Answer the Phone

phone calls

It’s an annual tradition that at the start of the New Year my wife makes a Facebook post that goes: “Hey other realtors: want to make more money this year? Then answer your phone when I call!”

We’ll get back to why that’s important in just a minute.

It’s a weird rule of the cosmos that, for a variety of reasons, the bigger the price tag, the easier the sale.

Bear in mind that “a big price tag” is always relative to what’s being discussed. Regardless, it’s a phenomenon that I’ve both witnessed and experienced personally many times over the years.

Let’s look at a wee microcosm: Facebook Marketplace. I’ve sold both HiFi stereo components and cars second-hand on Facebook Marketplace, and for those big ticket items, the process of finding a buyer and making the sale was simple and painless.

Yet conversely, heaven help me if I want to sell a cheap chipboard plant holder that cost me $25 at Walmart. Every experience I’ve had trying to sell off inexpensive housewares has been an exercise in aggravation, so much so that at this point I’d rather just donate them to the local ReUSE store that sells second-hand home furnishings to newcomers to Canada.

Sometimes the payday isn’t worth the pain.

I’ve also witnessed that in real estate: somehow the homes my realtor wife sells that are $650K or more not only earn bigger commissions but take less time and less work than properties that are under $250K.

And it’s certainly true in my experience, both selling to consumers and working in B2B: Somehow the larger the deal the less effort it takes to close it.

Why is that? It’s hard to apply a rubric to explain it. And when looking across extremely diverse channels and sectors thinking there are underlying reasons that apply in all cases may be foolish.

Also, and I’ll just say it, there are plenty of channels and sectors I have no experience with where that may not be the case. I sometimes wonder about the aviation industry: New airplanes cost a lot of money, and I genuinely don’t know what it takes to sell an airplane. Maybe things are different there, I can hardly say.

So rather than try to philosophize why that is, let’s just celebrate those sales. After all, we all love it when they come our way. If only it were possible to make them happen more often.

I mean, we can, to some degree. There’s an old-time aphorism I’m sure you’ve heard: that “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Also, an old coach of mine liked to tell us “90% of success is just showing up.”

I say with some confidence that when you’re always prepared, you know what you’re doing, and know what you’re talking about, if you actually show up and make yourself available, more big opportunities come your way than when you aren’t prepared.

Showing up definitely includes answering your phone.