When most folks think of the word salesman, our mind conjures up images that we have seen in old western movies that portray slick traveling salesmen using their conniving persuasion to convince someone to buy their wares, usually some tonic that claims to miraculously cure any ailment. The next image that comes to mind is that of a clever car salesman attempting to convince someone to purchase a vehicle that is more luxurious than the buyer wants in order to make a higher profit. I recently viewed a YouTube video that was filmed as a Pepsi commercial and originates as a prank that was not revealed to the main participant. The video shows a car salesman taking a van owner on a test drive of a new and powerful sports car. The crafty salesman thinks he has subtly convinced the nerdy buyer into taking the car for a test drive. He is then scared out of his wits by the speeding driver who maneuvers the car as if he were a Nascar driver. The prank ends as the driver reveals his true identity as Jeff Gordan a well known race car driver. What makes this so funny is that most of us think the horrified salesman deserved what he got!
My point is that this word “sales” carries a seemingly negative connotation. Many folks have had a similarly negative bias towards real estate practitioners, as if all who work in this profession use sales tactics similar to the tonic salesman. It’s no wonder why Realtors® avoid that word like the plague. The old English root of the word sales, is “sellen”, and means “to give”, which is something far different than the images that our minds now conjure. The real estate profession has gone to great lengths to shed the negative image and return to the old meaning for that word, especially among those who call themselves Realtor®. When you hire someone to help you buy real estate, be sure to find one who subscribes to ethical standards and who finds out what you really want so that they can give, rather than predictably persuading you like in the examples above. Their professional edge and the reason for your trust, should include the education and experience to do the job skillfully, but should also be identified first by their attitude of giving. The successful ones are those who have learned to be professional go-givers rather than just go-getters!