The story of Andre, Gaston and Pierre the Half-Pint sort of goes like this: In the far reaches of the Quebec Northlands, a timber company was seeking some sturdy lumberjacks who could deliver the required quota of four to five trees felled in a day, or more. If they delivered more to the mill, they would receive a bonus of $50 per tree.
So, along come Andre and Gaston, two hulking brothers, about 6′6″ and weighing in at 200 pounds plus each. And in the line behind them is Pierre, 5′5″ and about 165 pounds soaking wet.
The foreman immediately hired the two brothers, but was somewhat skeptical about Pierre.
“Please Mr. Foreman. I need the money to feed my large family. I promise I will come through with the quota. As a matter of fact, I’ll bet those two big guys that I will do better than they can,” said Pierre.
Pierre was hired on, thanks to a sympathetic foreman.
The end of the month comes along, and the “Half Pint” as his fellow loggers named him, came in at the top of the bonuses.
Grumbling over a few beers, the brothers asked Pierre how he outperformed them.
“Well,” said Pierre, gloating over his success, you see, while you guys were taking two or three coffee breaks and having an hour lunch, I skipped the breaks and had only a half-hour lunch.’
“So, what were you doing?” asked Andre.
“Just sharpening my axe blades and saws.”
I share this old chestnut with you, as I often muse about why some aspiring salespeople are always so busy that they don’t have the time or the will to increase their skill sets.
At many offices, ours included, we try to pass on not only CEUs to the sales team, but other fine programs as well. When some of us who run brokerages look at the production of those who are “too busy” to attend any one of several training sessions in the month, and we see that their production is somewhat less than they deserve, we scratch our heads in wonder. (That’s why I have so little hair!)
So, if you’re reading this whimsical piece and thinking that I am somewhat cynical, well, you’re dead on!
Every type of profession or business that I am aware of has countless hours of required updates/training people must perform to stay ahead in their chosen craft.
Can you imagine a surgeon who does not take updates in surgical procedures? I doubt it.
I’m not just talking about professional coaching for a fee either. As an educator, I am truly interested in what types of courses agents would participate in. If some of those topics help you make your sales team more productive, we all are into a win-win scenario.
We’re at the beginning of a new year now. Now is the time to get ready to “sharpen your axe,” or in more modern terms, your iPad, YouTube videos or other technology or training that will keep you ahead of the pack in 2012. There are multitudes of courses available to assist your marketing using those tools. Why aren’t some of us using them?
I wonder if some brokerages or agents reading this and other fine REM articles use them on a regular basis. I’d be pleased to hear from you.
If some of you did not attain your goals in 2011, what possible barriers are stopping you from being the achiever you always wanted to be? Invest in yourself. Make time to read. Embrace education, whether it’s live or online. Learn more to earn more.
Have a great month!
Stan Albert, broker/manager, ABR, ASA at Re/Max Premier in Vaughan, Ont. can be reached for consultation at email@example.com. Stan is now celebrating 40 years as an active real estate professional.