Modelry - A Random Walk through Internet Real Estate: How You Leave A Sales Presentation is As Important As Your Pitch

How You Leave A Sales Presentation is As Important As Your Pitch

Caution on SellingFive Thoughts on Sales Presentations:

We are in sales.  Period.  Even if you do not know it.  Every day.  All the time. 

No matter what your job or business - whether you are in real estate or not.

We are all in sales, marketing and customer service.  Building long-term relationships with real people is critical to long-term success, regardless if someone bought or sold with you today.  Your reputation is the most important asset you have and it is important that you carefully and thoughfully build your reputation over time.

Sounds basic, right?

As you can imagine, I get a lot of emails from companies trying to sell me products and I get A LOT of sales calls.

Several weeks ago I received an email and then a call from a nameless marketing solutions provider.  I was actually interested in learning more about how their product worked.  Their sales person was aggressive about getting me on the phone.  I took the time to speak with him on my way into work today.   

He gave me the pitch.  I listened.  I wasn't really that interested in the product after I heard about the product.  Why?  Their marketing suite overlapped with marketing tools we use today.  Their social media lead generation requires a change in behaviour, i.e. the product searches public social media feeds and then requires the salesperson or real estate agent to direct message a person on Twitter.  Could be interesting, but I am not willing to commit to a year upfront for a new shiny widget.  Sound familiar?

So I tried to get off the phone politely.  I said, "After hearing what you have, I am not interested right now.  I will think about it and I may get back to you."

The salesperson said, "Let's be serious.  I am not going to get a call back."

I said, "Like I said, I am not that interested.  I probably won't call you back, but I will think about it."

The salesperson then said, "So this was just a WASTE OF TIME for both of us.  If you were interested, you would buy TODAY."

I replied, "Whoa.   Remember, you emailed ME to get on MY schedule.  Then you called ME.  And now you are saying that I am wasting YOUR time?  I made the time for YOU.  I listened to your presentation.  You are selling me a product I did not know that I needed.  Now you are criticizing ME for not buying TODAY?   

If I wasn't going to call you back before, now I am definitely NEVER calling you back.  And make sure your company never contacts me either."


We are all in sales, even if you do not know it.

Five Thoughts on Sales Presentations:

1) Every Presentation is a Privilege and an Opportunity:  Remember that customer, prospect, and client is taking time out of their day to LISTEN to you.  Many times, if not most of the time, that customer or prospect was not seeking you or your product specifically.  Treat that customer as unique AND treat that sales opportunity as a privilege.

2) LISTEN more than you speak: When you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Or when you sell nails, everyone MUST need nails, right? - not screws, staples, tape or glue.   The plain fact is that your product or service WILL NOT be a fit for the vast, vast, vast majority of people you speak with.  That is why a great sales person will close 5% of their prospects.  That means 95 people out of 100 are not buying.   When you hear that a prospect is not interested in your service, certainly explore objections and see if there is additional information you can offer, BUT DON'T GET MAD at a prospect when they don't buy.

3) Most buyers will NOT buy TODAY:  There are few $6,000 spur of the moment purchases.  I know many salespeople don't like to hear this.  Generally a $6,000 purchase is a considered purchase.  i.e.  That prospect will likely have been thinking about the problem for a long period time.  Don't be surprised if they don't buy on the first phone call or presentation (unless there is a risk free offer).  Even for the greatest salesperson in the world, if 5 out of 100 will ever buy my product, only one out of five prospect MAY buy TODAY.  Don't be upset if someone doesn't buy today.  Most prospects and legitimate buyers will not buy today.  99 out of 100 in fact.

4) Offer Service & Education and Not Sales:   Use the PRIVILEGE of presentating to a prospect as an OPPORTUNITY to educate your prospects and customers on your product philosophy and specific solution.  Provide phenomenal service to the prospect and use education and service as an opportunity to build a relationship.   Even though they did not buy today, they may buy in the future.  Who knows, they may remember you 10 years from now and buy something else from you or work with you in the next phase of your life.

5)  Always BUILD RELATIONSHIPS:  Life is long.  Memories are equally long.  Especially bad memories.  Your reputation is an important thing you carry with you through your entire life.  

AND DON'T tell someone that he or she wasted your time.  

Especially if you are selling.

If you are successful, chances are you are always selling. 

