Natalie Klun, broker and author of Taking the Sell out of Sales, joins us to discuss her process of turning real estate sales into a people business, not a numbers game, using the B.A.N.K. sales training system. In this interview she tells us how this system helps one connect to all clientele, based on personality types and understanding the values of other people.
SBT: What do you do, Natalie, and what types of customers do you help?
NATALIE: I have been in the real estate sales industry for a little over 12 years and over 20 years in sales. And one of the things that I found that I really enjoyed about my time in the real estate industry is helping other agents build successful businesses, so for the last two years I’ve been focusing on training. I do a lot of work with brokers where I go in and help them with their sales training, with their teams, and with the individual agents. I also work with real estate agents in helping them build their business. I have a specific system that I train, which is a system that helps you increase your sales up to 300%. In addition, I work with seasoned agents, agents who have hit a plateau in their business and want to take it to the next level, as well as I work with agents that are new to the industry. I try to help as many people as I possibly can.
SBT: What led you to this field?
NATALIE: It actually was through a journey of my own business. As a real estate professional, I know there are a lot of ups and downs in the industry, people assume it’s an easy business and that it just falls into your lap when you get your license. However, it’s really kind of the opposite of that. My own struggles of trying to figure things out and to really find my place within the industry led me to write the book called Taking the Sell out of Sales. I used my own business as the platform to try out the process that I developed and wrote about in the book.
What I think happens a lot of times in the industry is that we get caught up in the processes and competitive nature, we really forget our role and purpose, which should be to help people with the largest investment that they’re ever going to make or with the place they will call home, where they will raise their family or consider to be their sanctuary, their safe place.
Through that process of changing and transforming my business, which ended up resulting in a dramatic increase in my business, I started to seek out other tools or things that I could use to help support not only the agents in my office, but to help continue to take my business to the next level with the philosophy of service in mind. I came across a sales training system called B.A.N.K.; it is a personality sales training system that teaches you how to speak the language of the four personalities from their perspective. In a lot of cases, we’re out there interacting with prospects or leads or generating new business.
As salespeople, we have a tendency to speak from our perspective, so considering one of the personality types amongst the four, which is a reason why most of our closing ratios tend to be around 25%. This sales training B.A.N.K. gives you the ability to learn the language of the three other personality types and the tools and indicators that each of the personalities put out; you are able to identify which personality you’re working with and which language to speak. You can then cater your presentation, your communication, whatever that may be to really speak to the values and the things that are considered the most important to that personality. I believe this natural service element is following the philosophy of giving: when you give, you open yourself up to the state of receiving.
SBT: Natalie, you mentioned earlier that brokers you help get a 300% sales increase? Wow, that’s a number! Can you tell more about that?
NATALIE: Absolutely, when you hear the number 300%, you think,” That would be a lot of work to see an increase to 300%”, when in actuality it’s much more simple than what it sounds. Let’s say there are four personality types; it’s proven that the entire human race can be divided into one of four groups. When you are speaking from your perspective, you’re then resonating with the people who are also the same personality type as you. When you are always speaking from just your point of view or your perspective, you’re delivering the right script and the right presentation one out of four times.
Which means three out of four times, you’re delivering the wrong script, the wrong presentations, you’re not communicating to the three other personality types because we speak a different language based on our values within the four personalities. But if you take the time to learn the values of the three other personality types? However, a lot of personality systems out there will teach you a lot about yourself, but not about your customer. This particular system that I teach helps you to learn the values from the perspective of the customer, so you basically learn the three other personality types language. I love to use the analogy “language”, because that’s what really clicked for me when I learned it. When you speak the same language to everybody, not considering that some people may not speak the same language that you do, there’s a disconnect; you’re not going to be able to enroll them in working with you if they don’t understand what you’re saying. But when you know the language of the three other personalities, you are able to expand the circle of those whom you communicate to, you can speak to their values, which is how you can increase your sales up to three hundred percent.
It’s more or less just understanding the four personalities, having more than one presentation or more than one way of communicating with people, which is a trap that we all fall into when we only speak from our perspective which means we only have one presentation, we only have one set of scripts and we use the same thing over and over versus considering that there are a total of four, having four presentations, four scripts, four ways to communicate specifically to the four personality types, and that’s what I help people do. I give them the tools to understand the four personality types and the indicators to understand each of the personalities put out there.
