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Inspiration from unexpected sources: relentless leaders share their insights


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Being an executive performance coach and licensed psychologist for the past 20 years has provided me the chance to work with incredibly successful individuals around the world and truly understand their mindset. I’ve found they all share a common trait: they are relentless in their pursuit of furthering their career and achieving new levels of success.

I’ve also learned that successful behavior comes in many shapes and forms. It is this behavior of the ultra-successful that has inspired The Relentless, a new podcast from Century 21 Real Estate. As host of this series, I have taken my life’s work a level deeper as we delve into the mindset of these unexpected leaders and learn how they defy mediocrity and push to achieve success in everything they do.

So far our journey through The Relentless has expanded our understanding of sales, entrepreneurship and innovation. We’ve had guests like Erica Feidner, considered by many one of the top salespersons of all time with over $80M in piano sales, but doesn’t consider herself a salesperson at all. Or Melissa Hobley, CMO of OkCupid, one of the world’s first and top dating apps who revolutionized the way we interact and present our value proposition in the digital space. These fascinating individuals have achieved success and even changed the course of their industries in unique ways. As we journey through our own search for success, here are some of my favorite learnings so far that can help you up your game both in mindset and tangible action.

What makes a salesperson great is not the actual sale

Erica is person-first, not product-first and this is a pivotal philosophical difference that fuels her success. Clients remember their extraordinary experiences with her, which is a major factor in the development of her strong pipeline of repeat and referral business. In her episode, she does a deep dive into the tactics she uses to cultivate these relationships.

Know your customers

Knowing your customers not only makes them feel understood, but it will make you brilliant at what you do. By understanding who they are from the onset, you minimize the risk of overselling or presenting options far removed from what they inherently want. For example, Erica dedicates time getting to thoroughly understand her clients interests and preferences before she even begins to identify the perfect piano for them.

Be authentic

There is the misconception that being authentic means sharing everything about your life. Melissa shows us that’s far from true – simply be who you are and tap into your passions. For example, there is great value in positioning yourself as the neighborhood expert, showcasing the community that you love. Authenticity can come in more unexpected ways as well, such as humor. In Melissa’s episode she breaks down to the many ways humor greatly impacts the impressions others have in the digital space.

Push through challenges

Whether it is tackling technology or some other barrier, we are all going to have challenges in our careers that can seem insurmountable. Look for ways to overcome those setbacks. Break them down into smaller pieces, be inspired by others who have achieved, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. People who are successful don’t give up when facing initial challenges, they find ways to make dreams happen — even when it’s out of their comfort zone.

Becoming an effective salesperson or successful entrepreneur is an individual journey that involves a lot of trial and error and a willingness to embrace change. And as we create new episodes of The Relentless podcast, we’ll continue to meet outstanding performers and explore how they operate, regardless of industry. And we’ll explore how agents today can reach their potential and find ways to be extraordinary.

Dr. Julie Gurner is the host of The Relentless, a podcast from CENTURY 21. For over a decade, she’s used her doctorate in psychology to study the behaviors of top performers and used those insights to empower business leaders in finance, technology, and real estate. As an Executive Performance Coach and Real Estate Strategist, Dr. Gurner looks beyond what makes someone “successful” from a psychological standpoint to determine what separates the ultra-successful from the herd.

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