Nikesh Parekh

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Comment balloon 54 commentsNikesh Parekh • December 14 2012 10:17AM


I've never received that kind of blow back from a phone salesperson - and if he keeps it up, no one will ever call him back.  Sales can be frustrating, but you can't blow your top!

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Yes, we indeed have many provileges granted to us each and every day and for that I am grateful!!

Posted by Rob Lang, Local Expert in Lawrence Kansas Real Estate Homes (At Home Kansas) almost 8 years ago
Listen more than you speak is critical....
Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) almost 8 years ago

Yes, Nikki, I believe he blew it when he stated that he had wasted his time. It anything, it should have been a learning experience, and prepared him for that next call. Leaving a good impression is important if we expect to hear from that person again in the future.

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, almost 8 years ago

Wow that guy had some attitude!  He must have been turned down repeatedly and was in the mode of, "i'll get this one if it kills me!'  And that is when the proverbial S!@#% hit the fan!  No wonder he wasn't getting any sales.  He had just jumped ship and was trying to take you down too by his remarks.  Amazing that he sells anything!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) almost 8 years ago
Nikesh, I particularly like your conclusions and especially the notion that most buyers will not buy today! That is precisely why relationship building is important. They will come back to you if they feel you treat them right.
Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) almost 8 years ago

Sales means you need to step back at a certain point of the "pitch" if things are not going to be concluded that day. Or you have to GIVE something, like more information in an email, something to give the buyer time to breathe. TODAY for a new idea that costs $6,000 would be rare. And from a phone call.

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) almost 8 years ago

I believe that without building a relationship and being able to solve the "issue" for the buyer... one will not go very far in sales.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 8 years ago
I received a call yesterday, I believe it was, from someone trying to sell me lead generation. I won't name the company. I really needed to be working on a new listing when I took the call and had I known that it was from someone wanting to sell me something, I would probably have let the call go to voice message. Since I took the call, though, I felt obligated to let them run with it. I finally asked them to just email me information and I would look at it and consider it. They did not want to get off the phone. When I repeated my request,they said yes they would email me BUT went on to tell me something else. About that time a client call came in and I told them so and we ended the conversation. I am highly unlikely to purchase the service of the website that he wanted to sell me because he was too insistent on keeping mean the phone.
Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) almost 8 years ago

Great advice. I have found that those that are dying for their next check are often too aggressive in the close.

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) almost 8 years ago

Some of my take away notes:

Always be grateful of the privilege of having a prospect in front of us.

Offer upfront anything of potential value to show clients you are willing to serve.

Allow only that good attitude to show.

Outstanding post.

Posted by Pete Xavier, Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide (Investments to Luxury) almost 8 years ago

Sounds to me that his company would not have been happy with that presentation!

Posted by Janis Borgueta, LIC RE Salesperson (Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ) almost 8 years ago

Yes...WE have to do the Sales Presentation and know that we have done the best that we can. Then after you know that you have done that, you must leave. Leave them wanting more

Posted by Ginger Harper, Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County! (Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage) almost 8 years ago

Well said, and what a great reminder!

Posted by Michele Johnson (Sawicki Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

That certainly was not the right way to end a sales call. He let his emotions get in the way of planting the seeds of a relationship.

Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) almost 8 years ago

I have noticed that the calls I've gotten lately selling internet advertising or leads or whatever have taken on a surly tone after I've politely said no multiple times. Do you really think giving me attitude is going to change my mind and want to buy your product? 

Posted by Suzi Sandore, North County San Diego Homes (RealtyONEGroup) almost 8 years ago

So true, he could have left the door open instead of slamming it shut.

Posted by MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty) almost 8 years ago

Indeed, most do NOT purchase today and many not even this year! It isn't like shopping for a pair of shoes, most people take their time and it is all about building a relationship.

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 8 years ago

Great Info for all of us in the business,  keep up the good work and good luck with your business in 2013,  E

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) almost 8 years ago

I have been receiving a lot of sales calls and I try to be polite and say I will call them but they keep on talking . This is one way to annoy the prospective customer.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 8 years ago

Hi, Niki

      "Memories are equally long.  Especially bad memories."

      The guy on the phone totally blew any chance of ever making a sale with you.  Build relationships, don't destroy them!


Posted by Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

I read your article.  I thought,"What a great article.".  I scrolled back up to see who wrote this great article.  It was the CEO of Active Rain.  What a great way to get to know you. You are right on with what you said in the article. 

