September 29

Aaron Rawlake Listening Is A Super Power


Aaron Rawlake has been a realtor for 8 years and is a co-owner at Century 21 Drive in Lloydminster SK, CAN. 

After a career in the banking industry Aaron seized the opportunity for a career change that allowed him to continue to follow his passion of connecting with people and helping them succeed.

Married to Trisha with two college aged children, Avery (21) and Aidan (18). Being a realtor allows Aaron to have the work/life balance everyone seeks. Active in the local spotting community, Aaron is the assistant coach of the Lakeland College Men's Volleyball team and Co-Chair of the 2024 Saskatchewan Summer Games which will see 2400 athletes and over 4000 volunteers come to Lloydminster for 10 days in July 2024.

[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]

Umar Hameed 0:01
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone! My name is Umar Hameed, I'm your host on The No Limits Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how you can become better, stronger, faster. Just before we get started, I've got a question for you, do you have a negative voice inside your head? We all do, right? I'm gonna help you remove that voice and under 30 days guaranteed, not only remove it, but transform it. So instead of the voice that sabotages you, there's one that propels you to much higher levels of performance and success. There's a link in the show notes, click on it to find out more. All right! Let's get started.

Umar Hameed 0:39
Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of The No Limits Selling Podcast. Today, we have Aaron, let's pronounce this right, Rawlake. That's an unusual name. Aaron, welcome to the program.

Aaron Rawlake 0:51
Thank you for having me. I'm excited to chat with you today. And, you know, as we get to know each other a little bit more and yeah, I'm just looking forward to it.

Umar Hameed 0:59
So tell me about Rawlake, what kind of name is that?

Aaron Rawlake 1:02
You know what, it's actually funny. My, my family roots are Romanian. Okay, really doesn't go much farther than when they came over to the country with, with kind of the gypsy influence through Romania so we haven't been able to track it further. But actually, when my family came here, we had a Romanian last name and my great grandfather, when they settled up north of where I am, a place called Pearson Saskatchewan, when they registered to get their, their land and my they were going to run a business. So they changed their name to lead to something that would attract. Yeah, well, that would attract the, the indigenous population here so.

Umar Hameed 1:44
That's what it sounds like. That's what I thought it was actually one of those names.

Aaron Rawlake 1:47
Yeah, so it really is that way. So my, my family, my cousins and I kind of joke when people come across others with the exact same spelling.

Umar Hameed 1:57

Aaron Rawlake 1:57
It is 100% guaranteed they that we are related. So you know, it's worked out well, for us being somewhat unique. Not like a you know, Joe Smith or anything like that.

Umar Hameed 2:08
Yeah, absolutely. So by any chance, have you ever eaten a Chinese gooseberry?

Aaron Rawlake 2:08
I have not.

Umar Hameed 2:08
So this stuff is not selling at all. So some marketing guy goes, "This shit ain't selling. Let's change the name of it. Let's call it a Kiwi. Ta..da.." Everyone knows a Kiwi.

Aaron Rawlake 2:23
Yeah, that's okay.

Umar Hameed 2:26
Kiwi. You know why I really want to see the Chinese gooseberry? So marketing and naming things is magical.

Aaron Rawlake 2:33
So that is I'm so glad you told me that story. One of the one of the my little roles on the side as a volunteer is I actually am an assistant coach with a, with a college volleyball team here...

Umar Hameed 2:44
Love it.

Aaron Rawlake 2:45
...and with aformer player. We have a we had a former player that was from Australia, and we have a brand new recruit from New Zealand. So that will be the first thing I'm asking them tonight is if they've had a...

Umar Hameed 2:56
Chinese gooseberry?

Aaron Rawlake 2:57
Chinese gooseberry.

Umar Hameed 2:58
So thank you for being on the program today. And I'm not sure if I should share this with the world but he's a reformed banker. So you went from banking to real estate? So what was the advantage of that? Because certainly, you know, it, there's lots of advantages coming from that industry to this because money is a really big part of this, but also having relationships and selling is critical in being a banker. So talk to me about the transition and what skills became highly useful and what insights from banking helped you be a better realtor?

Aaron Rawlake 3:30
Wow. When I kind of took the foray into banking I progressed pretty quickly and I was lucky to be in the in a situation that really believed in, in are the people understanding the entirety of the role. So I spent some time working in the frontline as they call it a member service rep you know, a teller as most people call it.

