Colleen started her professional career as a sophomore in college while earning her Bachelor’s in marketing. She was recruited by Vector Marketing, a subsidiary of the Cutco Corporation. Very quickly, Colleen realized she had an important skill- she could sell. Colleen was able to travel through earned incentive trips, hone her sales skills and earn six figures while selling Cutco knives to consumers for 5 years.
In 2013, she made a shift in her business and started to focus on selling Cutco to Realtors as closing gifts. She then achieved Hall of Fame status and sold over $2 million of Cutco, making her one of the best in Cutco history.
As she spent her time with Realtors and affiliates alike, she started to realize there wasn’t a platform that brought the real estate community together across brokerage lines.
In 2017, Baltimore Real Producers was launched. BRP is a platform that curates connections and collaborations between the top producing Realtors and affiliates in central Maryland. This is accomplished primarily via telling stories in our monthly print & digital magazine, hosting regular events, and a private Facebook community.
This year, Baltimore Real Producers received the “Best Content Award”. BRP is Woman and Queer owned.
Currently, Colleen lives in Baltimore City with her wife Jilleien (and Editor-in-Chief of Baltimore Real Producers magazine) with their spoiled puppy Petey. Most of their spare time is spent running their nonprofit Love and Lunches, which serves to feed the homeless and hungry of Baltimore City on a weekly basis.
- @colleenrippey for IG/FB/Tiktok
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[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]
Umar Hameed 0:00
This is a very special episode of The No Limits Selling Podcast, I got a chance to sit down with the owner and publisher of real producers, Colleen Rippey. Colleen Rippey works with realtors and all the ancillary services. She's a facilitator, and she's someone who's always perfecting her craft. It's a great conversation. It's going to start in a minute. One of the things I'm excited about is I've released my Neuro Boosterz app. It's software for the mind. It allows salespeople to access peak states of performance, whenever and wherever they want. So basically, they get to decide how they show up at work and in life. Enjoy the episode.
Umar Hameed 0:45
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello, everyone. This is Umar Hameed, your host and welcome to the No Limits Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how to make you better, stronger, faster. Get ready for another episode.
Umar Hameed 1:14
Publisher and owner of Real producers. Welcome to the show.
Colleen Rippey 1:19
Thank you, Umar. I'm super excited. This is great.
Umar Hameed 1:22
We got to be at Roland park in nature, there's a waterfall behind us, there's people enjoying the day and we get to play sharing ideas.
Colleen Rippey 1:32
I know it's it's amazing. I said when I walked in here this is the only way podcast should be done period.
Colleen Rippey 1:37
Yeah. So if you hear bird, lions roaring?
Umar Hameed 1:42
Knoew,we're live. So Colleen, you work with the real estate community.
Colleen Rippey 1:47
Umar Hameed 1:48
And that is primarily eat what you kill. So these are sales people that live on commission and die on commission. And some sales agent are phenomenal and others are good, but they never achieve greatness. You met hundreds of these people, what do you think is the difference between the great ones and the ones that?
Colleen Rippey 2:15
I love that. And yeah, we've told a lot of stories within our magazine and different platforms and avenues for them to share insights and their perspectives and learnings throughout their careers. And honestly, a great task would be for me to actually unpack and debrief some themes for that, but even just on the top of my head, the most obvious one, which, you know, would be no surprise to anyone listening, because it's like, duh, but it helps us to hear sometimes is that like, the work ethic, I mean, that I think is at the Foundation, wanting and being willing to work hard. If you eat what you kill. That means You have to go out there and earn it every day. I actually had a job before I was in a commission based business. And I found out literally just in reflection probably at the time I didn't think this about myself but I actually was the worst type of employee because I wasn't really motivated knowing that I was going to get paid either way. So I think a huge benefit of being on in commission which I which I now am and forever will be, is knowing that I have to go out there and earn every single commission and work my butt off to get that
Umar Hameed 3:36
Colleen Rippey 3:36
I was, I was, I was, I was making sure I didn't you know, for the kiddos listening, I want to make sure I'm sensitive to that. So, so yeah, working hard having the discipline and I think it goes without saying again, talking about work ethic, but consistency, right because I think what the essence of real estate and a lot of commission based jobs, even me selling Cutco knives. It can be very seasonal, and it Maybe not seasonal based on like, the actual seasons of the year, but it's peaks and valleys. Right? And you know, you could have a hot month where you sell a ton of homes. And it's so easy from a psychological standpoint to feel very fat and happy quote unquote.
