Ed's Chesprocott Region Blog: Are Sales People Like Sharks Circling Prey?

Are Sales People Like Sharks Circling Prey?

Are Sales People Like Sharks Circling Prey?

Sales people need the activity with clients in order to properly do their job and if like real estate agents, to get paid. Does that make them over the top aggressive to the point that they become like sharks circling prey?

Are Sales People Like Sharks Circling Prey?

People like the anonymity of the Internet so as to not get aggressively pursued by sales agents looking for their business. I do believe that this pushy action can do just the opposite and push that potential client further away or even towards another agent.

This hit home to me today as I was waiting at a car dealership for service and was sitting in thee front lobby.  I watched several sales people watching some people on the lot and as they walked towards the main entrance the sale people times their pace to arrive there at the same time.  Unfortunately for the sales people they asked for someone else by name.

While many of us receive our leads from either referrals or directly through our marketing, it is still the nature of the response that we give them that starts the relationship and if we are too pushy and aggressive we can cause them to be apprehensive towards us or even look to back away,

There is a significant difference between a sales person and a service provider. Our true function is a service provider and as such we are more effective if we let our customers know that at the onset so that they do not get a mindset that they are viewed as prey.

Our business is highly competitive and we need to be careful in the way we deal with new clients so as to let them know they are not just a pay check but a potential for us to demonstrate our knowledge and help them with their real estate experience.

Are Sales People Like Sharks Circling Prey?

We do not want to ever be compared  to a feeding shark, but more appropriately as a friendly service agent looking to make the experience easy and enjoyable.


Are Sales People Like Sharks Circling Prey?


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Ed Silva  Mapleridge Realty, LLC,   203-206-0754

Comment balloon 62 commentsEd Silva • January 20 2017 05:05PM


I think many car salespeople do have fins.  I watch the same scenario when I take my car in for service.  Luckily everyone at my dealership knows us since we have been buying Lincolns from them for over 20 years, but I feel sorry for the unsuspecting prey.

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) almost 4 years ago


I am delighted to report that I have not seen this scenario at our dealership.  Everyone is cool there.  We usually drop off our car and a loaner is waiting for us 3 minutes later.  Those times when we were there for a minor adjustment, we have wandered into the showroom or the lot.  No one accosted us.  We actually would have to ask someone to help us.  They are into pull marketing rather than push.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) almost 4 years ago

Good afternoon Ed,

Having been an auto salesperson for many years and grocery before that it was always take cake care of the customer and they would come back to you as well as get the easier road referral!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) almost 4 years ago

Hi Ed - I actually feel sorry for good car salespeople.  They get such a rap.  Your comments are spot on.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) almost 4 years ago

marti garaughty, abstract art, graphic design, marketing, WordPress consultant

Posted by marti garaughty, a highly caffeinated creative type... (garaughty.com) almost 4 years ago

Very well summarized, Ed.  Every commission sales industry has their "sharks". Unfortunately, then, the whole industry gets that reputation.  Car sales is the quintessential example.

Walk into a non-commission sales establishment and you may find it difficult to get ANY service.  It is up to the true professionals in each industry to find the middle road, where customer service IS the primary goal.  

Thanks for the post. 


Posted by Carol Williams, Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager (Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals.) almost 4 years ago

Ed well written post. There is a huge difference between being a service provider and a sales person.  I was taught years & years ago that 'if' sales people  have "dollar signs" in their eyes when looking at clients that mindset will not build long term relationships but rather a quick fix. Listen to the clients, pay attention to what their wants and needs are and give the best service possible.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRS CRB, Phoenix Broker, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) almost 4 years ago

Hi Ed, You get your points across very well in this post.  I want to think that most consumers can spot that "shark" coming at them. I have been in sales my entire life so maybe I can just see them coming.  

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Realty) almost 4 years ago

I'm from a car dealership family....my husband worked for one for most of his life and all three of our children and I worked there too at one time or another. It's a whole world in of itself. I know the routine of the sales staff well...one of my jobs was to train them on customer satisfaction. 

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) almost 4 years ago

Ed, I loved this post and I agree with you, I never like pushy sales people so I would not want to treat others any other way than I would like to be treated. One of the main reasons Tom Hopkins resonated with me in my earlier days of my career. Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) almost 4 years ago

People want to be shown, told about property, not sold or hustled. The agent or broker who says "I know just the perfect property for you" as they enter the lobby or call in, email without letting them share their gotta have, don't want list is like Herb Tarlek.

herb tarlek wkrp

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) almost 4 years ago

Belinda Spillman   I just bought a new vehicle and the salesman was just fine.  Of course I already knew what I wanted when I went in there after shopping online, just like a lot of home-buyers do.

