whether they know it or not. Talk a little bit about the importance of questioning strategies and communication techniques, because those two things, without studying your stuff, I had always brought up to my students, just to ask more and be able to communicate better. Maybe comment on those two pieces.
You know, sales has a bad rap. You get this picture of the used car guy trying to convince someone to do something they don’t need to do, but really that’s not what sales is about. I think you nailed it, Chris, it’s about communication. When you’re in a sales scenario, all we’re really trying to do is help someone make a decision. The thing is, it’s sometimes tough to have that open and honest line of communication and talk about all the things that you need to and dive as deep as you need to, because people put their walls up, right? You’re a sales guy. They’re afraid of stuff, afraid they’re going to get taken advantage of, not get the best deal possible.
There’s all kinds of fears and anxieties in any type of sales situation, so the real trick to sales is communication. How do we take down those walls and have that incredibly open and honest conversation, so we can determine if we can help someone or not, and then help them make that decision? Because again, especially in real estate, almost more than any other field, the decision to sell a house is a complex one, right? There’s lots of things that can be impacted. There’s lots of variables there, and when there’s too many variables, people often freeze up and make no decision at all. When I look at sales in real estate investment, it’s about open, honest communication and really walking someone down the path so they can make that decision for themselves.
I love it, so again you’re nailing some cool things that I always talk about because helping someone make a decision. This is as if I was doing a little training in my own database, but all you’re there for is to help them get to that end result they already have in their mind. You’re kind of like a vehicle, almost. Is that an accurate statement?
Yeah, that’s it. You’re facilitating the decision, not forcing it.
I love it. I love it. That’s cool. How did you get into the real estate selling process piece of this in general, John? I’m curious, and do you still train other people in other industries?
Yeah, yeah. You know, it was completely by accident. We’ve trained in over 50 industries, mostly in the business-to-business world, high tech and IT, manufacturing, those types of things. I was doing some script training. There was a company that pulled me into work with them. They cater to the real estate industry, investors, and traditional real estate agents, and they lost traction. They weren’t making any forward progress, so they brought me in to rewrite some of their scripts. They sell leads to real estate agents and investors.
I rewrote their scripts and they started using them day one, and they happened to call a real estate investor who they had called many times before, and the guy said, “Hey, hold on a second. Something’s changed. What’s going on?” They started talking, “You know, we brought in this sales guy, blah, blah, blah.” Long story short, we ended up getting connected. I flew down to Texas. He asked me to train his team, I did that. Word spread quickly. Within probably 60 days, I was training 30 different investment teams, and it just absolutely blew up.
Fast-forward a year later, I’m part of all the large real estate masterminds, I’m training hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of investors across the country, and it’s just almost like snapping your fingers. It took over my business like that.
The Biggest Challenges of Selling Real Estate
That’s cool. When you went into some of these companies and you’re flying into these places and you’re training different people on real estate, you’re communicating with experienced people, you’re communicating with people that have just started, correct? What, if any, obstacles are you seeing? You look down from the high view and you go, “Man, these are kind of repeated challenges and obstacles that I’m seeing that these people are doing.” Anything at all?
Yeah, absolutely. You know, the biggest challenges we see when people pull me in, they’re producing leads, but for some reason, most of those sales calls, appointments, whatever it is, are ending up kind of in limbo. A lot of them end up with some form of, “Maybe, I’ll think about it, I’ll think it over, reach back out to me,” but no actual deal. The other big thing that we see is you’ve got a lot of more seasoned real estate investors now in the mix, with a ton of other people getting into the business. Sometimes the new people, if they don’t have the right guidance, they over-offer on houses. The next big challenge we ran into is how do we win the deals we need to win, even though we’re not the highest offer. I’d say those are probably the two biggest challenges we deal with day in and day out.
Well, those are huge, because even in my world, where the type of deals we do are all on terms, as I go over in my book, Real Estate on Your Terms, even given that, and even given you’ve got some room there to pay, let’s say, market value, hey, if we’re buying better at the front end, we’re doing a whole bunch better on the back end. I love it, again nailing some of the high points here.
Just to change up a bit, John, what would you say comes natural to you in business, because this is a field that is a broad word, sales, but much more niched, and you’ve obviously nailed this thing and are super-effective. What comes natural to you in business in general?
