Real Estate Agent Podcast Episode 58: Paul Ross
There are no failures, there’s only feedback that’s useless unless you have a precise way to learn from their mistakes.
About This Episode
Paul approaches sales a little differently than most people. From his time as a dating coach and Master Hypnotist, he’s tapped into the unconscious mind and learned how it ticks. In this episode, he breaks down some examples of how to level up your sales efforts without completely overhauling your business.
You can get Paul’s book for free at https://www.speakerpaulross.com/book
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JON: Hello, and welcome to Shop Talk: The Real Estate Show. I'm Jon Forisha and joining me on this episode is Paul Ross, an author, Master Hypnotist, and Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. All right, Paul, thank you for joining me.
PAUL: It's my pleasure. And I'm truly looking forward to sharing some dynamite thinking and different ways of going about selling with your audience. Awesome.
JON: So let's start first with your background.
PAUL: Yes. So I am a hypnotist and neuro-linguistic programmer we'll can get in a little bit of a dive into what that means. I've been doing this for the past 30 years and I trained salespeople how to get their prospects to convince themselves to buy. So the selling process becomes much more fun, much more predictable and much easier. I believe selling can be fun that you can be of service to your clients and the same time use the power of suggestion. In fact, I would say this is just my definition that sales is service times suggestion. If you're just in service to your client and you can lose leadership or be stuck in their autopilot. And if you only use suggestion, then you're not in service, but when you combine those two seemingly opposite things together, you begin to gain some real power in your sales process.
JON: Great. So the power of language seems to be kind of at the core of what you do, right? Yes. Yeah. Can you talk a little bit about what is the power
PAUL: Language? Well, language structures, consciousness, shapes decisions, and drives behavior. And by the way, you are not selling real estate, you're selling decisions and good feelings about decisions. This is the thing to always keep in mind because people have to be able to make that decision, whether it's the list of you or sell their home or whatever it is. And that takes place largely on the subconscious or unconscious level. I tend to use those terms interchangeably. And so you've gotta be able to appeal to the subconscious and then a small percentage of the decision-making process relies on facts, data figures, numbers, but we all know that essentially people are buying into that relationship. They have with you that like, know, trust that rapport and you can create that very rapidly and very quickly. Hmm.
JON: So you're kind of talking about when somebody says they trust their gut on something, right. That subconscious feeling. Right?
PAUL: Right. And even though people would like to think that they're very analytical. The fact of the matter is a lot of cues come from the unconscious mind. And by definition, we're not aware of them. Now I'm a hypnotist. I've been doing it for 30 years. So I'm very aware of how these things work and then how to embed that in your existing sales process. Like everything you're going to hear from me today is not designed to replace your existing sales process. If something is working, keep doing it. But when you, so in, when you incorporate the power of subconscious languaging, subconscious selling into what you're doing, you'll see an exponential leap in your results. And by the way, I have a soft spot in my heart is your real estate agents and brokers. My parents were realtors and they did not do a particularly good job at it. They were great, wonderful people, but they were more interested in being liked and making the sale. They took the light factor way too far. Yes. Being liked can be important. I think would see them more important than being liked and even more important than rapport. I think rapport can be overrated is creating in that first few minutes to sense that the person wants to be led by you, the subconscious perception that you are their leader, because for every leader, there must be a...
PAUL: Exactly. You can go beyond the perception that they trust. You will trust you to do what the problem with know like, and trust is it leaves out, trust you to do what. So I say, what if they trust you so sufficiently, they want to be led by you and view themselves on the, again, this is on the subconscious level as your follower. Now, this sounds absolutely crazy. And maybe even a little bit for people who are at first uncomfortable with it, it can't even sound controlling. But for me, I think most of your prospects are running on autopilot and your job is not to get your idea into their mind, your eye, your job is to expand their mind, to include your ideas. Does that make sense?
JON: Yeah, that does make sense. Can you, can you give us an example of how, how you should be using language to, to make somebody trust you?
