Robert Ringer wrote Winning Through Intimidation in 1973, which was renamed and reissued in 2002. The name change was a good move, because winning through intimidation was never Robert’s intention. How to survive the jungle and overcome its denizens’ scare tactics is the real purpose, and the new title expresses that better.
Robert Ringer posits a tortoise’s alter ego and pits his wits against a metaphorical rabbit. Keep going slowly, never taking your eyes off the target, and then something happens to stop the hare, and the tortoise tends to slosh past on the final straight.
Robert recounts his early years in real estate and the various intimidating scoundrels he encountered. He lost a few fights early on, but was able to categorize the intimidators and use the lessons learned to overcome similar tactics on subsequent occasions. He refers to this period of education as his time at Screw U.
Basically, Robert starts off with the assumption that every real estate seller is happy to use his services, willing to spend time and money, but when it comes time to pay, there always seems to be a good reason to keep some or all of Robert’s money (which he refers to as a bargaining chip ). Some have been intent on stealing his chips from the start, some have found a good reason at the close of the deal and have done so with great regret, but one thing is for sure, no one wants to pay a real estate agent a commission when it’s due. That commission can be a lot of money, what on earth could make a real estate agent think he’s worth that much?
Robert quickly learned to approach legal matters in an orderly manner. After making a few mistakes, he always signs a commission agreement before doing any work. If for any reason no deal is reached, he walks away.
He learned the hard way to always have the correct broker license in whatever state he operates in. Intimidating sellers to understand the law, always take advantage of legal loopholes first. He quickly learned to send all documents by registered mail when alerting potential buyers to properties, so by no means can it be said that he did not introduce buyers to sellers. Do people actually do that? all the time.
Robert’s decision to always have his own legal representation at the close of each transaction was a legal trick that always surprised buyers and sellers, and relied on a code of honor among lawyers to ensure he got paid. Robert often says in his book, “It’s one thing to make a sale, but quite another to get paid to sell it.”
We’ve covered the basics so far, but very truely, because a lot of people don’t do the basics correctly. However, there are three big revelations that really set me apart, for which I will be eternally grateful, and for which I would gladly pay many times more than the book’s cover price. BTW, $14.95.
Lesson 1. Not every deal ends well. In many cases, it was clear from the outset that no agreement could be reached. Robert decided to address these issues early on and leave them alone. Instead of chasing every possible opportunity, with no hopeless hope that one of them might work, he focused on the most likely deal. Most of us do it, I do, but now if I see a deal that doesn’t lead to a win, I walk away, no regrets, no turning back, a pillar of salt, it just Saved so much time, money and heartache.
Revelation 2. There’s no need to climb the ranks, learn slowly and wait for others to die so you can take their place. If you have the ability to get past them, no one has the right to stop you. The other realtors weren’t kind to Robert, most eager to fill his mind with their depressing words. If he listened, he’d quit and get a job at a fast food restaurant so they’d have one less competitor to worry about.
Instead, Robert Ringer set out to learn skills, develop capabilities, disrespect industry leaders and implement what he called “leapfrogging theory.” In a nutshell, it goes like this “I have decided on my own to get to the top of this industry in the shortest possible time possible, and in order to do so, I need to educate myself and make certain changes, starting with the way I think about Myself, followed by what other people think of me. This leads us to Revelation 3.
Revelation 3. “Change Your Posture.” If you feel like you’re second-rate, you’re going to act second-rate and get paid second-rate, if you’re lucky enough to be paid. In the minds of homeowners looking to sell, realtors are the necessary evil, and Robert Ringer is just another realtor. This is a perception that must change. Not only does he have to appear to be more than just another real estate agent, but he also has to elevate his posture so much that no buyer or seller would dare to suggest he is a real estate agent.
His first step was to create a unique business card. A full-color brochure with a black, high-gloss finish, hard cover cost nearly $5 each to produce. If I told you more about the booklet, or about the string of private secretaries that ended up appearing, or the private jets that visited clients and inspected properties in other states, I would spoil the book.
It could be said that the tortoise overtook the rabbit and left it in the dust. In the first full year after adopting these principles, the transaction completed by Robert Ringer generated $849,901 in fees, and that was a long time ago. A few years ago, he fumbled around hoping for odds and ends of $1,250, often burning his fingers for it.
There is a lot in this book that any salesperson can use. Like all business people, I need leads to keep my business thriving. Since reading this book, I have discovered how to pick and wait for the best deals and focus on those deals instead of chasing every fleeting commitment. Not that I’m idle, positive categorization keeps life busy, but I’ve discovered how to do it in the most efficient way possible. Because I’m not chasing, I develop a posture that attracts the right people to me. Thanks Robert Ringer.
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