Yeah, business in general, you know, first of all, I’ll say sales didn’t come naturally. I absolutely stunk at it at first. I just hustled, I outworked everyone, but over the years developed a real estate selling process. I wanted to throw that out there, because a lot of people right off the bat say, “I am I salesman, I can sell, or I can’t,” and it’s not about that. It’s about following the process.
“Sales didn’t come naturally for me and I absolutely stunk at it at first. I just hustled and outworked everyone and developed my process. That’s what it’s about.” - John Martinez Click To Tweet
What comes naturally to me, though, is probably recognizing opportunity. Well, two things. Recognizing from a business aspect, I think running a successful business, business is constantly changing and evolving, and if it’s not, it’s dying. You always have to be able to recognize where the next need is, where you need to plug yourself in and what problem you need to solve. I would say that’s what I’m best at, is recognizing a problem and developing a way to solve that problem.
Beyond that, the next thing I probably pride myself in is just taking action. You know, there’s never any guarantees. There’s always going to be some doubt, and I think I’ve gotten pretty darned good at just saying, “You know what, I know enough, let’s take some action and see what happens.”
I love it. You brought this up in the beginning of the answer … the person listening that says, “Well, I’m just not a salesperson,” obviously from what you just said, they can learn this and they can learn to be great at it, correct?
Yeah, absolutely. In fact, it’s the opposite of what most people think. Most people think of that relationship builder, go-getter, person who will talk to anyone as being your classic type of kick-butt salesperson, but when we actually look at studies, when we look at all industries across the nation with some type of sales component, if you were to take all those industries and rank all their salespeople … and now we’re just looking at the top 2 or 3 percent of salespeople … out of all the top people, depending on the industry, you’re going to find that only 2 or 3 percent of those top people are those, quote/unquote, relationship builders. It actually takes something a little bit different to be a superstar salesperson.
Why Having Mentors in Real Estate Sales is Important
Well, let’s go further with that, then. You said you stunk at it, and that’s anyone doing anything, in my opinion. We weren’t born and become fantastic at something. I didn’t structure deals when I was in kindergarten. I’d like for you to talk about three things. Did you have mentors along the way for your development, do you still have mentors, and I guess the third thing would be how important is it to have mentors? I know my opinion, but I want them to hear from you.
Yeah, I would say nothing has had a bigger impact on my life or business than mentors. They were extremely important before I even knew they were important. My first mentor was a guy named Al Peel. He worked for the insurance company that originally hired me. A year into it, I hustled, I got my own insurance agency in St. Louis, Missouri, and that’s where I learned I didn’t know how to sell. I just knew how to work my butt off, and he’s the guy who introduced me to actually putting a process behind recruiting and sales. Basically the same thing, right, selling the job or selling the product, and he’s the first one who introduced me to putting a process in place for this kind of stuff, and it changed everything. Within 12 months’ time, I was an $8-an-hour catering person, to making $5,000 a week. I attribute that to all to Al and his process.
Moving forward, I’m from a small town, but we’ve had some people who made it pretty big, so I’ve been able to interview with and sit down and pick the brains of some influential businesspeople. A guy who owns some entertainment, theme parks, the Harlem Globetrotters, stuff like that, a billionaire, self-made. Peter Herschend, he gave me some time. Another guy, Terry Bowen, CEO of a $300 million company, still my mentor today. We trade emails and talk all the time.
Moving into it, paying for my first mastermind thinking, “is this going to be worth it,” and shelling out, you know, 25 grand to go sit in a room with a bunch of other guys doing business, I questioned that to my core, and I almost didn’t do it until my wife said, “You’ve got do this.” That had probably the biggest impact on my business and my life, is joining a mastermind, right, a peer group. To this day, I’m in multiple masterminds. I love the format, you know. I have my individual mentors who still mentor me, and I think it’s absolutely crucial.
I mean, if you can’t sit down with someone, at least start reading people’s books, right? You know, your net worth is your network. We’ve all heard that, and I 100 percent believe it’s true, but beyond that, there’s people who have already solved the problems that you’re going to run into. If you can somehow look into their mind through being with them, being with people like them, reading their books, listening to their podcasts, whatever it is, you absolutely owe it to yourself to take that shortcut. I mean, there’s too much out there, there’s too much opportunity. Otherwise, it’s just silly not to.
