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Kathleen Black: “Mindset ”

Mindset — A leadership mindset is what we all need right now, we all need to be strategic, proactive and responsive.It is absolutely vital for leaders to be responsive right now to what’s going on around us. When people are experiencing fear, or stress, it’s important for us to be able to adjust into an optimal mindset […]

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Mindset — A leadership mindset is what we all need right now, we all need to be strategic, proactive and responsive.
It is absolutely vital for leaders to be responsive right now to what’s going on around us. When people are experiencing fear, or stress, it’s important for us to be able to adjust into an optimal mindset as soon as possible.If you lose your power to impact an outcome in your life, you lose all power you have in the situation.


As part of my series about the five things a business should do to create a Wow! customer experience, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kathleen Black.

Kathleen Black is one of North America’s leading team coaches and trainers, delivering her proven success techniques to agents and teams around the world. That growth is worth billions in additional sales volume annually across her client network with 80% of her clients being national top 1% producers. Kathleen, the best-selling author of “The Top 1% Life”, will help you to expand your business, at a fraction of the time and cost, using the tried, tested, and true “KBCC Ultimate Expansion Strategy” that has powered her client growth into the most efficient, productive, and profitable teams in the world, powered by performance cultures.

The success of KBCC centers around integrity, honesty, and results-driven measures, the very things that represent Kathleen. Kathleen has been named twice Top 100 Elite Women Driving the Future of Real Estate by REP Magazine and Top 20 Emerging Leaders by T3 Sixty’s Swanepoel Report. She was recognized within the top 1% of Realtors in the Toronto Real Estate Board, has ten plus years, over 20,000 hours personally, of agent development experience, and hundreds of teams attribute their growth and success to Kathleen’s leadership.

Kathleen is also the driving-force behind the Ultimate Team Summit, the largest team specific

Real Estate summit in North America and the Ultimate Mastermind Series of events, including the 100 Deal + Ultimate Mastermind. Recently recognized as a Global Leader Making the World a Better Place by the Women’s Economic Forum.

Kathleen lives in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada with her two free spirited, independent, and very loved children Ethan and Ella, and their cat Ethel.


Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

Beginning my career as a RE/MAX Real Estate Agent and working my way to being recognized within the top 1% of Realtors in both the Durham Region and on the Toronto Real Estate Board, many would agree that this level of success is the pinnacle achievement amongst their peers; but for me it was only the beginning.

Identifying the need, I set out to work on further developing the systems and platform of educational programs and coaching methods to which I attributed her own professional and personal success.

With the launch of KBCC in 2015 and building upon my 10+ years of Team and Agent development and guidance, hundreds of teams (80% of which are top 1% producers) have attributed their growth and success to my integrity, honesty and results driven leadership directly or through one of my coaching programs.

I was selling real estate as a busy single mom of two children and I had done a lot of content and systems development with a look to creating better work life balance.

The team I worked with was creating a coaching company and I had a background in psychology, so it just seemed like a natural fit to try to become involved.

That coaching company found itself in some challenging territory in its early days and there were differing opinions within the ownership as to how it should be resolved.

This ultimately resulted in the departure of the director of coaching and I was given the opportunity to step into that role within 18 months of the company going live. I had been a coach for just under one year at that point.

It was really a chain of complicated events that led to a great opportunity for me.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

An example that I give often is I used to mentor, coach and train while I was relatively new to selling, so I often had someone shadowing me.

I ended up realizing a couple of years into it when I left a buyer presentation, which I would sign 98 percent of, with one of my mentees, when she told me that she had seen me present my buyer consultations many times, and that she had learned so much, but the logo on the PowerPoint said ‘Your Team Name Here”.

I didn’t even realize that for two years I had been using my coaching company’s version of my buyer consultation and it didn’t even have our team logo on it, and yet I was still signing 98 per cent of all consultations I sat down in front of and attended.

When building a business, it’s really easy to say you need the perfect brand, but in reality, what you need are the clients.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I don’t think there has ever been one person. A lot of my opportunities actually came from overcoming challenges, so some of the people who gave me some of the opportunities I had are also people who presented massive challenges for me and my career.

At the end of the day, it’s relying on great mentorship, there’s not only one person I can name.

There were definitely brokers who gave me great advice and now we’ve built programs in place that we’ve created together, like Paul Baron from The #1 Century 21 Brokerage for the country, C21 Leading Edge in Canada.

I’m grateful for our team, I have an amazing group of people who support me and there’s no way I would be able to do what I do without them.