PAUL: Sure. So, for example, when you sit down to present, when you're going to get a listing, typically you sit down and you present your marketing plan or your marketing program, whatever you want to call it. And one of the most effective ways to do that is to show what a look in your neighborhood I listed and sold this house, or we listed and sold that house at this price. I get it. The problem with that is it's facts, figure numbers, data. It has an impact, but what's the difference between St before I present this marketing plan to you and saying, before we explore this marketing plan together. So there's some, what call implied relationship words. We explore together. We implies what implies. We already have a relationship, as opposed to I, before we explore and exploration implies a leader and therefore a follower exactly. Before we explore this marketing plan, or you can even say our marketing plan, what's the difference between saying this marketing plan and our marketing plan.
PAUL: You're making it more personal, exactly. Before we explore our marketing plan together, there's that word together together implies that you are on the same side. You're not doing something to someone you're doing something with someone. And the rest of it would sound like this before we explore this marketing plan together. I just like to invite, you know, that's another one. When you say invite, invite implies a person giving value to the other person, doesn't it. I want to invite you to my party. Yeah. Get it. And also implies relationship. I want to invite you to please share the questions, not ask the questions. What's the difference between asking and sharing?
JON: Well, sharing makes it sound like you've got something to contribute.
PAUL: You're not just talking. They're contributing. They're contributing back to you. We don't do we share things of importance with people who we don't trust? No. I just would like to invite you to please share the questions that naturally arise when a great decision is being made. Now, at the end, I put in a suggestion, that's a big, a great decision is being made. I didn't say before, you decide to list with me, that would be too specific, but when you're vague in an artful way, the unconscious mind of your prospect will fill in the blanks. Remember whatever you can get your prospect to imagine for themselves would be perceived by them as being their own thought. Therefore, they will not resist it. So the bottom line is you can create that trust and rapport and desire to be led with four or five boards. Instead. Now, look, it's absolutely necessary when you construct your marketing plan that you do have the facts, data figures, you have everything to back it up, but first, why not create that state of consciousness in your prospect, where they want to believe whether they want to see you in the space.
PAUL: And that sounds absolutely nuts. But to me, another aspect of selling of subtle selling, which is what I teach is that think in terms of what state of mind, what States of consciousness your prospect would, you'd like your prospect to be in when you're making that sale. And let me unpack that. How about a state of being really focused inside you? How about a state of wanting to believe you? How about a state of being open to what it is? You have to say, those are useful States. Let me give you a metaphor. And this is not a trick question. And for those of you who are listening to this podcast, it's not a trick question. I want you guys through the gals to really get it. Let's say we're going to conduct a current of electricity and we have two possible conducted mediums. We have a sheet of gold foil, and we have a sheet of cardboard, which one of those is going to conduct the electricity better?
JON: The gold foil.
PAUL: Exactly. So think of your ideal state of mind. Your prospect is being in that gold foil, that gold foil being focused on you, of being attentive to you, of wanting to believe you viewing you on the unconscious level is their leader. That would be a pretty good state of mind instead of the state of mind being scattered or okay. Why should I list with you or, well, show me what you got or, you know, I only got 10 minutes. Can you hurry it up? Or we, we have a few more people. We have to interview all this nonsense. You can knock half of that out. What would that mean to your sales? If you could knock after that stuff out within the first two or three minutes of doing your presentation, you can inoculate against it and then I'll show you some ways to destroy those objections. Should they come up later? This is fun stuff. And it's really, really cool wonderful stuff. I love teaching. This is my joy of my life. I told my girlfriend that she wasn't particularly happy. I told her, honey, I love you two beds, but my teaching and my work is first for me.
JON: So you've said a few times that you are also a master hypnotist.
PAUL: Can you feel yourself now opening your wallet and giving me a credit card? Let's take it right now.
JON: So how, how does one become a master hypnotist?
