It might just be one of my new favorite reality shows for a couple of reasons.
One, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an instructional reality TV show about selling. I don’t think you can count infomercial types on late, late, late night with someone hawking their sales training program. In Sell it Like Serhant, Ryan gets into the sales trenches with sales reps who need help improving their sales game and saving their jobs.
Two, Ryan Serhant gets it when it comes to sales. Clearly, that’s why he is one of the top real estate brokers/sellers in the world. He knows that so much goes into being successful in selling not the least of which is hard work, creativity, the ability to connect with people. Attitude and how you present yourself also matters. And, no matter how well you might “technically” know your product or service, that isn’t what closes deals.
Don’t take my word for it.
Watch the episode where Ryan is working with a young woman – Amanda – whose job is to sell hot tubs. She’s new on the job and she can barely sell one hot tub a month. Her job is on the line because she is not producing like her sales peer.
As you see in the episode, Amanda isn’t lacking for technical knowledge about the various hot tubs available but she cannot connect with people on a personal level. She doesn’t smile, her voice is monotone and boring, and she looks like she gives 5-minutes thought to her appearance, if that. Now, you don’t have to spend hours getting ready to go to work or wear Armani to be taken seriously, but your appearance does matter. Your appearance cannot be an after thought if your sales job means personal face-to-face interaction with buyers.
In the trailer for an upcoming episode, Ryan is working with a young man who is a real estate agent. The guy gives off the energy of a stereotypical salesperson who is so focused on his agenda that he can’t see or hear anything else.
In the preview, we see the rep take a young woman into an apartment that she clearly doesn’t like. Her initial comment just walking into the building tells you all you need to know. She says the place looks sketchy. Clue #1. Sales rep completely ignores the comment and says the building has character. Um, no. The place looks like a dump.
I already know this isn’t going to be the residence for her. So does Ryan. Not that rep though. He pushes on.
As they walk into the apartment, it becomes abundantly clear that this woman will NEVER rent that apartment. EVER. But this salesperson isn’t listening to a word she is saying. It reminds me of the salesman who tried to sell me a specific car even though I said multiple times I couldn’t stand the car. What did he do? Pulled out all the stops to pressure me. What’s not to like, he says. It’s a great color. My wife loves this car, he says. I say, who cares. I don’t like the car, and I’m the one spending the money. He got a little pissy with me and still kept pushing. Hint – not a good sales technique unless your objective is NOT to close the deal. To this day, I’m convinced his manager was offering a spiff to get that car off the lot, and I couldn’t run fast enough to get away from that guy.
So, back to the real estate rep that Ryan is there to help. The rep must think his ears are only for hearing sounds, because he isn’t listening to his buyer. Not even a little bit. Just like the car salesman I mentioned, this agent goes into high pressure overdrive. I think I have to say it. Some objections cannot be overcome.
–The buyer asks about a window that really isn’t because it brings in no light and faces the interior shaft of the building. She says it’s dark. She’s right. Clue #2.
–She says someone was probably killed in this building. Clue #3. Hello?
Right after that comment, we see the tone deaf sales rep saying, the landlord is negotiable so you can probably do $2,400 a month (it lists at $2,450). He says she’s getting value because of the price? Only in New York? Safety, security and actually liking where you live doesn’t matter? Only price does? Hum.
–The buyer opens a cabinet door under the sink and says, “Oh, is that blood?” Clue #4.
The salesperson keeps pushing wasting everyone’s time when they should move on to the next property. But, no. The rep keeps trying to sell her on other features and then says, “So how do you feel about this one. Are you ready to sign?” Dude. Come on. How did you not know that she would NEVER rent that apartment, as if saying that someone was probably killed in the building isn’t a big enough clue.
The full story will be revealed this week during the show but the back story is that this rep was once the high flyer in his office but he is now being bested by a competing rep at his company. That combined with other issues has totally led this salesperson to lose sight of how to do his job well.
But even the show trailer, as do the other episodes, emphasizes something important about being good in sales.
In almost all selling scenarios, and I’m not talking about buying commodity products on Amazon, Sell It Like Serhant reinforces the message that sales is a people business. Experience and how you connect with people and establish a rapport matters. If you have a crap attitude, lack motivation, cannot clearly communicate a value message that buyers care about, do not listen to what buyers are telling you, and are only concerned about your commission check, you may make a few sales in the short-term but you will never survive over the long haul.
Anything that breaks down the myths about selling and shows how to do it right is a positive for all of us in sales, and that’s why I’m sold on Sell It Like Serhant!