We have a collaborative leadership team who are very entrepreneurial, and who take ownership over what needs to happen. It’s very collaborative without a director style delegation, everyone owns their portion of the business. That is how we thrive.

Thank you for that. Let’s now pivot to the main focus of our interview. This might be intuitive, but I think it’s helpful to specifically articulate it. In your words, can you share a few reasons why great customer service and a great customer experience is essential for success in business?

Great customer experience and great customer service create a trusted and true brand.

In order to create a trusted and beloved brand, you need to begin with transparency. If you want trust, you have to be honest. Transparency will show your customers your honesty. By showing your audience this honesty, they will put more trust in your business to create a trusted reputation for your brand.

Take the humanistic approach. We’re all looking to relate to people, especially when we’re looking to a brand that we all love and trust. Instead of thinking of your business as a faceless entity, think of the humans who work there and those who interact with the brand.

Relationship build. Your audience, and your clients are some of the most important people when it comes to building your brand and getting people to entrust your brand. If you build a personal relationship with your clients, they’re going to consider your brand a friend.

Loyal customers stay for the way a company creates and delivers a product, not the product itself.

We have all had times either in a store, or online, when we’ve had a very poor experience as a customer or user. If the importance of a good customer experience is so intuitive, and apparent, where is the disconnect? How is it that so many companies do not make this a priority?

When companies are lacking good customer experience and service, what they’re really missing is a Unique Client Process.

Your clients cannot see what the purchase or the steps leading to the purchase look like — if they did they wouldn’t need us. Many top producers confuse personally delivering value, with the value our clients hire us to provide. Your clients are hiring you for a unique experience and results.

You are the master of sourcing the playbook to create your unique client process for your business, set to your standards, regardless of who is face to face for delivery. This unique client process is not optional to expand your business, it is a necessity we work with you to achieve.

This also happens to be one of the vital systems that safe guarded and later expanded production this year, during lockdowns, and restrictions as we entered the virtual world.

Do you think that more competition helps force companies to improve the customer experience they offer? Are there other external pressures that can force a company to improve the customer experience?

I do think that competition helps force companies to improve their customer experiences that they offer. Additionally, I think seeing lack of conversions on their website or in store impacts them as well.

Word travels fast, if you do not have a unique client system in place, you will not retain, or generate new customers.

Can you share with us a story from your experience about a customer who was “Wowed” by the experience you provided?

Our unique approach to the sales cycle as a whole is the previously discussed Consultants Approach.

This approach is the secret sauce to these specific sales steps as through testing people favoured consultants over salespeople.

With scripting, as with all of our systems, we choose to take the approach of the consultant opposed to the “pushy salesperson” the public anticipates from us.

A consultant seeks to establish a need and educate a client. This allows the client to self-discover their best course of action and come to a logical conclusion. We coach our clients to achieve the best possible outcome for them.

This sets us apart from the public perception of a “pushy salesperson” who pushes a client towards their own desired outcomes in the salesperson’s best interest as opposed to the clients. The following principles depict the Consultants approach.

In order to adapt the consultant’s approach toward your business, you’ll need to review your current approach with clients.

The advisor and consultant approaches allow Real Estate agents to guide their clients through the process with the utmost confidence. They know they’re analytical, and that they offer wisdom and knowledge that they’ve integrated for their client to feel like they’re covered, and that they’ve done they’re due diligence.

Did that Wow! experience have any long term ripple effects? Can you share the story?

Our Consultants Approach sets us apart from our competition, which in turn creates a long term ripple effect of proving our reputation right, that we are a leading North American Real Estate coaching company who deeply care for our clients.

Our company stands out because we build strong businesses, in an industry that is often still relying on old methods and models, which are increasingly less and less effective.

We stand out because we actually track, and have a strategy that works to expand, where teams are making much more money than traditional brokerages and offering superior value, where team members are able to sell much more and have more time.

I think in an industry where we have all male top thought leaders, we stand out in being a female led team, but also a team that is committed to efficiency, productivity, and profitability, without looking at it as if it’s a bad name.

We bring a systematic, process driven approach which allows us to be more agile and to lean into technology changes, instead of fearing them.

When our company started, our vision was to help busy entrepreneurs, who were largely in the sales industry, carve out a business that had the structure necessary to give them the freedom they wanted.

We found that a lot of entrepreneurs feel structure is restrictive, when in fact it gives them the path they need to give them the ability to leverage and scale so that they can have a successful business and life.

