If You Had No Choice

Jan 26, 2015

By Floyd Wickman, Founder and CEO of The Floyd Wickman Team 


H.B., my second broker, was the broker who “sold” me on learning sales dialogue. He suggested I take STI Training. Keep in mind, when I say HB suggested something, that’s like saying Moses came down the mountain with The 10 Recommendations. Nothing was optional with this guy, and I am forever grateful to him for that. 

Even though learning dialogue was uncomfortable for me at first, the foundation of my success was built on knowing what to say and how to say it - on the phone, on appointments and at the negotiating table. Dialogue is at the heart of my program, and knowing what to say in any situation is one of the greatest sources of confidence for my students. 

The training I took back in 1967 cost well over $1000, and it was $1000 I didn’t have at the time, but I found a way to pay for it. Why? Because I had no choice. 

I had no choice in the matter because first off it was a “suggestion” from H.B. He’s the broker who told me that if I wanted to work for him, my production would have to go from 3 closings (that was my production the first year) to over 90. I was already working as many hours as I could, so something else had to change. Something drastic. 

Really deep down inside I knew I had no choice because the dialogue I was using was not working. The price of the training was a tough pill to swallow, but it turned out to be worth a fortune to me. But the toughest pill to swallow was admitting I needed a change.

I had to learn a whole new way of communicating. It was almost like learning a new language. I was fortunate though, because even though my formal education ended early, I have been a reader and a student my whole life.

If I were recruiting new agents today, one of the most important things I would look for in a candidate is evidence of them being a good student. A willingness to learn.  A curiosity.  A hunger for training and direction. 

One of the most valuable lessons I took away from my experience with H.B. was that phrase, “If you had no choice.” It was a favorite of his, and became a favorite of mine.  When I caught myself thinking that something I wanted to accomplish was impossible, I would try looking at it from the “If you had no choice” point of view.  

Oh, there’s no way I can make the Million Dollar Club. Wait a minute. If I had no choice, what would I do? Well, if I had no choice, I’d get 86 listings a year. 

Oh, there’s no way I could get 86 listings a year. Wait a minute. If I had no choice, how would I do it? Well, if I had no choice, I’d go on 5 listing appointments a week. 

Oh, there’s no way I could get booked for 5 appointments a week. Wait a minute. If I had no choice, what could I do to book 5 appointments a week? Well, if I had no choice, I’d start calling at 9am Saturday morning and not stop calling until I got all 5. 

And that’s how I went from 3 closings my first year, to over 90 my second year. 

When a Seller wanted me to discount my commission, take it or leave it, either discount it or we won’t list with you – I could frequently turn it around by saying, “If you had no choice, either pay me a normal commission or not sell your house at all, which would you do?”

When a student tells me they can’t get Sellers to lower the price, I usually say, “If you had no choice, how would you get them to lower the price?” Like magic, they almost always stop for a minute and come up with a possibility they hadn’t thought of before. 

When I’m faced with a knotty business problem and feel like putting it away and coming back to it later, I can sometimes stop and ask myself, “Floyd, if you had no choice, what could you do about it now?” 

It really does work like magic. I’ve heard it called possibility thinking.

Next time you are faced with something that looks and feels impossible, remember H.B. and “suggest” to yourself, “If I had no choice, how could I accomplish this?” 

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