Posted by Anonymous almost 8 years ago

Great reminder!  I guess the salesman was being honest at least.  Not good for business though.

Posted by Sajy Mathew, Making your real estate dreams become a reality! (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 8 years ago

A salesman does not wear a plaid jacket, use smoke and glass, mirrors to make anyone do anything. He or she is knowledgeable, helpful, time and money saving. To help the buyer and seller make better decisions. To complete real estate dreams. Today real estate professional delivers, takes the area and property listing information on line to the buyer far far away too. More of a matchmaker than just someone that is good at selling themselves or with a high powered smile, memorable hand shake.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) almost 8 years ago

I find these callers have been surly of late, and I wouldn't want to deal with them because of that.  I listened to one person's spiel lately, and after they went through it, I knew I wasn't interested, and I thanked them, and said I wasn't interested.  And the person said, but this, but that.  I felt like saying butt out.  I just politely said, "As I stated, I am not interested; thank you for calling, goodbye" and I hung up.  But I could feel myself getting aggravated.  If someone says they aren't interested, we have to take their word for it!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) almost 8 years ago

Thanks everyone.  I am extracting to all sales a bit, be you in real estate or in software marketing.  

Too many sales people fall in love with one prospect and then are terribly disappointed when that one prospect does not close.

It's just the way it works that 95 out of 100 people are not going to buy, so it's "logical" but painful when that prospect does not buy or work with you.

The ONLY solution is to have LOTS of prospects and lots of sales opportunities.  Like in soccer or hockey, the more  shots you have on goal, the more likely you are to score.

All that said, it was surprising that any salesperson would be willing to burn a bridge with a prospect.  Generally, we are not selling gum or spur of the moment items.  So there is a consideration and research phase for most if not all consumers.

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Suplari, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

And may I add that when you ask a company to put you on their Do Not Call list and they write back to ask why you don't want to do business with them, forcing you to say that they better not make you ask a third time to request they place your name on their Do Not Call list that by now you have that company embedded in your memory as a company you will never ever in a million years recommend.


Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) almost 8 years ago

"Use the PRIVILEGE of presentating to a prospect as an OPPORTUNITY to educate your prospects and customers on your product philosophy and specific solution."

When people give us their time, they are giving us one of their most valuable resources - after all time is not a renewable resource - so we owe it to our prospect to be respectful of their time and grateful for the opportunity to educate.


Thank you for your article Nikesh!

Posted by Linda Piper (Planatek Financial, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

Niki, starving, desperate and/or untrained sales people always look bad doing that. I'd rather someone say "I'm just looking" and leave it open to option at a later time.

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) almost 8 years ago

I remember reading Sam Walton's book years ago and he said that in every exchange someone is buyer and someone is seller.  It's true.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Good evening Nikesh - insulting your prospective buyer is such a peculiar way of doing business, and one I certainly don't intend to try :)

Posted by Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl, The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate (Samsel & Associates) almost 8 years ago
I like the listening part. I also like the part about the longevity of relationships and NOW is not necessarily the only outcome.
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge almost 8 years ago

Nikesh, there is certainly no doubt that this sales person missed the meeting concerning manners and has no idea of the concept of surrendering gracefully or graciously.  Personally?  I would have thanked you for your time and would have asked your permission to talk again after you'd had a chance to review the information.

By the way...could you use a house in the mountains of Western NC  ;-O

Posted by Mona Gersky, GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate. (MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC) almost 8 years ago

Numbers 4 and 5 are key.  It is all about building relationships and keeping them! Offering service and not selling goes a long way toward this!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) almost 8 years ago
Great response!
Posted by Brenda Swigert, CRS, e-PRO, SRES (Keller Williams Seven Hills Realty) almost 8 years ago

You got your foot in the door, make it count. #2 is my favorite Listen.  Good post.

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) almost 8 years ago

Great reminders.  Yes we are in sales and we are salesmen.  It easy to fall into to trap that we are just here to help.  Yes that is true.  What is also true is that this is sales.  Those who truly understand this and embrace this are the ones who will help the most.

Posted by Frank Castaldini, Realtor - Homes for Sale in San Francisco (Compass) almost 8 years ago

Those are great thoughts and I appreciate you sharing them.  It's unfortunate that you ran into that situation but your thoughts as a result of this will, no doubt, put things into prespective for many others.  It's always a great reminder too that if we all treated others the way we'd like to be treated, success would be enjoyed at a much higher and genuine level.