“Shortcut” is a huge word to wrap that up, for sure. It’s funny you brought that up. I just literally set up my 2018, which I try to do every year around this time by fall, set up my 2018 mastermind associations if you will, and of course, there’s a cost. Usually, they’re between 12 and 30 grand, or 35 grand, so I appreciate that. I think that what’s become quite evident with all the interviews here on the show, and that the listeners are by now most definitely getting, is every single person I’ve interviewed said something like you just said, some shape, form of fashion of it, right?
When you talked about … I think it was $8 to several thousand per week, $8 an hour to that per week, look. With one deal with us you’re talking about, John, anywhere from $20,000 if you’re doing a simple assignment, but a typical deal with us over the term of the deal ranges 65 to 85 grand. If they can immerse themselves into your training and maybe pick up an extra one or two tips, you’re talking about a pretty serious amount of return on investment for them.
What comes to mind when I say that is you had a 20 plus or minus video training course for free from you. Is that the case? Because I’ll stick it in the show notes.
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. We’ve developed a bunch of videos hitting a lot of the key topics or challenges investors wrestle with when it comes to negotiating, renegotiating, cold calling, how to handle an incoming call. All those simple things, we put together a video for each one and made them available for your people.
Love it. I love it. I love it, and I’m going to have my team go through it as well. We’ll be your test case, and I look forward to doing that.
One of John’s Biggest Failures and How He Grew Because of it
Let’s change gears a little bit. In the beginning of my book, Real Estate on Your Terms, I started the book with my 2008 debacle. I know everyone I’ve interviewed has clearly made some mistakes, some massive mistakes, some small, over the course of their careers, but the common thread, every single one of them didn’t stay down in the fetal position. They got up swinging, so to speak, they got up sprinting, and they didn’t let it define who they are. Instead, they just nailed it again or grew because of it. Tell us about a failure experience and maybe how you achieved success because of it, if it’s applicable to you.
Yes. Yeah, of course. You’re always going to experience some failures, and the more successful you are, the bigger your failures usually are as well, right? You start playing a bigger and bigger game, so as your chances for success go up, so do the level and severity of your failures. I’ve had a few partnerships. I had one that didn’t work out, a huge failure, lost a lot of money, but from that I made a lot better decisions going forward.
I learned about what partnerships are really about, right? What does someone else offer that I can’t provide? A big lesson there is if you’ve got two people who know and can do the exact same things and have the same strengths, it’s not going to make for a good partnership. You’ve got to fill in the gaps. It was a huge lesson, and I know I went into my next partnership and it was actually a tremendous success.
“If you have two people who have the exact same strengths, it’s not going to make for a good partnership. You’ve got to fill in the gaps for each other.” - John Martinez Click To Tweet
That’s one area. The same thing with real estate, so we invest in a couple markets. Our first market tanked. It did not perform like we thought it would. We learned why, picked that apart, and based on what we learned moved into a different market, and plenty of success there. Yeah, we’ve had plenty of failures, we’ve had plenty of successes, but I think a lot of the successes today were built on the backs of the failures we’ve had yesteryear.
Yeah, for sure. Again, I couldn’t echo it more loudly. You talked about mistakes and learning from them. Again, another chapter in my book is literally called “What Can Go Wrong.” John, I know especially in real estate, unfortunately, you have a lot of mentors, even some criticize me to say, “Well, don’t teach them that.” You know, they want to teach them all the good stuff, and then they go out and they realize those mistakes and look back and are like, “How come no one taught me that?” I think that they’re important, they’re critical to the learning curve, and let’s talk about them and let’s learn from them. As we get a curveball thrown at us, whether it’s in our buying and selling business or our education business, we just tweak it, move on, and treat it as a positive.
Let’s do this. Let’s fast-forward now. Someone listening goes through the 20 training videos on improving your real estate selling process, they maybe even dive deeper into some of the things you offer. What do you think, if you could fast-forward them, is one of the most liberating aspects about being really good, a master salesperson, confident with scripts, and all those things that go along with being a little bit more educated in your world? What can be a liberating thought for them or an experience with them as far as what that can bring them? Any thoughts on that?
Yeah, yeah. I’m going to base this on what people tell us, what people have literally written in or recorded for us in testimonials and that type of thing, instead of just telling you what I think. Here’s what we’ve heard. The biggest thing is you do more deals at higher margin. That’s really superficial, but that’s the end game, yeah, doing more deals at higher margin. What I personally think is more important, based on what I’ve heard, is, number one, being confident with that sales conversation. Knowing that since it is a process, it’s as simple as they say A, you do B. They do C, you do D. When you can start to look at it almost with an engineering mind … right, it’s just a simple process that this happens, I do this … then sales, it starts to relieve a lot of that tension we have.