Ron and Alexandra Seigel   I'm sure it is not all over, it was just so obvious today

Raymond E. Camp   I can appreciate that.  It is always about the service


Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 4 years ago

Grant Schneider   Within the same dealership there were fine sales people. Today there were a couple that showed desperate

marti garaughty   Thank you for the recognition

Carol Williams   Desperation comes across easily and it is the buyer's choice to stay or go find someone less self-involved

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 4 years ago

Anna Banana Kruchten   Being attentive and considerate of our clients will pay dividends for years to come

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 4 years ago

Sheri Sperry - MCNE®    A good shark repellent is critical for buyers.  It is the guarantee they will be serviced to their best interests.

Sharon Tara   And I'm sure you tamed the dorsal fins right off those sales people.

Endre Barath, Jr.   Pushy does not work for me, nor do I let it happen to my clients.  We never did finish that conversation

Andrew Mooers   I agree completely, but still think that was one sharp dresser

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 4 years ago

Hi Ed Silva 

I think most sales people have shark in them. Aggression can be ok when used in a positive manner

Posted by Doug Dawes, Your Personal Realtor® (Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA) almost 4 years ago

They can be!  I remember once stepping onto the car lot of a local auto dealership.  I looked up and immediately saw 3 salesmen headed my way from two different doors of the building.  They were so agressive with their spiel, that I finally put my hands in the air, like they were pointing guns at me and backed away!  

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) almost 4 years ago

CONGRATULATIONS Ed, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!    

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) almost 4 years ago

I agree Ed Silva  even if I need the service I will walk away from a pushy sales  agent

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) almost 4 years ago

LOVE LOVE LOVE Andrew Mooers sterling portrait of the consumate salesperson....

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 4 years ago

There is something in the blood that attracts them. We need sales-people repellent

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 4 years ago

I think the problem for some people is that they don't get paid for service - only for sales.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) almost 4 years ago

@Andrew shared a great photo for sure! I don't think anyone likes a pushy sales person in any industry. And sometimes you DO feel like prey...and I never want any prospect or client of mine to have that feeling!

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) almost 4 years ago

Service is the way to go. People really don't like "Sales People". It is all about your focus. Them vs. Me

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA almost 4 years ago

Well done Ed! All of us shy away from the aggressive shark who views us strictly as a sale or dollar amount. We have to take the sales out of the equation and think service

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 4 years ago

That's predatory sales indeed. I have no time for any of that in my life or in my business. Great article, Ed!

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) almost 4 years ago

Exactly! We have to provide for the needs and wants of customers when they need to be served. Kathy Streib

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) almost 4 years ago

Hi Ed  --- while I'm reading your post, the theme from "Jaws" keeps playing in my mind...You make some excellent points.  Unfortunately car sales people often receive a bad rap --- maybe they need a lobby or some better public relations representation.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 almost 4 years ago

Ed Silva - it's the perception and we can change it! By providing them very good service. (This is the Chief Operating Officer hat.)

And then ask for referrals. (And this is the CEO hat.)

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) almost 4 years ago

There are some very aggressive agents in our market. However, beware of the public image.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia III, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (RentVest) almost 4 years ago

So True!!!

While many of us receive our leads from either referrals or directly through our marketing, it is still the nature of the response that we give them that starts the relationship and if we are too pushy and aggressive we can cause them to be apprehensive towards us or even look to back away,

Posted by Sham Reddy CRS, CRS (H E R Realty, Dayton, OH) almost 4 years ago

Ed, great post! I am working with people that view most agents as sharks, thankfully they do not feel that way about me. 

Putting the dollar first is such a mistake IMHO. 

I have noticed lately a trend in the sales calls I am getting. I have had quite a few that actually hang up on me, no goodbye, nothing other than click, as I tell them I am not interested. 

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Ed.  Some sales folks certainly can be compared to sharks.  Though, the best will allow their customers to make an informed decision without pressure.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) almost 4 years ago

Exactly. We provide a service. I don't consider myself a "sales" person.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) almost 4 years ago

This is such a good point, Ed. Congratulations on the feature. I just spoke yesterday with someone who was referred to me to buy a home here in Charlotte. They are moving from Alabama and she made the "mistake" of leaving her contact information on a few agents' websites and was now being hounded for listing appointments. At the end of the day, I put her in touch with two top agents to interview who would not hard sell her or hound her.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Ed Silva,

Congratulations on your featured post..well deserved. Unfortunately there are those salespeople who are like a shark circling their prey!It's such a turnoff..no one likes to boxed in a corner and pressured to buy!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899) almost 4 years ago

Love this post and the scenario. Like the idea of letting clients know we are here to service thier needs rather than eat them up.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) almost 4 years ago

I hate shopping for a car just becuase of this Ed Silva. The only thing worse is trying to browse in a store and being followed by one  

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) almost 4 years ago

Hi Ed Silva , I'm afraid that to many people, we sales people are all sharks looking for their prey. It pays, for me to get to know the clients first, before putting them on the spot, unless they contact me first.

Posted by Larry Johnston, Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN (Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Ed, great post and glad it was featured, congratulations. I'm a service provider!