PAUL: Well, a lot of experience, I had some really good trainers and then truth be told. I fell in love with it right away. If you're going to get good at something, I really believe you have to be in love with it. I fell in love with the power of language, to transform who I was as a person. Back when I was a lonely 22 year old guy who had never had a date in his life. And I had terrible, self-esteem filled with shame. I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror. I was I'm six foot two, but under 98 pounds back then I was six foot two, 125 pounds. I looked like a skeleton. People would come up to me and ask me if God, this is terrible. Or you look like you came out of a concentration camp awful. And so I stumbled on to NLP and self-hypnosis a few years later and it cured me of my constant shame, my inability to have social connections with the ladies. And I wound up getting my first girlfriend. And so early on in my career, I was a dating coach or the, I don't reveal that my biography. So I want to talk about it. At first, I was a dating coach and I found that the breakthrough, these guys and terrible, terrible self-image. These are guys who are 30, 40, 50 year olds. Old, never had a date. I had to use some pretty powerful hypnotic methods on them to break through to their subconscious potential. So that may be an even better, better feature of this. And also I'm a really good subject. I go into trance very quickly and I recognize it's an enjoyable experience to go into trance as you listen.
JON: Hmm. Interesting. Okay. So getting back to the sales language, why what's wrong with just being direct with your language, you know, instead of using all of these suggestive phrases?
PAUL: Well, because you're not communicating to the unconscious mind and people want to be communicated with in a way where they're open to hearing you where they feel connected to you and ordinary language is just that it's ordinary. If you want extraordinary results, you have to step outside of the ordinary. Now that may need stepping outside of your comfort zone, but that's true. I say you have to step outside of your conceptual zone. You have to step outside your old ways of thinking to really make progress back when people thought the world was flat. Sure, you could get out of your comfort zone and sail the ocean that you would get lost. It was only until they invented a way to find the longitude. The longitude is a measure. It's a long navigational story. So yes, get out of your comfort zone. But if you get out of your comfort zone with old ideas are antiquated and just don't work so well anymore.
PAUL: Then you're just going to be banging your head against the wall. I said, get out of your comfort zone into your conceptual zone with a coach or with some training or a course that teaches you how to do that. And this is, I won't lie. What I teach is not for everybody, because it really does require you being able to do the work and wrap your mind around a completely different way of looking at human communication, not just sales, but human can communication in general behind me. I don't know if you can see it. And obviously it is only an audio podcast, but I have a glass board with a list of my ideal clients. And one of the things it says at the very end is they're devoted to deeply understanding how human thinking works on a deep level and wants more than surface understandings. So this is what I believe in. It's what I teach. And it's kind of people that I love to draw to me when I coach and I try it.
JON: Something else behind you caught my eye is that, is that a newspaper clipping of Tom Cruise in a frame?
PAUL: Yes it is.
PAUL: Why? Well, it's from a Dutch newspaper called. Wow. No, I can't do Telegraph or something. In movie Magnolia, Tom Cruise played a character loosely based on me when I was a dating coach.
PAUL: So there's a picture of me in the corner, up in the corner there and then a picture of Tom, but good catch. Just putting a picture of my, I should put a picture of my girlfriend. I don't know what I should put there. Yeah. So.
JON: Now you're a huge Tom Cruise fan.
PAUL: He is great. Yeah.
JON: He is a great actor. Yeah. After the break, all give some advice about how to learn from your mistakes and make better decisions in your sales process. Paul approaches sales from a linguistic point of view. You might be listening to his advice and thinking that it makes a lot of sense that it's a mindset that you could use if only you had your real estate license. Well, dear listener, you're in luck. The CE Shop's online courses are mobile friendly and available. Whenever you are get started today on your pre-licensing or continuing education courses and use promo code SHOPTALK for 25% off.
JON: So what is the first thing about a prospect that agents should focus on?
PAUL: The first thing to aim at or the first thing they should focus on? The first thing they should focus on? I think they should, again, focus on the prospect's current state of mind, ask yourself, what state of mind are they in now? What state of mind do I want them in? How can I transition them to that? As an example, I think one of the number one enemies to making a sale is not your competition. It's not even your current skill level. Well, that could be your potential client. Can't pay attention the way they used to. They just don't have the attention span that used to have. Look, excuse me. We live in the age of instant messaging. We live in the age of texting Twitter, Instagram, you name it. And so people now have the attention of goldfish. You're a young guy.