Posted by Helen Bartlett, Kansas City Home Stager, Home Stylist, Redesigner (Refined Interior Staging Solutions) almost 8 years ago

I find I cannot win with telemarketers.  If I politely listen to their pitch, and then decline, they scream at me "Then why did you listen to me?"  I kid you not. And whether I listen or not, at the first sign of no, they hang up on me.

And no amount of entreaties to remove me from their calling list seems to work.

Way not to sell.

Posted by Margaret Mitchell, Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty) almost 8 years ago

Sounds like somebody got desperate. Kind of makes me feel sorry for them...they're not going to make it like that!

Posted by Andrew Herren (Craig Massee Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

What a great blog post, Nikesh.  I just love the way you handled the unprofessionalism of that sales person - with tact, intelligence and professionalism of your own.  Thank you for sharing! 

Posted by Jennifer Prestwich, Madison & Co Properties (Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster) almost 8 years ago

Your experience wasn't with a professional and not many salespeople are because they are poorly trained or are using outdated selling systems by the very mentors who are training them. Doesn't that sound familiar?

Regardless, some comments from the very community who are in the sales business are criticizing other salespeople for a variety of reasons that they too are committing in their own business.

I've learned that people buy what they need today or sometime in the future yet if people want to own something, they could buy it today if the timing is right, so the sale is either today, in the future or never, therefore, the professional must qualify his prospect to either buying it today or in the future. 

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) almost 8 years ago

I face these kinds of sales people several times a week. Once you are not buying, they sound consecending, rude and down right obnoxious. I dont think they understand trying to tear someone down is not a good sales strategy.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) almost 8 years ago

Hi Nicki we agree with everything in your post except we prefer the term "consultant".

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) almost 8 years ago

Well I hope you passed this along to the folks at Market Leader? Good thoughts about what percentage of people actually will need your product or service after your presentation. Also, like you said, how can they be mad after you don't need their product? OR, you can't find a way to use their product in your business?

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 8 years ago

I wil quote the famous professor of mass Media from Columbia University, (you do not want a situation in which) "the nessage ois lost in teh medium". Apropos that, how many television ads do we like but we cannot remember the product or service??

Posted by Paddy Deighan JD PhD, Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D ( almost 8 years ago

What is unfortunate is that this person will wake up tomorrow and spend his entire day doing it all over. 

Posted by Dan Derito (Success! Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Great Post Nikesh! Basically this type of sales people do not always agree to buy whatever it is, and thanks for sharing "Five Thoughts on Sales Presentations" Merry Christmas!

Posted by EMILIA B COOPER, REALTOR® SFR.NCHSE.AHWD, Short Sales, Foreclosure & Bank Owned Real Estate (LAROSA REALTY) almost 8 years ago

Excellent points Nikesh. We all get annoying sales calls but when the sales people are rude it's absolutely shocking. 

Posted by Rich Cederberg, eXp Realty Agent Albuquerque (eXp Realty) almost 8 years ago

Niki I loved your post happens to us all almost daily,( the more we are out there in Cyber Space the more calls we have to deal with....) loved your analysis and your comment about falling in love with one prospect:) Have a great Holiday Season!

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) almost 8 years ago

Niki, I never expect a prospect to buy today - that leaves me not disappointed, I guess :) I love your title and will remember it. Leaving is just as important as what goes on in the presentation.


Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) almost 8 years ago

I had a bad experience with a Vendor recently.  I finally got a hold of a manager and was so impressed with his sincre apology and what he did for me I ended up purchasing other stuff.  Not exactly the same situation, but good service and character are so important to long term success.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Thanks for the lesson in how to behave -- this should apply to behavior to other agents as well.  I imagine the horrendous management staff at that company and the pressure to sell. 

Posted by Judith Ritter, Rural Land & Homes Specialist (Dirt Road Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

I'm sometimes shocked at the ineffective management of telemarketers.  Yesterday I received a call from Zillow -- with a new script.  I honestly said that I had no budget and wouldn't be purchasing, and while the telemarketer kept me on the phone there was no probing like, "when do you anticipate budgeting for your internet purchases?"  If companies had products that really addressed what I need at the price point I can afford, they'd be much more successful.  Keeping the customer first and foremost wins the day.

Posted by Melanie Narducci, Your San FranciscoBay Area Real Estate Expert (Hillscape Properties, Inc.) over 7 years ago