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate almost 4 years ago

Ed Silva - Congratulations on an excellent featured story! I enjoyed reading what you wrote and the lively conversation that followed via comments. I can't think of anyone who plans to swim with the sharks but that's what it feels like when I walk into a car dealership or most any store. You made excellent observations that will serve you well in your own business, and I learned a lot too! 


Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) almost 4 years ago

Hello Ed

Wonderful post, congrats on the gold star from the AR Gods and featured to the group:


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Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz almost 4 years ago

Hi Ed, I think they certainly can be like sharks. But, these kind of people rarely get steady business. If people are too hungry, it is clear that they are in it for themselves instead of for the end consumer and I believe they become very transparent.

Posted by Regina Minton, Real Estate Assistant almost 4 years ago

Ed, I like the concept of being a service provider. We really do, but I see a lot of sharks circling their prey in this business. 

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) almost 4 years ago

Ed, I agree that there is a difference between sales people and service providers. I've always seen myself ... not as a sales person ... but as a consultant and service provider.  Clients are my treasure ... they are more than a paycheck. 

Congratulations on the Feature!

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) almost 4 years ago

I think it is a shame that both in real estate sales and in lending even good salespeople occasionally act like sharks. Sometimes it's because other sharks are circling. in the end, relationships and being a counselor, not a salesperson, will always win out.

Posted by Matt Brady, The Mortgage Answer Man (Finance Of America) almost 4 years ago

Oh yes, this is so true.  This is also why I prefer inbound marketing.  When the customer/client finds and wants you, you are in a much better position and the relationship is stronger.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 4 years ago

Congratulations on a great post with an excellent analogy.  I truly think part of the approach of many agents is they see the buyer/seller as a paycheck.  If the house payment is due, they turn up the heat.  I have seen agents lie about a seller scenario to get a buyer to write a contract (seller lost his job and was transferred when that was NOT the case).  We need to keep our integrity and credibility.

Posted by Shirley Coomer, Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az (Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living) almost 4 years ago

Being hounded by a salesperson is never pleasant.  I do wonder if the high attrition rate in real estate is due to poor technique (such as you talked about) or because the market just can't sustain so many agents.  

Posted by Beth Bromund, REALTOR (248) 651-3500 (Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel) almost 4 years ago

Sad but true!!!

Pushy action can do just the opposite and push that potential client further away or even towards another agent.

Posted by Sham Reddy CRS, CRS (H E R Realty, Dayton, OH) almost 4 years ago

I make it a point to no be that pushy salesperson as it s huge turnoff for me. I think some do this as it's what they think this business should be or they are living from paycheck to paycheck. Huge turnoff.

Posted by Teri Pacitto, Real Estate, Your Style...Your Home...My Specialty (Compass) almost 4 years ago

Boy, it just brings back bad experiences from being at a car dealer! They literally jump on people coming in.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 4 years ago

Well said Ed...there seem to be many sharks in my Bay.

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

       You feel that way when you walk onto the lot of a car dealership, or step into a shoe store at the mall. 

      But in real estate, Buyers and Sellers should NOT feel like they are being circled by sharks!

Posted by Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

Once, a few years back, my seller and I agreed to let her listing expire in order to complete a much needed repair.  The day after it expired, agents started blowing up her phone.  Now this client wasn't know for tact and diplomacy and those agents got quite an earful from her.  She asked each and every one of them what day they had shown her house during the 2 months it was listed.  Not one. 

Posted by Jeanne Gregory, The most important home I sell is YOURS! (RE/MAX Southwest) almost 4 years ago

It's definitely a fine line to show the client that a sales person wants their business and being just a paycheck.  Obviously, those whom treat the client as a paycheck, don't typically stay in business for long.

Posted by Mike Bjork (SunWest Mortgage) almost 4 years ago

Unfortunately, RE sales people are just like sharks...they will say or do whatever they need to in order to snag the consumer.


Posted by Eve Alexander, Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers (Buyers Broker of Florida ) almost 4 years ago

There are those who think that high pressure sales is what it takes.

The consumers I work with would not agree. They have their pace and when they are ready they will look to the one who will provide personal service.

Our job is to be top of mind in a positive way so they remember to contact us when they are ready.

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA almost 4 years ago

A very good point.  I've watched those car salesmen and their approach to people walking into the dealership.  It's a very competitive environment and can be intimidating to most people!  If we do our job right and are informative versus sales-minded, it's a win win for everybody. 

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) almost 4 years ago

Most times than not agents who are desperate for business do that.  Those who have plenty business create their own demand and have a waiting list

Posted by Sham Reddy CRS, CRS (H E R Realty, Dayton, OH) almost 4 years ago

Many sales people are most certainly like sharks, forcing the potential clients to swim away. 

Posted by Melissa Spittel, "Achieving Results Together " (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 4 years ago

I think we've all seen this type of behavior at the car dealership. You can't drive onto the lot without sales people chasing you down. I hope Realtors are not perceived that way.

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) over 3 years ago