Umar Hameed 4:15
Colleen Rippey 4:16
Exactly. And not prospecting.
Umar Hameed 4:18
So let'sbacktrack a little bit.
Colleen Rippey 4:19
Umar Hameed 4:20
So everybody on the planet knows that if you work harder, that you're gonna succeed me kind of suck at it. You put in enough work, you're gonna get enough closes. But the reality is that average realtors, let's say, will only work so hard, and then they'll stop. And super successful ones will keep on going no matter how successful they are. And so that's a mindset issue.
Colleen Rippey 4:49
Umar Hameed 4:50
So the mindset determines how hard you work.
Colleen Rippey 4:52
Umar Hameed 4:53
And so, what do you think is the makeup of people that just don't give up?
Colleen Rippey 5:00
It's brilliant. I from I guess, personal experience, because I'm, I feel like that's one of the things in life that I'm personally always in search of is like what makes people tick what causes people to reach those upper echelons of success and that's not necessarily success defined by money per se can be but whatever they we perceive as success in life and just happiness being happy. And I think like, what separates a lot of people from the in terms of like, their mindset is having a strong, why, like a reason to work harder, because I think that's what, at least in my opinion, and the times in my life where I've worked the hardest, it's because I had something bigger than myself, or something that I've identified as a far reaching goal that's beyond just that commission or whatever that propelled me to work through The valleys, because otherwise you will give up or at least even slow down when things get hard.
Umar Hameed 6:05
Absolutely. I think having that reason to keep on going, but that why reason is almost become a cliche,
Colleen Rippey 6:12
Umar Hameed 6:13
because people go through, "I know my why now," and you're still not gonna do anything.
Colleen Rippey 6:17
Umar Hameed 6:18
Because it's beyond that, and it's not so much one of those, it's almost like fashionable to have like, a why,
Colleen Rippey 6:28
Umar Hameed 6:28
And this is a true you because I think there's three versions of who we are as a version, we show the outside world. "Look at me, I'm a hard worker, I'm pretty amazing." And then we have this internal version of ourselves, this is who I think I am. And then we have the actual us and I think most people never figure out the actual us. A lot of people that achieve greatness. They actually are that gives them that foundation and that strength to keep on going because you know who you are and what your purposeis, I think that's a true why as supposed to, what sounds cool and fashionable.
Colleen Rippey 7:04
Right. Like, Oh, I just, I want to buy a house so I'm going to work really hard, because that used to be like that was something I was taught in Cutco. They're like have a strong why and like you said, it's so cliche, I've heard it over and over again. And it's not that, you know, buying a house or buying or having a goal and income goal to buy something isn't motivating, but that's still temporary, right? Because then when you buy the house, then what?
Umar Hameed 7:24
And it's like, "Well, I need a better house,
Colleen Rippey 7:28
Umar Hameed 7:29
Or I need a better car or I need a better spouse." If I had a more supportive sexy spouse, then that would change everything,
Colleen Rippey 7:36
Umar Hameed 7:36
Colleen Rippey 7:38
Yeah, yeah. I, at least for myself, because I'm on this journey, too. And by no means arrived or, or feel like I'm always in total alignment. It's a constant evolution that I'm trying to identify within myself. But I feel like, at least at this point in my life, I'm starting to figure out and on earth what my true passions are and like you said, like, doing some level of self reflection, to then have a level of self awareness to know who I am, what I'm about what brings me joy. And just to do more of that, because I'm really only recently within the last like year, realize that another cliche is true that money isn't happiness. And that's something that if anyone said, Is this true in the past, I would have been like, of course, it's not true, whatever. But talk is cheap, because I was living a life that was still propelling me towards some vision of, "Oh, when I achieve this much wealth, or status or influence, then I'll be happy," but I found myself not happier when I kept getting to new levels. And that's when I really had to take a step back and be like, what, what do I actually want out of this life?
