If you love the idea of selling real estate but find the prospect of calling people and making connections uncomfortable, then read on. This blog’s for you!
If you feel a sudden need to clean the tile grout or organize the junk drawer when it’s time to pick up the phone and reach out to potential leads, don't worry. There are ways to overcome your shy nature and become the bold, successful real estate agent you've dreamed of being.
First of all, don't feel bad.
Calling strangers can be a stressful task for anyone, even super-social types!
As a matter of fact, studies show that roughly 48% of Americans consider themselves shy!
Whether your nerves stem from an innate timidity or just concern that the people you contact will react negatively, shyness can sabotage your career!
Coined “Contact-Hesitation" by authors George W. Dudley and Shannon L. Goodson, the consequences of being a shy prospector are outlined in their book, Earning What You’re Worth.
”If they learn to cope with and overcome these bouts, [of contact-hesitation] their careers will suffer no permanent damage. If not, their names will be added to the ever-growing list of once-successful salespeople.”
Yikes... Who wants their name taking up space on that plaque of shame? Certainly not you!
If that little tidbit wasn’t enough to have you reaching for a pen and paper to take some serious notes on this post, here’s another disconcerting revelation.
According to a Stanford University study, a shy person’s worry about what people think, self-analysis and stress about what to say or do next may predispose them to high blood pressure!
What does all of this mean? You need a game plan if you don’t want to wake up one day to find yourself wandering through a dusty career-desert, clutching your overworked heart.
Lucky for you, we’ve already put together a helpful list of five simple things that can break the pattern of work-related shyness.
Read on to discover how you can banish the bashfulness and start building your business!
1. Know your strengths.
One of the most helpful things you can do is make a list of your best character traits.
This gets you in touch with the personal strengths that you are already rocking.
An actual piece of paper with positive words that can be read, re-read, pondered, and absorbed can be a great tool.
Think about the locker room before a big game.
The coach comes in and delivers a pep-talk...just words, really, but those words are full of the power to encourage, inspire, and motivate. His players get pumped-up and super excited to go out onto the field and play their hearts out.
Reading a list of the strengths you possess is like getting your own pep-talk before the big game...or, in this case, phone call.
If you can’t come up with a solid list on your own, just enlist some family or close friends. Sometimes when it comes from somebody else, it’s even more encouraging!
2. Focus on a single conversation.
Next time you’re ready to reach for the phone, remember to think about the conversation and only the conversation.
Focus on the information you want to impart and/or to receive based on the purpose of your call, not the many possible responses of your prospect.
Psychologist Philip Zimbardo says,
"Concern for consequences always makes you feel somewhat anxious. And that anxiety will impair the shy person's performance.”
Your own mind is your biggest hurdle. When allowed to function without parameters, it often chooses to focus on the things you’re most insecure about.
It’s human nature to assess weaknesses in order to calculate the odds of survival...but we aren’t talking about hunting woolly mammoths here.
You just need to pick up your phone to grow your business. That’s it.
So in order to stay in the game, there needs to be a concentrated effort to keep the mind from straying into the “No Trespassing” zone of our insecurities.
3. Attack the Shame.
Legendary psychologist Albert Ellis developed what he called the "shame-attacking exercise."
He decided that he would talk to any woman sitting by herself on a bench in New York’s Botanical Garden.
"Thirty walked away immediately," he told the New York Times. "I talked with the other 100, for the first time in my life, no matter how anxious I was. Nobody vomited and ran away. Nobody called the cops."
Dr. Ellis’ shame-attacking exercise illustrated that when the human mind recognizes the lack of perceived consequences following a socially odd behavior, it leads to decreased mental anxiety over “normal” interactions.
In other words, if you dance the Electric-Slide down the grocery store aisle and don’t find yourself ridiculed, burned at the stake, or locked up, your brain will realize:
Hey, just making a few phone calls is like, totally normal. If I survived an impromptu Walmart dance recital without taking any heat, then these calls are gonna be a piece of cake.
Here’s a few suggestions for some confidence building shame-busters:
- Try karaoke.
- Wear something in public you wouldn't normally wear.
- Dance in public.
- Go to a party and talk to people you don't know at all.
When we get discouraged, we tend to quit. It’s as simple as that.
If you want to keep your fingers dialing, consider reducing your goal of 10 calls a day (or whatever your number is) down to two or three in a few hours or whatever "chunk" you choose.
Then, when the prospect of another call or presentation starts to makes you squirm, you can remind yourself you have just ONE MORE to go before lunch, break, whatever.
Practice makes perfect, and soon you’ll be ready to increase those numbers.
Tying into the Ellis principle of exposure with limited consequences, you will become less worried, and more effective one easily accomplished step at a time.
5. Get your own book.
Whether you are shy, a social butterfly, or somewhere in between, the real estate agent has never had a better friend than his or her own book.
You’ll be amazed when your shyness is no longer an obstacle to your goals, and you start booking more listings than ever because you're an author of a helpful book.
Remember that business you’re passionate about? Get yourself psyched about creating more momentum toward greater success!