Ryan Serhant of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing is heading back into the homes of America on April 11th with his new show: Sell it Like Serhant, in the new 8-episode docu-series, Saving People’s Jobs. In this show, Ryan will run to the rescue of struggling salespeople across the country, given just one week to completely turn their numbers around. With a popular Vlog, Million Dollar Listing’s next season coming up and wrapping a new show, we sat down with Ryan to get a glimpse inside the mind of a sales guru and see what’s next for New York CIty’s own real estate sensation:
Was there a moment you went from questioning your career path to thinking, ‘Wow, I’m good at this’?
To this day I’m still trying to see if I’m good at this. A sales career changes every single day. There are a few things to hold onto, that’s a bit of what Sell it Like Serhant is about. Early on when I got into the business it was really hard, but that didn’t phase me. It phases a lot of new salespeople – especially a lot of new real estate brokers in the city, where 80-85% of them quit within the first year because they can’t handle the rejection. I wanted to work, and I wanted to make a statement.
What was your key to handling this constant rejection?
Think back to a bad day you had last year – it’s not easy to do unless you had a really, really, really bad day. The little things that ruin your day, you can’t remember them six months, or a year after; and yet when they happen, they’re the worst thing that ever happened. Look it at physically, your body doesn’t remember pain. You only remember good things. It’s a survival instinct, it comes from evolution. It’s the same with getting through rejection in life and in business. If you use the losses as fuel for your future, you’ll have more wins.
In Sell it Like Serhant, you’ll be teaching salespeople to improve their sales, you have one week to turn their numbers around. In light of all the things a seller should do, what’s something a seller should NEVER do?
You should always be doing something and you should never be doing nothing. It’s amazing to me what I saw with every single person I worked with. The first day of the show is me walking in and surprising them, saying, ‘Hey, I got your video and I’m here,’ and every single person is doing nothing. It’s like they’re sitting on the corner, they’re on their phone, they’re looking around and they’re waiting for someone to call, they’re waiting for someone to knock – they’re just sitting there and they’re doing nothing. I learned a great phrase yesterday called “analysis paralysis,” and that’s what a lot of salespeople have. They overthink and they end up doing nothing instead of taking action.
So it sounds like motivation and drive are the keys, instead of some intricate industry trick, would you agree?
I mean, listen, nobody wants to be sold. Look at retail, a salesperson’s initial interaction is them wanting something from you, and that’s the opposite way to do it. You have to work on the relationship before you work on the sale. If you have the relationship, the sale will come. And there are a lot of different ways to guide that.
These first client interactions, have they changed since you first got started in the industry?
No – if anything, they’ve become more people-centric. With more technology, the salesperson’s job becomes more about the relationship. The biggest problem with New York City real estate, for a long time, was that information wasn’t available to the public. You just have to know how to manage the information and set yourself apart.
How would you stack the importance of continuing education on the tools and informational mediums against mastering the art of the sale?
You have to be educated on the tools that are out there. Your client is going to expect you to know how to use every tool that’s at your fingertips to guide them through the transaction, no matter if they’re buying pencils or they’re buying $10 million apartments. If you don’t use a platform that’s out there right now to enable you to be a better salesperson, you’re doing your client a disservice.
The seller is tasked with the closing, but what can businesses do to give their sellers a more comprehensive sales toolbox?
They can create better incentive programs. At the end of the day, human beings like to be rewarded. Increased pay, increased commission, increased time off – whatever makes them happy, that’s important to keep people motivated. I also think that they could do a lot better with training. Every business that I worked in – we worked in 8 businesses this season – only one of them had a real training program for their salespeople. They’re too focused on the product that they don’t focus on how to actually sell it. They just sort of assume that the ability to sell is this God-given ability, and it’s just not. You’ve got to train them.
You’ve been very busy, what’s next around the corner for Ryan Serhant?
Hopefully, Sell it Like Serhant season 2 [laughs]. Million Dollar Listing season 7 right now, we have a lot of business – the team is stronger than ever, and that’s really my focus all day long.
With reality TV, is there anything that really surprised you about the industry?
I’m surprised at how much it’s grown. Million Dollar Listing first cast in 2010 and everybody I spoke to told me not to do it. I went against everybody, including my parents, and said, ‘you know what? I’m going to try it.” And the world has reacted positively, so far anyway.
Between selling all day and filming two different shows, how do you find the balance?
I try to do as much as possible. My biggest fear in life is wasted potential, and it stresses me out. I always wake up in the middle of the night nervous that I didn’t do enough the day before. It’s what keeps me fueled and keeps me going. But, you know, I still have a home. I go home, I have a beautiful wife that loves me, I spend as much time with her as I can. My work is my fun. I’m relaxed when I’m in the office, I’m relaxed when I’m with clients. Every day is different, and every day is a workday. Every day is a day to turn everything around and to make things awesome and to get something done. That’s why I’m relaxed all the time, although I don’t think if you asked anybody they would say that I look relaxed.
Catch Ryan on Bravo’s Sell it Like Serhant, New Series Saving People’s Jobs premiering April 11th at 10 p.m. Eastern Time and in his vlog series at YouTube.com/RyanSerhant.