The other big thing is this. Our real estate selling process is completely above board. We can literally tell our prospect what we’re doing every step of the way. “Hey, here’s what I plan to do with you, here’s what we’re going to do, this step, this step and this step, here’s what we’re going to talk about, here’s why I’m asking these questions.” When people have a process and adopt a process that not only is effective but that is above board, it feels good to do what you do every day. You don’t have that nagging bit of the inner you saying, “Am I tricking him? Am I misleading him? Am I influencing the wrong thing?” It feels good to be able to sell and be 100 percent above board and confident in everything you say and do.
I think the big thing is, yeah, more money, more deals, higher margin, closing a few more that you otherwise wouldn’t have, but being able to do that effectively and feeling really good about it I think is even better.
People, instead of being intimidated by the phone call, the end result here, it sounds like, they’d actually be super-excited with the confidence, the knowledge, the excitement to say, “I can’t wait ’til John or my prospect asks me a question, because I know it’s if A, then B.” I remember when I first started, in my case, as a Realtor in the ’90s, and my scripts and all the things we had to go through. As soon as I got them down pat, as soon as I knew if A, then B, I couldn’t wait to get on the phone, and that’s the big difference. I know your stuff will help them feel empowered, feel confident.
The more deals, higher margin, as a side note, I think a lot of the listeners have heard me say this before, but that’s probably a side benefit. If they’re going to do all this other stuff, that’s a natural byproduct. We have three paydays, John, in our deals, and I think back to 2013 now. Our payday one was averaging around ten grand, and we thought that was great. Now our payday one averages 28 grand. Well, again, that’s a huge deal. You can do a lot fewer deals or you can do a whole lot more if you want, but that’s super-important, those two pieces that you said.
What the Real Estate Selling Process Training Looks Like
Let’s keep going with that, with the process of them and how they’ll feel and the confidence and the education. When you hear a student, let’s say you’re training my team and you’ve got us to that point where we’re feeling super-good and we’re having results, and then we say to you, “You know, John, I’d like to bring this to the next level.” You know, every business has kind of a next level. Is there such a thing with some of this real estate selling process training, and what does it typically look like?
Yeah. Our training, we’ve got the free stuff out there which I highly encourage everyone to take advantage of, because we get really positive feedback from it. Then we’ve got a live online course where I personally hop on the phone with the group and we go through a sales tactic or strategy or technique, and then we talk with each other. You know, “Hey, Chris, how are you going to implement that in your business? Do you know when to use it? When would you use it? What’s it sound like? Let’s roleplay that.” We go through it like that, to really practice and get comfortable with some of this stuff before you use it in the field.
After that, we’ve got live boot camps we do a few times a year. Where our online course is eight to twelve weeks long, depending on what holidays fall in there, the boot camp is basically all that material in two days in a live setting. You know, 20 to 40 investors, some starting out, probably three-fourths of them with established businesses, doing at least 50 deals a year. We’ve got the two-day boot camp.
We’ve also got a boots on the ground, where every once in awhile, I will, or someone I’ve personally trained, will fly in and spend one, two, three days with the team in the car, literally going on deals, saying, “I see what you’re doing. Now I’m going to sell a deal or buy a house, and you watch what I do, and we’re going to talk about each meeting right after the meeting and debrief,” and we do some training that way. We do have various levels of the training, absolutely.
I love it. As you’re talking, my son-in-law, Zack, goes on all our appointments, and I’m picturing doing some of that with you. Again, when we get done here, just so you know, this is … you know, we talk live, right? These are my thoughts. I want to chat with you a little bit about doing some stuff with us, and then we’ll roll it out to the students. That would be cool, a good test case.
John’s Biggest Wins
Okay. We asked you earlier about some of your challenges. You’ve been at this training now for a while. You’re clearly super-good at it. I know you’ve had some successes, clearly, along the way. What do you consider to be one of your biggest wins, and why?
Wow, that’s a great question. I can answer that two ways. One is from a financial perspective.
My two biggest wins in the sales arena were helping two different companies, one company land a quarter-billion-dollar deal. They were essentially a $20 million company. We boosted them within one year to landing a monster $250 million deal. They had to build out their factory, buyout all the land around them, a massive success.
