A Salesman and a Pundit – Seize the Day Recap #3 (Final)

Before attending Seize the Day, I had never heard of Tom Hopkins, who has a real estate record of selling 365 homes in one year, and I barely knew who Bill O’Reilly was (political pundit and host of Fox News’ show The O’Reilly Factor) since I don’t watch any real political/”newsy” shows. However, they both dropped a few interesting gems in their short time onstage. What follows are some of my notes. (If you’re not in sales, Hopkins’ speech will still help you understand what is happening when you are approached in a sales scenario.)

Become A Master Questioner

When it comes to sales, Hopkins said it’s best to use open-ended questions. Open-ended questions require the responder to think, and answer in terms of who, what, where, why, or how.

Only use a closed-ended question when you are trying to “tie down” the person to elicit a specific response (questions that require a yes or no answer, or one of two choices). Alternate of choice means using two choices, both of which lead to a mirror agreement that leads to a major (purchasing) decision. For example, his own daughter caught him in the grocery by asking (and I’m paraphrasing here), “Daddy, can I have the vanilla ice cream or the sherbert?,” not, “Daddy, can I have some ice cream?”  Involvement has the potential client assume ownership (you talk as though they have already agreed to the sale).

Sales No-Nos

Check your vocabulary. Hopkins suggested substituting the following words in a sales transaction to lessen resistance:

  • Cost/Price –> total investment, total amount
  • Monthly payment –> monthly investment, monthly amount
  • Contract –> paperwork, agreement, form
  • Sign –> okay, approve, endorse, authorize
  • Problem –> challenge

Failure is Just a Matter of Attitude

Hopkins gave five attitudes to adopt about failure. He said you should see failure as the following (emphasis added on his keywords):

  • A learning experience
  • Negative feedback to change the course of my direction
  • A way to develop my sense of humor and laugh
  • An opportunity to practice my techniques and perfect my performance
  • A game I have to play in order to win

The Musings of Bill O’Reilly

Some of the following opinions O’Reilly reflect my personal views, but I emphasized one thing he said because it’s my number one pet peeve about people in general. It’s the reason that I remain a self-described big-mouthed introvert. (Perhaps I’ll write about that in another post.)

“You can almost always turn a negative into a positive. What are you good at? What do you like to do? If you do something you like to do, and people pay you for it, that’s success.”

“I believe in God because every human being has talent. I’ve never taken a writing or speaking class, but look–I have 9 books and I speak. This gift was given to me.”

“You have to work hard. America is competitive. This isn’t Sweden, where you can get by and they’ll help you. I believe in karma.”

“Good people tend to prosper in the end. Honesty is missing in school today. We don’t teach them [kids] about honesty and integrity. My creed is, if I say I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna do it. My word is my bond. It’s a small thing, but it attracts people to me because they respect that. Do it even if it’s convenient or you don’t feel like it.”

“The reason I’m controversial is because I put out my philosophies in stone. I interviewed Senator Obama (it was before he became president) about redistributing wealth. It’s socialistic tenet and it won’t work. There’s two reasons we shouldn’t do it: 1) We don’t have money to do that, and 2) Americans don’t WANT to do that.  If you do, go to Holland.  It’s impossible and destructive to level the playing the field. President [GW] Bush is conservative and the exact opposite of Obama. He doesn’t want to talk about Obama, but watch how I get him to [in an upcoming interview].”  (#2 garnered lots of applause.)

“No matter what the government does, you have control of your life. Remember that.”

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3 thoughts on “A Salesman and a Pundit – Seize the Day Recap #3 (Final)

  1. Pingback: Blog Interviewer
    1. Can you send me the article where the reference appears? If your content is relevant to something I write in a future post, I’d be happy to link back to you and/or tweet about it. Thanks for reading!

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