Definition of a salesperson

Managing Partner and Senior Sales Associate , ICR Commercial Real Estate
  • Aug. 5, 2015

Barry StuartOver the years I’ve heard many people make the statement “I could never be a salesperson.”

When I question them, it becomes clear to me that they’re coming from a place that provides for a very narrow definition of the word.

The narrow view

The descriptions that come back to me when they’re questioned are: “a person with the gift of the gab,” “someone who could sell an ice box to an Eskimo” or “swampland in Florida.”  All of these definitions lack one thing: there seems to be little or no regard for the recipient of the goods or service.

Mutual working relationship

The first step when meeting a potential client is determining if: they’re comfortable working with me; my skills are right to properly service their needs; and I’m comfortable working with them. There are many areas of expertise in commercial real estate and there are times when it’s necessary for me to refer a prospect to another agent or firm.

It’s important to assess the expectations of the buyer, seller, tenant or landlord. If I believe those expectations are unrealistic, I’ll say so. I’m not interested in accepting an assignment that we know isn’t achievable.

Don’t do the deal can often be the advice

A good salesperson reads and interprets what the prospect is representing as a goal. The objective of the professional salesperson is to find the very best solution to meet that goal.

An experienced commercial real estate agent, as an example, is able to assess options with an intuitive discernment that takes a multitude of factors into consideration. If the option being considered isn’t a good fit for the client, it’s advised as such and given a recommendation to continue the search.

Where does the skill of persuasion come into play?

A competent salesperson demonstrates strong persuasion skills.  Coming back to my opening statement, I believe many people may have that “foot in the door” image of the salesperson who will do anything to convince you to contract the deal.

When I truly believe a client should (or shouldn’t) go forward with a transaction, it’s my job to pull together all of the persuasion skills I possess to convince it. I’ve studied and practiced this skill all of my working career.

No matter who you are, your ability to sell your ideas to those you encounter in life will have a tremendous bearing on how far you go. For that reason, we’re all in the business of sales. What’s your definition of a salesperson?


Born in small town Saskatchewan, I began my real estate career in Saskatoon at a really early age in 1978. Although I can’t claim to be No 1 in North…

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Born in small town Saskatchewan, I began my real estate career in Saskatoon at a really early age in 1978. Although I can’t claim to be No 1 in North…

Read more





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