Another one was a telecom company, one of the top four telecom companies in the U.S., we worked with. We worked with the sales team in one of the smallest markets in the U.S., but we locked down the biggest deal in company history. It was about $1.5 million a month in telephone service. From a financial perspective, those are probably the two biggest deals I’ve been intimately involved with and helped push through.
Well, $1.5 million a month is not too shabby.
I know. Stolen from AT&T, right, the big bad telecom player, so we were pretty proud of that. Then there’s another way to look at successes, and the other way I like to look at successes is just on a personal level, how we can impact someone’s life. There’s a gentleman named Greg up in New York, and he literally tells me once a month, “Man, the training changed my life. It helped me get my business going. We’re doing deals.” It’s like “The Matrix.” You know how in “The Matrix’ … I’m dating myself, but in that movie, the world slowed down for this individual and he could see everything almost before it happened and know how to react.
That’s how we equated our sales training, is before where it seemed to be almost a dark art, you’ve got to be a master of this very fuzzy type of stuff, it became crystal clear on how to handle every sales call, no matter what anyone said to you or how they said it, whether they’re upset, not upset, and being able to empower people to feel that way and pull off a great sales call, and basically close every closable deal, that in my mind is a massive success too. I love the testimonials and feedback we get.
Yeah. I had someone ask me yesterday, you just made me think of it. It was Mark Podolsky, The Land Geek, he calls himself, and he’s been on the show, so that’s why I’m mentioning him. He had me on his show yesterday and he said, “Tell me why. You’re doing deals with the family, but now you’re teaching. Why?” Among other things, I said what you just hit. It is beyond rewarding to bring someone, especially who had never been in real estate, in your case maybe never thought they could be a salesperson, and watch that “transformation,” really is the best word, and then the huge success they have because of it. Then my other comment to him, facetiously, was, “What the heck would I do if I wasn’t? I don’t do deals anymore, the family does it, so I’ve got to do something.”
Yeah. I mean, when we look at the things like Maslow’s hierarchy, why people do what they do and what they’re motivated by, but anyone who has found a little bit of success will tell you right out of the gate, you get into probably real estate and most careers or businesses for the money, but once you get the money, it no longer motivates you. I mean, it takes a lot less money than I thought it would for me to not care about money, right? Bills are paid, money’s going in the bank, life’s taken care of. There’s a certain point in time, and it doesn’t take much before you say, “You know what, I can make more money, but it doesn’t change my life at all.” Then at that point you’ve got to decide, “Why the heck am I doing what I’m doing, or do I need to do something else?”
I know a lot of people, you mentioned 20-some-odd grand a deal. A lot of people, that’s what they’re going to get into real estate, I imagine, chasing, but a year into it, with the right mentorship, or six months into it with the right leadership and guidance, they’re going to have some tough times. I don’t think anyone talks about this, right? The game’s going to change. It’s going to be, “Alright, the money’s flowing, now how do I live the life I want to live?” I think that’s where I get the reward. That’s why I do what I do. I mean, the money’s great, don’t get me wrong, we’ve got to support our families and our lives, but I think the conversation changes once you start to see a little financial success and the importance of that really wears off.
“Many people get into real estate for the money but after 6 months or a year of chasing it, the conversation changes to how you can live the life you want to live.” - John Martinez Click To Tweet
Yeah, and you’re exactly right, and I always say people say, “Well, what do you consider to be success?” Well, it’s not the money. It’s having enough money to create the experiences, in my opinion, being with family, travel in my case. Having enough money to create the experiences that money literally cannot buy, and that’s a cool thing to say you can design your lifestyle and you can live the life that you want to live. Literally, the choice to design your lifestyle not based on the paycheck. Huge. Huge, huge.
Let me ask you this. You’re a trainer. What book are you reading right now, or maybe a CD or a magazine?
Yeah, yeah. I like to take down books. I like Audible quite a bit. I don’t actually flip a lot of pages and read, but I do listen to a lot of books. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion is a great one. It’s a deep look into decision-making and how people are influenced in those decisions. Just read one by a couple of Navy SEALs. I’m trying to remember the name. It escapes me at the moment. I’m reading SPIN Selling again. I’ve probably read that book two dozen times in my lifetime.
