By: Rick Guthrie
I was talking with a gentleman the other day and in conversation I asked him what he did for a living. He replied with, “I mine for gold”. He was well dressed and I saw him pull up in a nice car so I considered him to be successful. I don’t think that I have ever had someone tell me that they mine for gold. So I had to inquire further. When I pressed him for more information his eyes lit up and he leaned forward to expand on what he did.
He had immigrated to the United States from Lebanon in the early 70’s. He took whatever he could get for work and whatever he did he worked hard at it. He eventually got married and started a family. As the tech industry started ramping up in the mid-nineties and cell phones and home computers starting getting more common place, he recognized an opportunity. He knew that a lot of circuit boards and electronic connections had gold in them. So as we threw these items out to buy new ones he would get them from landfills and facilities that disposed of them. He told me that my cell phone in my pocket had $50 worth of gold in it. An average computer or lap top had way more. Eventually he got so big he would leverage teams from state to state to pick up these items and disassemble them or mine them for the gold. He was getting close to retirement with a thriving business and had put three children through college. He made me want to tear apart an old computer.
The reason I tell you this story is because it’s a story of passion. He was able to articulate to me exactly what he did to make a living and I recognized how passionate he was about what he did. I got excited just listening to him talk about his success and I was very engaged. While this gentleman was talking with me, my mind was reeling with ideas on how I could refer business to him within my circles. He was just so cool, professional and successful. Don’t you love to talk about successful people? I know I do. I also like to refer successful people. It kind of makes me sound successful.
My question to you is this. So what do you do for a living? When somebody asks you that question, can you articulate what you do for a Seller or a Buyer with excitement and passion? When they listen to you do you have a story of success? Does your conversation make them want to refer someone to you because they look at you as a true successful professional?
Several years ago a gentleman called me to list his home. He was originally a buyer I had referred to a newer agent who at that time sold him his home. We’ll call that agent James. Fast forward several years ahead and now James was one of my top agents. I ask the client why he hadn’t called James to list his home. He had told me he did but James wasn’t doing well in business. I paused and explained to him that James was one of my top agents so there must be a mistake. He told me he called James and asked him how his real estate business was doing and James said, “It’s been a challenge”. So the client assumed that James was not doing well in business. I explained to the client that the market was a challenge but James was overcoming the market and is doing excellent. I sent James over to list the house. James had made a mistake in assuming that client was just making conversation. What he was doing was interviewing for a professional.
You see we need to always come from a point of passion about what we do. We need to be able to explain our value proposition to anyone at any time. We need to get rid of the mundane attitude and get excited about the possibilities of our future and our clients futures. That’s when people start quoting you and referring you. Would you go to a surgeon who didn’t like their job? Would you refer that surgeon? I wouldn’t?
Take time to reenergize your mind this week and realize that everyone is listening. Mine for a little gold yourselves. Everyone could be a client or refer you to one. So get passionate about what you do for a living.
Blog at you soon!