There are many celebrities out there, but over the past few months one that I’ve watched with fascination was Billy Mays. Anthony Sullivan and him turned being a pitchman into something cool. They appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Tonight Show, and others. They had their own TV show on the Discovery Channel. They were on magazines.
Today I received word of Billy Mays’ tragic death. It got me to thinking and realizing that I’ve learned a lot from him over the past 10 years about branding and pitching. So I started creating the below list: What Can Realtors Learn From Billy Mays:
- Passion – No one can doubt that when Billy Mays appeared on a commercial he was passionate about what he was doing. That passion was exuded in his hand motions and vocal delivery. After a significant amount of polling, I heartily believe there are many Realtors that simply aren’t passionate about what they do and that’s part of the reason the average agent makes so little. You could always tell that Billy loved his job. Be passionate about selling or find something you are passionate about.
- Branding – Billy Mays wouldn’t do a commercial for a product without a wow factor. Something that could be communicated on TV. What is your wow factor as a Realtor? Are you insane about customer service (and do you actually follow through with that?) Do you provide the best technology to your clients allowing them to do more than other agents? Do you compete on price and follow through on your promise without a bait and switch?
- Selectivity – Billy would constantly discuss how he looks at thousands of products to narrow down to a select few. He only worked with the best. He would test out products with potential buyers before pitching to see if there were flaws. Are you the best product in real estate? Are you with the best brokerage? Are the people you work with putting out a good image that you can be proud of? Does your broker’s brand promise carry through all the agents?
- Persistence – Billy Mays worked on the Atlantic City Boardwalk selling products before the days he appeared on TV. In an interview he claimed that his first day, he wanted to quit because people were yelling and laughing at him. But he stuck with it. He begun learning from others that were more successful on his first day. He saw opportunities open up to expand the units sold by beginning to work home shows and pushes into higher end markets which eventually rewarded him with a life of luxury.
Billy Mays (1958-2009)