SPIN Selling. A gentleman by the name of Neil Rackham wrote it. What he did is he basically examined sales from a very scientific perspective over the course of about a decade, recorded everything that happened in 30,000 sales calls in various industries, and determined what exactly do the top salespeople do that produces that success, and the crazy thing it’s not what you think it would be. Closing? Absolutely not. They went into the study thinking good closers are the best salespeople. It’s actually the opposite. The more time the salesperson tried to close, the less likely they were to get a deal.
All kinds of crazy, interesting stuff came from that book, and it’s what a lot of the higher-end sales trainings are based on today, Sandler Sales, Miller Heiman, kings of the complex sale, stuff like that, so a great fricking book, SPIN Selling. It’s an awesome one.
Three Productive Things John Does Every Morning
I love it. Again, just like my other comment with these interviews, I write down usually one to three books per interview. I get off, I go on Amazon, I order it and then I dive into it. It’s actually pushed me to read a whole bunch more and really raised the bar, so thanks for those shares on the books. How about three productive things, John, that you do? I mean, you’re a trainer, you’re on it. You’re disciplined, clearly, by what you’re chatting with me about today. What are three productive things you do daily to be the very best at what you do?
Yeah, so three productive things daily, I think getting up early for me. The stuff I do is not going to be right for everyone, but for me, getting up early and exercising. When I start the day before the sun comes up, getting some good exercise, I have those days and I have days when I don’t do it, and for me, I always perform better, I feel better, on the days I get up early and exercise, so that’s probably number one. That’s the foundation of every day for me.
Number two is prioritize. I know there’s all kinds of books and systems out there, right? You’ve got Dan Sullivan, the Strategic Coach, who has productive days and buffer days and that kind of stuff. You’ve got the Keller Williams stuff where it’s pick the one most important thing. For me, it’s as simple as looking at everything I’ve got do and picking out one, two or three of the top things I need to do that day. Not necessarily that push revenue, but impact my business in the long run. It’s not always sales, sales, sales. Most of its how do I take care of my current clients in the best way, because I know long-term, word spreads, and I’ll get more clients that way.
Number one, get up early. Number two, prioritize, and I’d say number three is just trying to be around as many like-minded individuals as possible, whether that’s on social media, in the groups I’m in. Yesterday I was at a meeting downtown in my home where I saw a businessperson walking down the street afterwards into a coffee shop, so I whipped around my car and I just went and I spent 30 minutes chatting with him about his business, so just making sure I’m around other like-minded individuals.
Doing that’s really important. Otherwise, you get trapped in a bubble. You start to think problems are bigger than what they are. You start to lose sight, so I think you always need to be associating yourself with people of the same caliber or higher caliber, same mindset as you. I’d say those are the three biggest things I attempt to do on a daily basis.
Yeah. Around like-minded people, we have an event coming up, and you run events, and I can’t stress enough the importance of being around like-minded people. Before our two-day event coming up, we have just a three- or four-hour JV partner-only day, and I told them all, “You will get, you most definitely will get more out of that day, meeting other partners, chatting, brainstorming, sharing challenges, than you will from the two-day general event.” The like-minded people is just over-the-top important, so I think that rings clear. A lot of takeaways here, John.
Strategies for Improving Your Real Estate Selling Process
Here’s my last question for you, and you can take it any direction you want. Let’s say hypothetically you’re at one of your events or one of my events, and you’re talking to a roomful of investors, some new, some not so new. Obviously, when the word “sales” comes up, that obviously provokes in some, not all, some fear, some anxiety maybe, some uncertainty, right? I thought I wasn’t a salesperson, so what would you share as maybe one, two, maybe three strategies that you’d recommend they focus on to be the best in the sales arena? We shared some training you had and I want them to do that, but any other thoughts like today? They get off the show, and what are some things they could do to be the best at the best in the sales arena training world?
Yeah, good question. I think number one is, you know, when we think of selling, we think the spotlight’s on us, it’s all about how I perform, what I share, how I interact with someone. I think it’s shifting that mindset and putting the spotlight on the seller or your prospect or whoever you’re talking to. Sales is never about us, and prospects don’t care what we have to share with them. The spotlight should always be on the prospect, not, “I’ve got to make this deal happen, I’m having these challenges in my life, it’s what I say.”
It’s never about us as salespeople. You know, when we look at successful salespeople and what actually makes a successful sales call … not theory, but when we look at tens of thousands of sales calls, what do the best in the world do … they’re talking maybe 10 or 15 percent of the time. It’s insane. Make sure you take the spotlight off of you and put it on your prospect. That’s where it belongs, on what problem you can solve for them.
