Conflict to Cooperation – WHO Do You Have Conflict With?


posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

A few weeks ago, we did a show in the SWS Virtual Studio called “Conflict to Cooperation” where my awesomely awesome co-host Mr. Bob Burg himself (co-author of the Go-Giver books and the recently released Adversaries into Allies) joined me to discuss various strategies to take potentially adversarial relationships and situations and, well, make them NOT adversarial! Or at least, get to the point of being closer to a win/win than you might be otherwise.

I got SO much out of the show that I want to share, so this will probably become a little series – we shall see!

So, first things first – WHO do you have conflict with in your real estate career? Well, I polled the audience prior to the show asking just that question and the results were interesting. You can see them here, but the jist of the general response was that the Number One party you fuss with is the agent on the other side of your transactions, followed closely by your seller clients.

Interesting, huh? That one of the most common adversarial relationships in your business is with your CLIENTS, specifically, your sellers?

Actually, it’s not so surprisingly given the unique nature of the traditional real estate agent/seller client relationship. On one hand, we are obligated by our Code of Ethics and agency agreements to place our clients’ interests above our own, but on the other, we are compensated only if our clients make certain decisions that we are supposed to be guiding them on! And sometimes, the best path for our clients to take is NOT the one that ensures we get paid!

Anyway, that’s a soapbox for a different day, but suffice it to say that unless a real estate agent takes extreme care when communicating with their sellers, it’s ridiculously easy for the agent/seller relationship to become adversarial. (Here’s a blog I wrote several years back about it.)

But first, let’s define “Adversary” or “Adversarial.” In the context of Conflict to Cooperation discussion, an adversary isn’t necessarily an enemy or even someone you’re negotiating with. No, an adversary is simply anyone who is standing in the way of an outcome you desire. And you’d sure like to help them see your perspective! And work with you accordingly!

Unfortunately, an awful lot of traditional real estate training teaches us to manipulate or coerce clients and colleagues into seeing things our way by using objection busters and memorized closing scripts. But is that really the best approach? Does ANYONE appreciate being manipulated or coerced with such techniques?

Um, no.

As Dave Ramsey often says “Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still.” Fortunately, there is a better way! A way to create a win/win attitude between you and your potential “adversaries” where everyone comes out feeling, well, like they won/won! And that’s the subject of this Conflict to Cooperation series… stay tuned for more!