Umar Hameed 3:50

Aaron Rawlake 3:51
And then into the lending side of things and then through to managing and dealing with, you know, investments and all that but through it all, it was a real customer service experience. That was that was probably the biggest thing. And, and more so than, than anything, you know, you kind of get into that habit of, you know, what can I do for you? But I found it much more valuable to, to progress from that to ask that question and then listen. Everybody had their unique needs, especially when I got into the lending side of it. It is you know, listening to what they had and their their reasons and why they wanted to do what they did. Now I dealt with a lot of businesses and farms and especially from that is is really working with people to talk long term. It's not just you know, "I need 20 grand to buy a car," wow, that's that's really simple. But when you when I started dealing with farmers and business owners it's, "Let's talk right now. Let's talk three years. Let's talk five years, let's talk retirement and build that, that holistic view of what we're going to need to do." And that took a really for me a refinement of my listening skills to understand what was important to them and how we could, you know, work together to make that happen. And granted, it's making sometimes it's a no, but, but when you can really dig into it and understand their passion.

Umar Hameed 5:21
So let's step back a little bit around listening. Because that is a superpower and most people have the illusion that they're good listeners.

Aaron Rawlake 5:29
You're right, Umar. Like, that's the biggest thing we talk about in our in now in real estate in our sales meetings all the time. Telling is not selling.

Umar Hameed 5:39
Yeah, of course.

Aaron Rawlake 5:39
You're not gonna, you're not gonna tell someone, you know, the more someone tells me I have to do something or buy something, it's my nature. And I think a lot of people's just to kind of push back. But be able to listen and understand. And, you know, you can call it empathizing, you know, getting into the stepping into their shoes, walk a mile in my shoes, all those types of things, but but comprehending what and why things need to happen for them.

Umar Hameed 6:07
Absolutely. Because I think it's not only listening to what they're saying, it's how they're saying it.

Aaron Rawlake 6:11

Umar Hameed 6:11
And as I was watching you and watching your eye movements in just a short sentence you did, you checked into your feeling state two, three times, and you checked into visual recall two, three times. And also sometimes I can talk to somebody on the phone, and I can go, "What's going on?" Because there's a slight change in their tonality.

Aaron Rawlake 6:32

Umar Hameed 6:32
Like, "How do you know something's going on?" It's like, "I can hear it clearly in your voice." And so I think, dear listeners and viewers, if there's one thing you need to do is to improve your listening skills. And here's a couple of ways to do that. Number one, so I'm going to use you as my as my guinea pig, if I may. So Aaron, I'm going to speak a few sentences. And I'd like you to hear them. And I'd like you to repeat it inside your head as I'm saying it.

Aaron Rawlake 6:59

Umar Hameed 7:00
Ready. I am a terrible volleyball player but I get a lot of joy when I play it. So as I said that, will you repeating it inside your head.

Aaron Rawlake 7:10
I was with, with a secondary voice saying, "This guy's crazy."

Umar Hameed 7:13
Of course, we got a third thing going on. And here's the question, did you hear it in my voice when you repeat it? Or in your voice?

Aaron Rawlake 7:20
I heard it in your voice.

Umar Hameed 7:21
So isn't that interesting? If there were 10 people there, there'll be 60% would have heard it in my voice. And 40% would have heard it in their voice. Here's what that little trick does. What that little trick does is this, is that when I'm listening to you, you talk too slowly, because my brain is way faster than your speaking speed. And that allows me to think of, "What am I having for lunch today?" And, "Is this interview gotta be over?" "Is this guy crazy?" like that voice that came up for you. And so when I give my brain something to do, repeat what you say number one, it focuses me on what you're saying. So it forces me to listen. Number two, since I'm repeating it inside my head, I'm actually learning it a different way. So it goes in deeper. And the third thing to do is, watch my lips as I'm speaking. And then also gives you something to do and the byproduct of that is this, is right now I can tell you 100% paying attention to me. So a lot of times you're looking at someone, but when thinking about other stuff, they can sense it. So hopefully dear viewers and listeners listening is a superpower. Here's a couple of ways to do it. And Aaron, you are right, this guy is cray-cray.

Aaron Rawlake 7:21
Well, two peas in a pod today then.

Umar Hameed 7:24
Excellent. So you bring the banking skills in inserting this. So one of the things I find with bankers, bankers will say, "Hey, man, I'm a banker. I'm not a salesperson," as if sales is a bad thing, and if you're a banker and you don't sell, you're getting fired. So why do you think sales is a bad word in our society? Because without salespeople, nothing happens. No ideas go forward. No nonprofits move forward, no cures for cancer happen and no houses get sold. So why do you think sales has become a bad word when it really isn't?

Aaron Rawlake 8:58
I think it is this an old school ideology of almost like the the door to door you know, salesman that's trying to sell you the, I mean.