PAUL: I have a few years on you. I don't know if you remember your original YouTube ads. They went on for two minutes. Now you have new. Remember that. Now you can click off the ad. After five seconds is people just don't have the attention span. So I would notice what state of mind is that prospect. And then first and foremost, are they really focused or are they completely scattered? Hmm. Yeah. So I would pay attention to that first and foremost. But even before that, the sales starts before you even walk out the door because it's high, 50% of the sale. Depends on your frame of mind. One of the things I did and this circles back to what NLP is neuro-linguistic programming. Part of it is the study of modeling human, looking at people who are super good at what they do and taking apart their belief systems, their attitudes, their behaviors, et cetera.
PAUL: And when I looked at sales superstars, I noticed that they have a different attitude towards selling their attitude is they're interested in the sale, but they're invested in their skills. We get it. They're interested in their sales, but they're invested in their skills and a breakfast of bacon and eggs. One of the animals is interested. The other is invested, understand what I'm talking about? Yes. And they also went in to that sale, any sale they went into, they understood how to control their enthusiasm. They were not overly enthusiastic. It's great to be enthusiastic when the client is not around enthusiastic about your goals, but too much enthusiasm can come off as desperation too. Happy. Just suck. When you go to get a date, if you're too happy, I learned this in a dating coach. If you're too happy to be there, then you wind up looking hungry. And those who are hungry, I'm sorry. Just tend not to get fed.
JON: Yeah. Yeah. That's true. So how do you hide your enthusiasm? I don't know.
PAUL: No, no, don't hide it. Turn it down. Don't hide it. Literally learn to control your state while you do it a couple ways. First, you do it with that attitude. I'm interested in the sale. I'm invested in my skills. That's the first thing. The second thing you do is you do it with your physiology, simple exercise that you can cry when you go out and you're making a sales call before you knock on that door before you get out, as you're getting out of your car or whatever it is or you're doing outreach on the phone, by the way, I don't believe we fold the common never cold call. Again. That's a terrible metaphor. Is there really a sheet of ice between you and that future client? No.
JON: So you're saying it's not that you don't believe in the practice of cold calling. You just don't like the phrase.
PAUL: I don't like the metaphor. I call it opportunity outreach.
PAUL: Extending opportunities, opportunity outreach that we framed that may seem like silly semantics, but semantics are not silly. They're very, very powerful. So let's circle back to the question of getting in the right state. So first it's your attitude. And the second attitude is no matter what happens, I'll either learn what I need to learn to do the sale and the next time, or I'll enjoy getting the sale. So you have what are called learning confidence. It's not the confidence. It's both one says, I know I'm going to close this because when you do that, you, you run smack in the face up against chaos. When my parents were realtors, my parents, I think I told you off the air, my parents were realtors and they used the think they had the deal. They looked like they had the deal. And then they'd say, I'm so tired of dealing with these.
PAUL: Danglings, that's what they call them. The deal fell through because there's chaos. There's just chaos in the process of selling. So you have to have an attitude that says there's always going to be elements out of my control. That's okay. I welcome that. And focus in on what I can do. You notice how this is opposite of positive thinking. I know I'm going to win. I know I'm a superstar sales person. I know what I'm going to win. I ended up best the problem with all that positive thinking as a hypnotist, I can tell you, your unconscious mind has stored inside of it. 10,000 repetitions of all that, those negative thoughts. So simply saying, I am this positive thing. I am that positive thing by itself, by itself, doesn't work until you untied the process of repeating your mistakes over and over and over. One of the things that I teach that it's different from any other sales training out there.
PAUL: And there are a lot of good ones. I'm not putting anybody down. There are a lot of good ones out there is. They all tell you. And you've heard this a million times before Jonathan, just learn from your mistakes. Have you ever heard that piece of advice? Does anyone tell you an exact way to do that? No, you're supposed to do it. No, no. Yeah. Well, I know that process of how to learn from your mistakes because I had to teach it for the most impacted screwed up people in the world, 30, 40, 50 year old guys. Who've never had dates who had tremendous emotional trauma. They heard no, man. It was a setback until I taught them how to learn from every experience. So you have to go in with what I call learning confidence. So the right attitude, learning confidence. And then finally, finally using your physiology, grounding everything into your feet.
