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I don’t think there’s one way to sell. You can’t force yourself to be the type of salesperson you’re not. So you need to figure out what your personality is, and what your add-value is. Believe in yourself and don’t have fear, and you’re going to be good. ~ EA Stribling-Kivlan

Today on the Sales Pitch Podcast, Melissa Kwan speaks with Elizabeth Ann Stribling-Kivlan, president of Stribling and Associates and an in-demand expert on entrepreneurship and real estate. Elizabeth is a fifth-generation New Yorker whose mother started Stribling and Associates when she was ten years old. But despite being in a real estate family, EA actually studied religion in college and then moved to San Francisco to start her career as a food writer. But the family business pulled her back in, and she landed a job as an assistant for a top broker in the city, and never looked back. On today’s episode, EA shares her insights on how to build a network when you start in the business, what differentiates between a great salesperson and a good one, and how to put on a great open house.

The key to sales: Work hard and be honest

Melissa asked EA for her sales philosophy, and her answer may surprise you. The fundamental philosophy is: Work hard and be honest, but the vital corollary to that is work hard and find the right answer. As EA says on this episode of the Sales Pitch, it’s so easy with technology at our fingertips to find an answer to a question or a problem right away. But that doesn’t always mean it’s the right answer. And so EA promises her client a deep dive into any question or problem that comes up, to ensure they are getting the best advice and information, not just whatever answer comes up first in the Google search results. As you can tell, EA is an original thinker, and her approach will provide a lot of inspiration to listeners of The Sales Pitch.

How to succeed in real estate if you’re new to sales

As EA says on this week’s episode of The Sales Pitch, not everyone is a fifth-generation New Yorker whose mother is prominent in their field. But even if you don’t start with a network, you can still succeed by getting out there and hustling. As she jokes, if you have a friend who trades commodities, you’re probably not going to go out with them for drinks and discuss pork futures. But everyone is interested in real estate. And if you go out there and show you’re an expert in real estate, you can start to build that network. As she says, find your community. Even if that community isn’t real estate, find the community that shares your passion and become the person in that community who can help with real estate questions. It’s really great advice, and just the tip of the iceberg for what EA shares on this episode of The Sales Pitch.

There’s not one way to sell, so find the way that works for you

There’s an idea in real estate that the way to sell more is to be more aggressive, to always be pushing. But as EA says on this week’s episode of The Sales Pitch, there is no one way to sell, and you need to find the way that works best with your personality. There are some basic traits you’ll need, however, like being able to hear the word “no.” Real estate brokers hear “no” all day long, and you have to be able to roll with that to advance in this business. You need to believe in yourself, and if you can do that, you’ll be okay. As EA says, you need to jump off a cliff a bit every day.

What distinguishes a great salesperson from a good one

EA has more than 400 people working for her, so she sees what makes a great salesperson rise above the rest. And as she says, aside from working exceptionally hard, great salespeople learn to listen. And that means not only listening to what your client wants, but listening to what’s behind their asks. So a client may say they want a gas fireplace and four bedrooms, etc., and their requirements may be unrealistic. But the great brokers listen to that, understand what’s behind those desires, and goes out and finds their clients properties that fit those desires. EA is at the top of the industry for a reason, and this episode of The Sales Pitch is full of amazing insights and advice.

Here’s What You’ll Learn:
  • [1:05] Who is EA Stribling-Kivlan?
  • [4:00] How EA’s mother pioneered in the industry and influenced her daughter
  • [5:07] EA’s sales philosophy
  • [6:50] How to succeed without a network
  • [10:00] How to not sound sales-y
  • [14:50] What differentiates between a great salesperson and a good one
  • [16:42] Common misconceptions about the industry
  • [19:45] What makes a great open house
  • [25:00] EA’s open house strategies
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