Umar Hameed 9:07
Vacuum cleaner [garbled].

Aaron Rawlake 9:08
You'll understand what I mean. And I have an older but I mean the the person at the door trying to push the Encyclopedia Britannica on you.

Umar Hameed 9:16
Just before we go forward, pause right there. I've got a client, he sells vacuums door to door and there's a whole community of people in North America that sell that door to door and they make a fabulous living on it.

Aaron Rawlake 9:28

Umar Hameed 9:29
So that is not dead. You think it would be, but it is not. But please go on. So that old door to door, sleazy salesperson kind of mentality.

Aaron Rawlake 9:36
You hear it and, and I have some wonderful friends that are in the business and are very great at it. But you always hear the stories and the cliches on the movies, you know, the slimy car salesman's and things like that. And unfortunately, I think when you deal with sales when you have a bad sales experience, that tends to just become forefront over any positive or excellent sales experiences that you've had. And I think we just keep defaulting back to kind of the worst case scenario that it's always going to be bad.

Umar Hameed 10:10
You tell that story. You tell that bad story more times than you tell a good story.

Aaron Rawlake 10:14
You do. And, and I think sometimes people just don't feel that they have a, they built up a trust with, with many people that are selling, which is, you know, the inherent part of our business is, if, if people don't trust you, why should they do do business with you?

Umar Hameed 10:29
Absolutely. And I think what you mentioned, when we started, this whole conversation was listening. And when I listened to and pay attention to you, that is the first foundational piece of building trust between us. Because one thing in this society, I can guarantee, so a good example is you have somebody that quits a company. And on the exit interview, when HR does it, one of the common things that they hear is, "My manager just didn't listen to me," or we had these meetings, but the guy or gal was checked out doing something else. Or it's like a, "Really, let me check my phone when I'm talking to you." Not that blatantly but people were checked out. And I think people are craving that connection with other human beings because sometimes they don't even get it at home, there's a beautiful picture of your significant other behind you. I bet if I had a chance to talk to her, sometimes it's your husband, they are not fully there. When he's watching TV, "I have to do this," you know, that's my, my wife, we do that. Guilty. And it's just human nature. And part of that is most of us are in a trance most of the time. We've all done, we're driving down the street, and we don't remember the last time exits. We were there at one level paying attention. But at another level, we were thinking about the new deal, my beautiful wife, my amazing kids, and so but when you give someone the honor of attending to them, and being there for them, that's love man. When you do it with someone you love, it goes deep on it's a stranger...

Aaron Rawlake 11:48

Umar Hameed 11:49
...builds connection.

Aaron Rawlake 11:50
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, it's funny, just to kind of dovetail on that we actually had a conversation the other day about, you know, with everything changing, you know, with what, you know, the pandemic did, and things like that is how to adjust dealing and, and connecting with people, electronically, whether it's the phone, and even techniques to connect with them personally, when you when you deal solely with text messages and things. And, you know, for us in the area we live in, we're very, you know, rural area. And, you know, thankfully for us, we were the majority of our people still still love and appreciate the value of a handshake the face to face connection, and we make a real effort to make that part of our business is, is to connect with people personally, you know, reach out, shake their hand and have a real conversation with them. I mean, I love connecting with my clients on a, on a personal level and really finding out you know about them and what makes makes them tick and, you know, it works out great for me, because repeat businesses is a huge part of what we do and and if you don't connect with them, you're not going to repeat with them.

Umar Hameed 12:58
Absolutely, I think in our short time together, I've probably got three legitimate compliments, I could give you that I've noticed in our small interaction. And I don't want to make you blush, you know. So when we meet people, if you're open to just noticing who they are, and if you can give them an authentic, legitimate compliment, not to, "Oh, they'll like me," not with intent of I'm gonna get something out of the, just by noticing them and just pointing one thing out, you start building that connection and whether they buy from you or not doesn't make a difference. It's if you have the agenda, "Hey, I'm gonna get Aaron to buy something from me," you can sense that, like there's a transactional nature to his kindness.

Aaron Rawlake 13:40

Umar Hameed 13:40
One is just like one human to another. So how long have you been in the real estate side of things?

Aaron Rawlake 13:44
I've been in for eight years.

Umar Hameed 13:46
Eight years. And tell me about one of the lessons you learned in your journey in real estate that's was transformational in you as a human being just being a better person, better agent. But did you have one of those experiences where you just kind of went, "Huh," and it was like a before that event and then after that event kind of situation?

Aaron Rawlake 13:46
For me it was, I was really lucky when I came into the business. I came in, under, under the mentorship of a realtor that had been really ingrained in our community for 30 years so.

