Greg Towne Trains Professionals to be “The Friend in the Business”

I’m here today with Seattle-Tacoma Realtor, Trainer, Published Author, and Keynote Speaker, Greg Towne. His ability to connect and maintain relationships has made him a top producer and has also given him the title “the friend in the business”.

Greg Town Seattle  Real Estate Agent Business Innovators MagazineQ: Greg,  you have been in real estate for a number of years, how did you get started, what lead you to the industry?

A: What lead me into the real estate industry was the investing side.  After I purchased my first home I noticed the values going up.  I started off in real estate just as an investor.  My first two deals I made money at and on deal number three I lost my butt on.  I realized that I can make money at real estate, along with lose money on real estate.  From there I reached out to some local investors and did whatever it took to get next to them to see how they looked at real estate and how they evaluated deals.  After a couple of years, I decided to get my real estate license as I felt that I had enough experience to negotiate on my own behalf.  Fast forward a handful of years after that and a change in the corporate climate in the technology world, I decided to leave the safety net and comfort of corporate America and went full time into real estate as a Realtor and broker.

Q: Greg, you are involved in both residential and commercial real estate transactions and you are experienced as a Business Broker and public speaker. What is the common thread here?

A: In both areas of commercial and residential real estate taking care of your client is the most important part of our job.  I had a friend of mine tell me that he does business with me because I am his friend first, his Realtor second.  When he said that the light above my head went off and I went on the mission to transition how we do real estate from that as a transactional basis to becoming more of a relationship basis.  I shared this with my fellow realtors, lenders, insurance agents, and even financial planners.  It was from this that I started speaking and training on this concept.

Q: What would you say has been the key element to your personal success?

A: Grant Cardone was the first that I heard say this … so I will give him credit … I am not sure if he was the first to say this in general, but I will give him credit.  “Rich people wake up like they are poor, broke people sleep in like they are wealthy” Every morning I wake up my attitude is that I am broke and unemployed.  My number one job is to follow up , make a connection, and then from their business is generated.

Q: Greg, you’re known as “The Friend in the  Business”. What is the secret?  What is it that you do when you network that others are missing?

A: How I gauge a successful networking event is did I make a good connection, or did I help keep a good connection.  We have all seen those that gauge a successful networking event by how fast they can collect business cards and how fast they can sling their cards to other people.  How I gauge it is how many people do I get a chance to learn about their business and themselves as a person.  The wonderful thing about taking the time to connect with a few people is that when I follow up with them to set up a time to learn more about their business, they look at my call not as a “sales call” but as a person they know that is connecting with them

Q: What has been your experience observing sales professionals adapt from analog face to face relationships to building online relationships that turn into sales?

A: Social media has helped the sales professionals by being able to stay connected with people via Facebook or LinkedIn.  For those that understand that this is a way to stay connected, but they also have to maintain follow up skills social media is wonderful for helping connections and cultivating new business opportunities.  

Q: Being an expert in sales, what would you say is the biggest mistake made by professionals during the sales process?

A: Follow up …. Ironically this is also where I am hardest on myself too.  I see so many people spend money on lead generating, or do lead generating activities and put very little to no effort in follow up.  The sales process for most people is a marathon.

Q: What advice would you give to commission only sales professionals that they can use right now to increase their sales?

A: Use a CRM to keep track of all your leads and follow up with them.  I spent years (a decade plus) of using spread sheets, word documents, and my own 3 X 5 card system to try to stay connected.  What I observed was several of these “leads” were slipping through the cracks.  Once I saw enough of them do business with someone else I knew that my “Homemade” system was not going to work.  I recently invested in a CRM software that works awesome for me … it emails me daily on who to follow up with and connect.

I would also say …. Get your wellness in check.  Eat quality food, work out and get rest.  For those of us that are true self-employed, or for those of us that are on a commission basis only our energy level has a direct effect on our work level.  Nobody wants to chat with the person at a networking event that looks like they just want to curl up in the corner and go to bed. 

Tavis Bucklin

Tavis Bucklin is a #1 Best-selling author, and contributing iReporter for CNN covering leaders in Business, Health, and Personal Development.Tavis has been published in ABC, CNN, NBC, FOX and Forbes Magazine among other outlets.