Lock On, Lock Out for Success

Brokers are the thought leaders of their teams; the way they think can determine the future of the whole group.

October 1, 2013

My daughter Mary Jane was born six weeks premature. Soon after her birth, the doctors placed her in an incubator on a different floor than my wife, Shelly. With all the wires and attachments on her hospital bed, they couldn’t wheel Shelly up to where Mary Jane was, and they couldn’t bring Mary Jane and her incubator to her mother. The only way for Shelly to see—and nurse—our six-pound, five-ounce newborn was for her to get up from her hospital bed. So that’s exactly what she did, less than 24 hours after her cesarian section.

With our first child, it took Shelly several days to be well enough to get up and around. But this time was different. When Shelly locked on to the idea of seeing our newborn, no obstacle was going to stop her: not doctors and nurses advising against it, not her own experience with our first child, not even me—her concerned husband. 

When you lock on to something, you see everything through that filter. You look for supporting evidence and lock out any evidence that contradicts your beliefs and goals.

In Shelly’s case, it caused her to do something extraordinarily loving. But in my experience as a sales coach, I’ve also seen this same action become very hindering. Here’s an example of what it looks like: An agent locks on to the belief that one of his listings is undesirable because it backs up to a busy road. Because he wouldn’t want to live there, he starts looking for supporting evidence from prospects, news, his wife, everywhere. He can only see it one way, so he avoids marketing the home as aggressively as he could. As a result, he gets fewer showings, which of course confirms what he “knew” all along: It’s an unsellable home.

When you see agents locking on to a certain mind-set and getting trapped there, it’s time to step in. As a broker, you are the thought leader for your team. It’s the way you think and believe that can determine the future of the whole group. To succeed, help your sales associates tap into the power of locking on to a positive belief. 

Brokers have the power to present evidence to lead agents to see it differently. Help them focus on what’s great about a property and the many different reasons why people would choose it as their own. Present evidence they haven’t thought of, so they can see the situation a different way. 

Locking on can really hinder people, but it can also drive people to push to do extraordinary things! So be aware of the concept—either to overcome it or to tap into its power.

Jason Forrest is a sales trainer, management coach, member of the National Speakers Association’s Million Dollar Speakers Group, and author of three books, including his latest, Leadership Sales Coaching. Learn more at  www.fpg.com.