Umar Hameed 14:20
Let's give them some kudos. who was that?

Aaron Rawlake 14:21
Yeah. So it was Connie Kempton. You know she was, my still to this day I mean, she's my real estate mom. She's been long retired but if I call she answers and, and you know, having someone that has your back and is in your corner to give you that, that experience. And she was really good at knowing when she had to kind of guide me and then also really good at knowing when and when she needed to push me out of, out of the nest. So it was, it was, it was really good and really my moment was with the assistance from her where you know, you had clients out. And sometimes you kind of get caught spinning your tires, we've been to multiple places, things like that. And it was, we were at a bit of a stall. And the comment she made to me was, "Have you asked the question?" you know what. And that's where I really had to start to learn to refine my listening skills. But it coincided with my, my asking skills to really [garbled].

Umar Hameed 14:21
Have you asked the question like, have you asked the question? Was there a specific question?

Aaron Rawlake 14:34
It was, it was really digging into wants versus needs, you know, like, people say, "Well, I want two bedrooms, I want two bathrooms," "Well, but let's weigh your wants and needs." And then just the simple question is, "Is this the house for you?" Or, or, "Is this the place for you?" and kind of getting to the point not being pushy, but, but really learning how to get them to think about it. And that was, that was the biggest one is asking the question. And whether that question is, like I said, that, you know, "Is this the place for you?" or, or prompting them to express their feelings. A lot of people don't want to really, you know, kind of spew what's in their head and, and prompting that and so, so asking without, without telling was was the biggest thing for me.

Umar Hameed 16:16
So before we started recording, you told me you had two kids like in their teens, 20s, who is the oldest?

Aaron Rawlake 16:24
Our daughter Avery is 21.

Umar Hameed 16:26
So I want you to just for a moment, remember the first time you held Avery in your arms.

Aaron Rawlake 16:34
Yeah. Yeah, that was it's an eye opening moment for any of you that have ever had that first child. That's I'm generally a pretty talkative guy but I didn't have I was pretty speechless when, when you think oh, what the...?

Umar Hameed 16:48
So A, thank you for sharing that and B, by me asking that one simple question, like your face is flushed.

Aaron Rawlake 16:53

Umar Hameed 16:54
You went back to that. So when we ask questions, we have the ability to change someone's brain chemistry. Just think about that frickin' statements right there.

Aaron Rawlake 17:03

Umar Hameed 17:03
And the questions that we asked, one of the questions I ask is, or I would ask is, you know, "Is this the home for you?" And whatever that answer is, the second question could be depending on the answer, "What would make it the home for you?" and that also gets them to think, and then they kind of go, "[Garbled] it's not the home for me," "What would make it the home for you?" then they're gonna go, "You know, if the bedroom was a little bigger, or this was happening," just that kind of stuff is. So not only listening is helping your clients get insights, because oftentimes, people don't know what the frick they're talking about, they have a concept of it, and you being a great salesperson, if you can get them to get clarity on what they're thinking is huge. That's such a value add thing that you can do, and you've got the power to do that.

Aaron Rawlake 17:48
Yeah, you know, I reflect back to a time where I keep the oddest things in my vehicle for especially showing homes and had some clients for where we are, you know, we've got some glorious sunsets and a west facing backyard. And, you know, we're showing this, this house, you know, late fall, so for us the sunsets, you know, 8:30 type of thing at that time and beautiful evening. And oh, you know, pretty convenient that I've got a couple of lawn chairs, the house was vacant. And...

Umar Hameed 18:17
Love it.

Aaron Rawlake 18:18
...you know, let's let's just sit on the deck. And you know, what, can you picture yourself just sitting here in the evening looking at the view. And, you know, I remember the husband, he looks at me, and he smirks and he says, "You dirty bastard." They were, they were, they were all in but you don't want them, you know, here we are, you know, 60 days later and, and I get a photo from them where they've completed the yard and they put a hot tub in and everything looks fabulous. And they sent me a picture from from that same spot where we were sitting. And just say...

Umar Hameed 18:52
Hey, I love what you did. And I love that guy.

Aaron Rawlake 18:54
Yeah. They just said you know what, "Thank you. We love it here."

Umar Hameed 18:57
So kind of reminds me. In where I used to live, Baltimore is really close to DC. And they've got the Strathmore is this amazing house for opera and music and breathtaking. And I met the guy whose brainchild it was. And what he ended up doing was getting an architectural drawings on what it would look like from one of the balconies.

Aaron Rawlake 19:17

Umar Hameed 19:17
And he ordered two of the seats that were actually going to be installed. And remember those things, you know, you're old enough to remember when he went to a record store, they had this plastic dome where the sound would just [garbled].