SBT: You said that you help brokers build a successful team. How do you do that?
NATALIE: First of all, I can understand the perspective of the brokers because I am a broker myself and I do have a team that works underneath me. A lot of times, your team and your agents are looking to you, their broker, for training, looking to you for advice and help. What I do is teach brokers the system, and then I teach their teams as well. I basically introduce their team to the training system, so that they can understand what their needs are as brokers and what services they want to participate in to then help build their team, make their team stronger, and be of service to their agents too because at the end of the day, if their agents aren’t doing well, they’re not doing well either.
SBT: Absolutely. What’s the biggest misconception or myth brokers have?
NATALIE: I’ve seen misconceptions from a training perception. A lot of the training that we have available to us is outdated; a lot of it has been told and taught over and over again, “sales is a numbers game”. When in actuality that’s the greatest myth ever told in sales. Sales is not a numbers game, it’s actually a people game – being able to understand people allows you to get ahead in your business. We’ve all been taught and told that sales is a numbers game. I think a lot of the misconceptions from the training perspective is that we keep going back to the training that we have available. Have you heard that if you keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result, that’s the definition of insanity? I think what happens is we go back to just what is there instead of looking at how we can reinvent the wheel. How can we find something new or different that empowers us instead of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? And a lot of brokers don’t have time to go out and create and reinvent the wheel as far as training is concerned. That’s where they bring people like myself in who can help their team accomplish high results.
SBT: How important is understanding people when working in real estate?
NATALIE: Understanding people versus focusing on sales is really focusing on people because at the end of the day, I think it was Brian Tracy who said, “All business is a people business”. We’ve lost sight in some sense that on the other end of the phone, or the other end of the email, or the other end of the Facebook post or the tweet, on the other end of that communication, there’s another human being.
Particularly in the real estate industry, you are dealing with some emotionally-charged decisions: people investing their money, getting ready to move their family and so on. In order to really change our outcome we really have to change our perception of what we do, what our business is, and what the industry is. I think that’s how we’re able to change the perception of the industry; it happens one by one, individually we go out and help change the perception of the industry. We have to change the way we approach our business, leading with the intention of service, using our job as a platform to serve others, to help others and then, particularly in the real estate industry, we have a huge responsibility that I think has been overlooked for a really long time.
SBT: I completely agree. Natalie, can you tell about an instance or a story when your customer got positively surprised about how you delivered your service.
NATALIE: I have one story; it’s a little bit more of a personal story that I would love to share because this is actually one of the agents who works for me. When she started in the industry, she was an appraiser, that was her background, and she decided that she didn’t want to do that anymore, she wanted to get into the sales side of the industry. I got to work with her from the ground level. On the journey of helping her build her business, when she would start getting some momentum, I would ask her about what shifted.
The first time I asked her this question she said, “Well, I read your book”. That completely changed the outlook on how I viewed my customers. In the beginning she had a hard time on the phones and following up, she just wasn’t comfortable with it. A lot of times we get nervous when we have to spend time on the phone, a lot of people don’t like to do the work on the phone that’s required in our industry. They don’t like to approach people because they feel nervous. When you take yourself out of the equation and make it about them and not about you, the nerves completely disappear, that’s where the intention of service comes in. So, we spent a lot of time working together and helping that agent to build a successful business. My goal with any agent that I train is to help them get to six figures within the first year that they start working with me, whether they are new in the business or seasoned, this applies to the teams working for brokers as well.
Another instance, when I became certified and licensed to teach the B.A.N.K. methodology, the first team that I trained was my own. We closed the office for half of the day and I held the team training. The agent I spoke about earlier had to leave the training to go to a listing appointment. She called me later and said, “I’m so glad we had this training today because I have this prospect that I’ve been working with and I’ve been struggling because I couldn’t just get a read on her. As soon as I arrived at the appointment I recognized that she is a blueprint personality, and I was able to shift my presentation”, because that’s how quickly you can apply the B.A.N.K. system to your business.
She was able to secure the listing, and the client ended up cancelling the other agents’ appointments because that agent was able to understand and speak the values to that customer. Just recently, I was doing a check in with her after the end of the year, and she paid me a compliment, saying, “You’ve really given me confidence. I wouldn’t be where I’m at without you”. I was grateful to hear that because I believe that a lot of times we forget and don’t realize the impact that we’re able to have; that really meant alot to me.