At the end of the day, what we found, was that we had to empower people in order for them to take empowered action, which is vital to create a structured business.

The purpose of our company is to power up people so they can build the businesses and lives that they are capable of leading, that they don’t choose to build until they approach it with a higher level of consciousness and confidence.

Ok, here is the main question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things a founder or CEO should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience. Please share a story or an example for each.

Mindset

A leadership mindset is what we all need right now, we all need to be strategic, proactive and responsive.

It is absolutely vital for leaders to be responsive right now to what’s going on around us. When people are experiencing fear, or stress, it’s important for us to be able to adjust into an optimal mindset as soon as possible.

If you lose your power to impact an outcome in your life, you lose all power you have in the situation.

Emotional Quotient

It’s crucial now, more than ever, to establish meaningful connections with your clients, which is where “emotional quotient”, or emotional intelligence, comes in, but only if the Real Estate team can take all the unsimplified jargon out and understand it for what it is.

Using EQ to understand different personality styles is vital to creating and maintaining relationships, especially during this unprecedented period of time.⠀

It will help you identify observable behaviors associated with various personality styles and how to successfully connect with each one, by customizing your communications.

Client Process

It is crucial for you to know the client process that you and your team will be following.

If your customer experience process has changed as a result of business moving online, make sure you have internalized that new process so you are able to confidently explain next steps to your client and are able to create a chain of commitment that will lead you into your next meeting and start you and your team on the right foot.

Communication

For teams, clear direction on who, when, and how to connect and communicate within our business and community is key. The goal is a commitment to keep our promises and serve to the best of our ability together.

With so much happening, it’s important to keep your circle informed and proactive.

The open lines of communication are there, and it’s important to position what’s going on in the industry so people do recognize that there is a change that is occuring, but it’s not stopping you from giving them resources over email, phone or a zoom call.

CRM

It can be scary to think of putting years of contacts and experience into the cloud, but the database can serve as an extension of our brain. When your brain isn’t trying to remember each and every detail about your clients you have the free space to focus on the people who are actually buying and selling. The use of a system will outperform willpower.

Technology

Before any call, no matter how many times you’ve done them, operate test runs. Practice and record these run-throughs with your team members. Watch the practices with your team before your meeting, so they’re able to understand what the team’s expected standards are.

Know your technology, know your presentation platform, know what links, attachments or assets you may be sending or presenting to them. All of these are ways in which you can work on bringing your most prepared self to your consultation, just like you would for an in-person meeting.

Results/Tracking

Tracking ensures you can make changes faster, predict future production sooner, and keep your finger on the pulse of the business. You need to know how you’re performing from opportunity to client, client to deal, and past client to valued member of your community.

Members of your community are happy to help and recommend you and your team; they trust you, and trust you will take care of their family and friends. As a solo agent, you are risking your own time and money when you operate below the capability available for a salesperson in the industry.

Are there a few things that can be done so that when a customer or client has a Wow! experience, they inspire others to reach out to you as well?

Take the humanistic approach. We’re all looking to relate to people, especially when we’re looking to a brand that we all love and trust. Instead of thinking of your business as a faceless entity, think of the humans who work there and those who interact with the brand.

Relationship build. Your audience, and your clients are some of the most important people when it comes to building your brand and getting people to entrust your brand. If you build a personal relationship with your clients, they’re going to consider your brand a friend.

Loyal customers stay for the way a company creates and delivers a product, not the product itself.

As previously mentioned, a Unique Client Process is crucial. Your clients cannot see what the purchase or the steps leading to the purchase look like — if they did they wouldn’t need us. Many top producers confuse personally delivering value, with the value our clients hire us to provide. Your clients are hiring you for a unique experience and results.

You are the master of sourcing the playbook to create your unique client process for your business, set to your standards, regardless of who is face to face for delivery. This unique client process is not optional to expand your business, it is a necessity we work with you to achieve.

This also happens to be one of the vital systems that safe guarded and later expanded production this year, during lockdowns, and restrictions as we entered the virtual world

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Conscious living. I think people who are conscious about who they are, their values, and what they’re bringing to the world are typically better parents, better team members, better community supporters, better people.

I find the ability to ‘do good’ is just more naturally present for people with a conscious mindset. If I can help people raise their consciousness and see their abilities and power, they will ultimately serve the world through their greater purpose with ease. If KBCC can have any influence on people leading themselves versus looking at others, that’s a win!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/10528394/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KathleenBlackCoaching/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kathleenblackcoaching/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kbccoaching

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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