Aaron Rawlake 19:28
Yeah, yeah.

Umar Hameed 19:29
He got two those setup. And he would get donors coming in to his office. He'd get them to sit on those chairs. He had this board with what it would look like, and they would hear the music and they raised $100 million to build that thing.

Aaron Rawlake 19:41

Umar Hameed 19:41
So your two deck chairs. Genius.

Aaron Rawlake 19:44

Umar Hameed 19:44
And certainly the guy went you dirty bastard. In which case, you know, that's a compliment. But really what you were doing was, let me help you because at the end of the day, it's all about emotions.

Aaron Rawlake 19:54
Let me help you feel it.

Umar Hameed 19:55
Yeah, let me help you feel it. And the feeling could have been like, "Oh, that's really nice. But you know, this is in the [garbled]," could have been a very legitimate thing for them to say. But this thing just grounded them in what they really want to buy. And so that's twice today, you know, applause for you. That's like totally genius, my friend. So one of the questions I ask people is this Aaron is that, Aaron five years ago sucked compared to Aaron that sitting before me, but five years from now, you're going to be more amazing than, than you are right now. So what are you doing to learn to grow? Like, what are the areas that you're focusing on to let the more amazing Aaron show up?

Aaron Rawlake 20:31
Open senses. And we're going to extrapolate on that with keeping my eyes open, keeping my ears open.

Umar Hameed 20:40

Aaron Rawlake 20:41
My feelings open, you know, not being afraid, it's gonna sound silly, not being afraid to, to steal. Intellectual property is probably the most valuable thing that we have, and...

Umar Hameed 20:54

Aaron Rawlake 20:54
...being able to look at different sides. And, you know, being open to just views, viewpoints and, and how they...

Umar Hameed 21:01
It's genius.

Aaron Rawlake 21:05
...reflect to you. And, you know, not to, I consider myself you know, I'm not this side, this side, and not to bring politics into it, like, kind of ride the middle, understand both sides. And, and, and, you know, perspective is...

Umar Hameed 21:21
Perspective is so important.

Aaron Rawlake 21:22
Yeah. And, and, you know, that's the nice thing, one of the things I'm lucky to do is I end up a lot of time at you know, I'm in a vehicle, I'm a realtor, I drive around a lot. So, so find those, find those podcasts, find those points of view, and listen to them. And sometimes you might, you may not like them. But I've always, that was the one thing I had to commit myself to was, okay, I may not like what I'm hearing, but I'm going to listen to it, and I'm going to hear it out, to try to understand it, and then, you know, move on, move on to another one. Podcast is probably helped me the most, I'm not a big reader, I can't sit...

Umar Hameed 21:46

Aaron Rawlake 21:54
...and read a book and but I can listen. So so, you know, I've really liked that aspect of things, you know, technology has helped me, me a lot, but also just meeting people. You know, and seeing how people work. I love spending time with especially a lot of our corporate clients is, is just get a sense of, hey, you know, spend some time at their business and see how it works. My wife works in the education field, and I get to chat with a lot of teachers and kind of listen in on how they.

Umar Hameed 22:34
Oh, love it.

Aaron Rawlake 22:35
How they deal with with today's young people, you know, right from, you know, five to 18 years old, and that gives me a perspective on, on the young kids coming up. I really pay attention especially to my daughter's age, you know, that, that, that kind of 21 year old group, they're coming out of college in university and and they're going to be our next set of clients and and really getting a sense of how they look at the world and deal with the world. I mean, they, they do things that we never, we don't comprehend. I mean, yeah, staying on top of trends in technology, that's one of the greatest gifts my kids have given me without knowing it.

Umar Hameed 23:16
Brilliant. So Aaron, when you listen to this broadcast again, go back to when you were doing that last day when we were talking about listening.

Aaron Rawlake 23:23

Umar Hameed 23:24
And when you talked about stealing, like ideas from other people.

Aaron Rawlake 23:27

Umar Hameed 23:27
A, you got emotional but B, your tonality changed right there because it was not doing something bad. It was like something sacred. So Aaron, thanks for being on the show today. I really, really enjoyed our conversation and keep up the good work.

Aaron Rawlake 23:41
Umar, thanks so much for having me. It's, it's been a great conversation and light me given, given me some that, some things to think about and learn from even though I'm having the conversation with you. So best of luck to you. And thanks again for having me on today.

Umar Hameed 23:56
My pleasure. I'm looking forward to our next conversation.

Umar Hameed 24:03
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there, that's going to teach you some insights from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.


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