After 30 years on the franchising side of the real estate industry, Tim Burns has learned an important lesson: shifting from a sales to a sounding board role can lead to success.
“People don’t want to be sold, but they love the buying experience. Think about it: when people are asked if they win big in the lottery, what will they do? They might pay off debt or give to a cause but most of the time there is something they will go out and buy.
“The whole process is understanding the decision-making process from the buyers’ eyes and guiding them through … You become a counselor, sounding board and their consultant. You are on their side and help guide them through decision making versus selling to them. That will build a terrific relationship.”
The Munster resident joined author Ryan McFarland of St. John to compile his experience-backed principles and stories in a new book, “Stop Selling,” after encouragement over the years.
“I have worked with a lot of different sales people and they said they learned so much from working with me. They thought I should write a book. I enjoy that side - helping people develop and grow – that I thought maybe I should. With the long flights and waiting in airports and evenings in hotels, I started working on it,” said Burns, who is director of business development for Re/Max. Through the position, he is responsible for managing franchise office growth for the Western half of the U.S. as well as leading a team of 11.
“I needed to have an actual writer go through it and help rewrite it and make sure I was delivering the information in a fashion that was easy to comprehend. It was good to collaborate with someone outside of sales and Ryan is very artistic and talented.”
Burns said he envisions the book helping anyone in sales and the concepts are especially relevant during times of economic uncertainty.
“When you are making a major decision from buying a house or car to making a major investment, it all comes down to a simple word: change. In today’s economy more than ever, the uncertainty makes people even more afraid of change. We are not comfortable with change as humans, we like familiarity and the way things have been.
“As times are tough, we feel like we can’t make a bad decision so we get stuck in a paralysis and are more fearful of decisions. That is when a salesperson needs to switch from a sales mindset to a coach role to help reinforce a sense of confidence and help them move forward with the decision.”
Burns enjoys public speaking and looks to bring his ideas and concepts to more audiences in the future.