PAUL: I teach my students put 20% of your feet of your attention on the feeling of your feet, pressing against the floor, whether you're seated or standing and what that does for whatever reason, it turns off the sympathetic nervous system. The part of our nervous system, it puts us into fight flight freeze, and it turns on the parasympathetic nervous system. The part of our nervous system that's designed to calm us down. Does that make sense? Yeah. So you do when your beliefs and attitudes, and secondly, you do it with a really good system for learning from every experience and actual system would procedures that you follow, not just a piece of fortune cookie advice, and finally you use it through your physiology. So pay attention. Number one, pay attention here on state. Number two, pay attention for the state, your prospects in when you open the door and number three, think yourself, what stage do I want to move into?
PAUL: You notice I'm not talking about, I'm not talking about the overall sales process because I'm assuming people have that. I don't want to teach people already have it. I'm talking about something radically different, which is looking at States of consciousness. The idea of selling, being about designing in and moving people through different States of consciousness is quite frankly, can I swear on your show? I bet I know it's batshit crazy. It sounds like something out of the seventies with Timothy Leary, Janeane, dropout, whatever, but as a, this that's what moves people. I know I've seen it turned stumbling blocks and the stepping stones and pain and Ash and sorrow into solutions. So it was really powerful. It's a completely new and different paradigm to think of sales in that way. But it's a very ways of thinking feely, enacting that stands so far outside of what you're used to doing the whole potential for bringing your results so far outside of what you're used to in the jar.
JON: What's wrong with the traditional way of teaching about mindset?
PAUL: Oh, there's so many different problems there. Let me, let me take it apart by asking you a question and I'll ask this question rhetorically to your audience, because obviously we're not in one way. We're not in two way communication, at least not yet because they haven't yet made the decision to find out about how they might be able to talk to me. But anyway, traditional teaches about mindset. Ignore this whole thing of learning from your mistakes. They leave it out and without having that money to put it another way, I'll ask you this question in the areas of getting rich, finding love and losing weight. How many millions of copies of books and audio courses have been sold? Not different titles, but actual numbers, books and courses have been sold.
JON: Truckloads I'm sure.
PAUL: Well, give me a number.
JON: 50 million, okay.
PAUL: And will take 50 million. That's a good conservative number. Then why don't we see 50 million skinny, rich people madly in love with their ideal partners in between the information slash inspiration and the implementation. There's a huge gap. So what I'm here to say is, look, here's a secret in the sales training industry and the personal development industry that we don't talk about outside of the business. 95% of the people who take courses and take trainings don't implement, or they implement inconsistently. Now I figured out how that happens, how to take it apart and put it back together again. And what it has to do with is when people go to learn from their mistakes, they don't have a good strategy. Usually what they do is they say, why did I screw it up? Or why can't I call on the big money clients. Now, when you ask those questions, where does your brain go?
PAUL: Your brain goes and looks at all the times. You made a mistake. I learned this when I was coaching guys. I said, how many of you ever really screwed it up on a date? Every hand at a hundred, a hundred guys in the room raised their hand. I said, now keep your hand up. If, and only if you worked on this mistake or screw up at least a hundred times, every hand stayed up, keep your hand up. If you 12th on at least five of their times, every hand stayed up. How about a thousand times? About 50% of the hands went down. In fact, the matter is when you dwell on a mistake, you're not doing it to punish yourself for because you're a self sabotager or you lacked some mysterious fluid called self-esteem your five quarts low. And you need me to pour in five ports. No, it's just, you have a learning strategy, your learning strategy. You're trying to learn from your mistakes, but you're inadvertently programming them back. Yeah. So when your brain goes out in the real world and you're in that context, of course the brain is going to do what you programmed it to do. Look, the brain works on repetition, familiarity and momentum. So if you have 10,000 examples in your brain of dwelling on things and you have positive affirmations, which one of those is going to have more momentum, more force, more weight.
JON: The repetitive negative one. That's right. Yeah.