Another story, I did training up in Edmonton, Canada, in August-September, and there was this gentleman who went through the training that I had facilitated. He then went on to do further training, and I got an email from him not too long ago that was saying that the training was “life changing”. When I get emails like that, it takes me back a bit because that to me is the greatest compliment that you can ever receive. Those are just a couple of stories that I always like to share because they really mean alot to me. That’s really what drives me, when I hear that or when I see what I’m doing and training, when I see the faces light up, when they start to see how impactful this training is and they come to me after work and they’re just like, “This is a game changer”. I heard that over and over again and that’s really what fuels and motivates me to keep going.
SBT: Some exciting stories! Natalie, what’s the biggest problem brokers have and want solved when they come to you for your services and how do you help them solve it?
NATALIE: The biggest problem would be running out of ideas on what to train. A lot of brokers are building a real estate brokerage and building a team. Their strong suits may not be in the training area, so they rely on outside trainers to help them. The biggest problem is just giving them something that provides value to their team versus them having to figure it out on their own. That can be a daunting task, when you teach people who are looking to you for your help and guidance as a leader. There’s only so much you can do, that at some point you have to enlist the help of those that have specialized training.
SBT: What would be your best piece of advice for brokers who want to build a team by themselves, without your help?
NATALIE: I think there are two components: first of all, the B.A.N.K. training is also going to help you build your team. A lot of times, we don’t take into consideration personality science when we’re building a team. The best thing you can do for yourself and your team is to determine what their dominant personality types are and then condition them in those roles that best fit them, that they enjoy being in, and that they are the most productive in. First, it helps the broker to be able to manage their team, it helps them as a leader; it helps them to position their team where their strong sides are and maximize their productivity. On the other hand, it offers a high-value tool to their team to use, that brings great results. I believe very much in the philosophy that when you take care of your team and you help them to be successful, everyone will be successful.
SBT: That’s so true. Natalie, can you tell more about the B.A.N.K. training itself? How long does it last?
NATALIE: Just this last year in July, Bankcode which is the corporation that offers the B.A.N.K. sales system training, announced the release of their B.A.N.K. virtual training. Bankcode has created a high-level virtual training program that has three levels: the core, which is basically the fundamentals of the methodology; the pro, which is a little more interactive, it teaches you the indicators for each of the personality types; and the platinum level virtual training, which is how you apply the system in your written communication, whether it’s your marketing, your presentations, or anything else. What are the different triggers and trip wires? What can you say to get people to say yes? How do you keep them from saying no to you as a sales person?
What I typically do is an introductory training. We basically just scratch the service of the system. I do an introduction talk about the system and how it works, then we have the virtual training which we can then set up for our clients and our customers to continue on.
That way they can do the training at their own pace, they can do it at home, in the evenings, on the weekends, early in the morning. And the virtual training also allows you to go back and revisit it, as much as you need to, to be able to fully integrate it into your life and into your business. A lot of people go through the training, come back and share, “Wow, this has changed my family, the way I communicate with my kids, or the way I communicate with my spouse”. So there are bi-product benefits to the training as well.
SBT: How can a broker who wants to build a team or get some training find out more about you and how you can help?
NATALIE: The best way to find out more about me is to visit my website, which is www.natalieklun.com; you’re more than welcome to email me at email@example.com. By all means, you’re more than welcome to call me; my number is 435-621-6084. I’m on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram.
I’ve got some great videos and information that I can send out to anyone that’s interested. I like to personalize and customize the training based on the needs of the client, I love to have a conversation, see what those needs are, and then figure out a plan that best suits my customer.
SBT: Excellent, now summing up, is there anything you feel that is important to add to our conversation?
NATALIE: I do believe that there are misconceptions in the industry and I personally would love to be a part of helping change the perception of our industry and then helping the people within the industry to really see that the business is more than a business; there really is an opportunity to bring a higher purpose into play. It will then make your business not feel like work, it becomes more than that, and that’s something I’m personally excited about doing.
Natalie has a successful business and training clientele. She has a strong passion for helping and inspiring as many people as she possibly can to change their business, which could ultimately change their perspective on their own lives and the people around them. She encourages real estate agents to bring a higher purpose into their work, making people their passion.
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