“In sales, make sure you take the spotlight off of you and put it on your prospect. That’s where it belongs: on what problem you can solve for them.” - John Martinez Click To Tweet
That leads into number two. Number two would be I don’t care what product or service you sell, I don’t care if it’s tangible or if it’s intangible, we all sell the exact same thing. Every business is in business for the exact same reason, to solve other people’s problems. The focus of every conversation you have should be, “I want to really figure out what I am here to do, what I am here to help with. Let’s identify that first, make sure we’re crystal clear about it, then I’ll outline the best way I know to solve it. If you like it, we can move forward. If not, no big deal, but let’s put one foot in front of the other, because this could end up many different ways. We can structure deals many different ways. What am I actually here for? Let’s focus in on that problem.” Number two is focus on the problem you’re there to solve.
If I went with a third one, the third-biggest takeaway would be “no” is okay. Every salesperson is afraid of getting “no,” right? The truth about sales is it’s not about noes that make or break a sales career, make or break a business. No’s are actually good. I either want a yes or a no on every sales call. What the true evil is, the thing that will take down a business or an investor faster than anything, are maybes and think-it-overs.
If you have a no, you know where you’re at, right? You know, okay, there’s either not enough motivation to move forward, or there’s still some type of obstacle or deal-killer we haven’t addressed yet. Or it’s just a no, and now I know I don’t need to continuously beat this dead horse. We know something. We can do something with knowledge. Maybes and think-it-overs, we don’t know.
Is it really a no? Is it over? Is there something that I could have addressed that I didn’t that would have turned a no into a yes? What fear or anxiety or obstacle is standing in the way? Is it just a matter of motivation, because we didn’t dive deeply enough on it, but if we did, then it turns into a yes? Yes’s are good, no is okay too. Many salespeople don’t ask the questions they need to, take the conversation where they need to, because they’re afraid of that no.
The third thing is don’t be afraid of “no.” If you read books like Chris Voss’ Never Split the Difference. An expert FBI negotiator, he actually goes for “no” as quickly as possible, because it actually becomes really easy to sell from a no. Once we get a no, tensions go down, people feel safe, and they’ll start to share more. Number three, don’t be afraid of the word “no.”
I love it. That answer to that question, I kind of wish I’d asked it first, and I hope every listener stayed to the end here, John. That was cool, how quick and concise you were with that. By the way, Chris Voss’ Never Split the Difference, I definitely read it. I think I read it twice. I devoured it, made notes, I got pages turned over, told all my students to read it. I love that book, so Never Split the Difference, Chris Voss. This is another takeaway, guys.
John, that was really awesome, I mean from beginning to end, literally, with that last answer, and I love that you’re in the trenches like us. You probably saw on our website that we’re big on that. We buy and sell every day, we’re not just out teaching. You live, breathe, eat, sleep and drink what you do. I love it. That’s one of the reasons we wanted you on here. At the end there, a big explanation point on these guys going out and helping a whole bunch of buyers and sellers, a whole bunch. There’s tons of people out there, millions of people out there that can use their help, and all they’re going to get with your material is better at that.
I super-appreciate you being on. Is there a way that these guys can, in addition to the show notes that I’ll have here, let these guys know how they can find you?
Yeah. The easiest way to find me is either through our website or Facebook. The company name is Midwest Revenue Group. Our domain is actually midwestrev.com, so you can find all kinds of school stuff there, what we’ve got going on, or Facebook. Just look me up, John Martinez or Midwest Revenue Group, and connect with us.
I love it. Thanks. Thanks again. Okay, smart listeners, that completes another Master’s Class, and my closing thoughts, as always, you can and should listen to this over and over as well as the other episodes over and over, but in order to experience a true quantum leap, especially with this episode, you’ve got to take action. John gave you numerous takeaways, from the books to the 20 free videos to the different things that you’re going to find on his website. Grab one, two or three of them, as he alluded to with his daily routines. Take action. Literally, go take action. Be sure to see the show notes below this podcast on smartrealestatecoachpodcast.com.
John, we really appreciate you spending some time with us today. I know we all have the same 168 hours a week, and that sounds small and is, and they go by so fast and are so valuable, and again, thanks for sharing one of those with us this week. Thanks again.
Absolutely. Thank you, Chris.
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