PAUL: So, and so that's the problem. They don't resolve that internal conflict, that internal friction, that's where they're really lacking. None of them put a good program or process together from learning from experiences. They just give you a lot of raw. You must learn from every experience. There's no such thing as failure. There's only feedback. Well, guess what? Unless you have a really good way to extract out the feedback and separate it from the emotion. It's not useful feedback. There are no failures. There's only feedback that's useless unless you have a precise way to learn from their mistakes. And this is my claim because of my experience as a dating coach and figuring it out for these guys. Being a guy who's 50 years old and never had a date teaching them not to dwell on 30, 40 years of experience and things, let's say 30 years of things going wrong. I had to really hone this. If I can teach them, I can take the reasonably competent, confident person out to just rapidly rocket up the learning curve. This is one of the wa just one, but I think is the major difference in my teaching. And again, I want to make this very clear, super clear, keep doing your sales process. If it's working for you. And there are good sales trainings out there. I have some friends who are good sales trainers. I don't want to mention them. I don't want to give, you know, time to the competition. But what I'll say is none of them teach a good process for learning from your mistakes and you have to do it. And that's the big mistake with mindset.
JON: And I think that's probably where a lot of people become discouraged and leave, not just real estate, but any sales job, they can't do anything but focus on their mistakes. And I mean, honestly, that sounds, that sounds amazing. If we could just let it slide off of us.
PAUL: Well, don't just let it slide, extract the information and then let, let the poison go. But we're not taught this. We're not taught skills, emotional self-regulation we're not taught how to learn from our mistakes. We're not taught how to make good decisions. I think one of the reasons let's see this is not caught and very few self improvement seminars, how to make good decisions. No one teaches it because it's not sexy and it's not, it's not exciting, but it is required.
JON: So what would you say? How do you make good decisions?
PAUL: That's I'm not trying to tease. That's a weekend training.
JON: Okay. Okay. This last question is one that I ask of all of my guests. If you could go back to the beginning of your career and change one thing, what would it be?
PAUL: Find me as a coach. I would say, I would say find some really good mentors and really good coaches, but to be quite transparent, I've always been very lucky with that. I've always been lucky at finding really good teachers. Now I invested tons of money in it because with the right teacher, the right coach, you're not paying for anything you're investing in your future. Yeah. That's a good way to think of it. I must've spent at least half a million dollars on coaches and mentors and almost all of them are worth it. Some were not. Some were just not so good.
JON: How do you tell the good ones from the bad?
PAUL: You get referrals and really check the, check it out really deep and then get lots of free stuff. If they're not willing. See, one of the reasons why I want people to get free stuff from me is because there's no reason. Well, there is a reason because it makes sense, but it's so out there, what I'm teaching you, you said you've never had a guest like me. I don't know if you said that on the air off there, but when I'm teaching is so out of left field, I do need feel the need to give people some good free samples, because I always say the best proof is your own experience. So look to see people look for coaches and trainers and mentors who give you a lot of value for free, not just teasers, but a lot of free value to prove that they're the real thing. And also make sure to check the references just like when you hire anyone else.
JON: Yeah. That's great advice. Okay. So you are the author of the book, Subtle Words That Sell. Can you tell us a bit about that book?
PAUL: This is a book that took me about four months to write, but as a result of 15 years of experience, really going through what worked, what didn't work, beta testing stuff, ripping things apart, sort of my sustained chapels. You know, the story of how Michael Angela took years to paint that thing. And I would do want to tell people how they can use a special link. I'll give them. So when they go to grab it on Amazon, it'll redirect them to my page and they can get two free courses. For me, video courses. One is, one is on how to crush objections and double your sales using subtle subconscious language. And the other is a fantastic training on mindset and you get those absolutely free, cool video trainings.
JON: And what is that link?
PAUL: If you go to speaker Paul Ross forward slash book, that's really easy to remember the speaker Paul Ross, rss.com forward slash book. It'll take you right to the page.
JON: Awesome. And if listeners want to learn more about you and what you do, would they just go to that same website?
PAUL: You can follow me on LinkedIn speaker, Paul Ross forward slash LinkedIn.
JON: Okay, perfect. Well, thank you Paul, for coming on the show.
PAUL: It's been my pleasure.
JON: That's it for this episode. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed the conversation, you can subscribe and leave us a review on your podcast. Player of choice. Shop Talk is a production of The CE Shop.