Umar Hameed 8:52
And most people never ever take the time to do that.
Colleen Rippey 8:55
Umar Hameed 8:56
Or it's just a fleeting thought and a kind of a cliche answer, but I was just working with someone else. This is more like a one on one session yesterday at another Park. And so if you're gonna do like a therapeutic session, why not do it in nature,
Colleen Rippey 9:10
Umar Hameed 9:10
And so for this person that was helping them uncover their purpose in life, which they uncovered and then it was like, your deepest values and criteria in every aspect of their lives, they got a chance to get, "This is what I want in my marriage, in my work, in my relationship, with my Maker, with myself physically. And just knowing that gives you the foundation you need to move forward.
Colleen Rippey 9:35
Umar Hameed 9:35
Coz you never know what that is. Yeah. So going back to sales, because this is the no limit selling podcast is you've reached different levels of performance. What was a really valuable lesson that you learned along the way that served you really well?
Colleen Rippey 9:54
The first thing that pops in my mind is a lesson I learned in a Through selling Cutco and that was four years once I when I started selling Cutco because I I sold Cutco for like a decade, believe it or not, and what they teach in Cutco. I'm not gonna say it's wrong because I have to say like Cutco has some of the best foundational training of sales reps and some of the greatest salespeople I know, whether it's real estate, or loan officers, or people I admire, like how Elrod who've written best selling books and thought leaders. A lot of them actually started in Cutco. But something that they teach in, in training is you know, follow the manual and show the client the options and make sure you show them all the options and make sure you start with the biggest option and then you drop down. I'm not saying that's wrong. Because it works really well you know, like you start with the giant $2,000 set If you had jumped from there and started with a smaller option, they would have never known the bigger one existed and you're prejudging them and assuming maybe they wouldn't buy anything. And or buy that and then you would kind of then sell them something smaller. But so while that's I'm not necessarily saying that's not true, because there's elements of that, that I still use today, because I think that's a foundational training or foundational sales piece. But something that I learned through doing that, it was I had to finally reconcile within myself that through a lot of reflection and all like number of years realizing that I was kind of more of a push salesman, sales woman than like a magnetic pole sales woman where to me, rather than it kind of applies in a number of different ways, but rather than like pushing different options on people, and that was just one example of it like how I dropped down basically flipped And being more inquisitive. And this is kind of I think, the New Age way of selling, I think we've seen an evolution in how sales are done, honestly, it's not like the used car salesmen, push, push push, it's basically high pressure is what I'm saying. I used to be very high pressure. And it actually worked, but I had...
Umar Hameed 12:16
Nice. That send you a lot of pressure.
Colleen Rippey 12:17
Yeah, exactly, yeah. Yeah, they had opened from the start. They were scared. But yeah, I was, I did, and it was very subtle pressure, like, but I had some cancellations because of that, you know, the data actually showed, like, you know, if they canceled soon after, that's a sign, you know, they weren't totally comfortable. But I was competitive, and I wanted to sell the most and I wanted the recognition. I wanted all the things that came along with being the top person in my office and in the whole country. So that's how I was but then I soon learned that I'd have more long term success when I flipped it from being a transactional salesperson to a relationship salesperson, which along with that came more approach of asking questions. Listening to the client getting way more information on the front end, before I would even show them options and then I may not sell something huge in a situation but I would gain their trust and I'd leave with a sale that day rather than probably nothing. Yeah, that stuck or a yes that turned to a no. Exactly.
Umar Hameed 13:21
Brilliant. What's interesting is sometimes when you learn something that's useful, then we come back to it later on, and we realized how much more powerful and really was like you kind of get this because you've changed. You appreciate that technique a lot more.
Colleen Rippey 13:37
Umar Hameed 13:45
Colleen Rippey 13:47
Totally. Yeah. I that's exactly how I feel about when I was selling Cutco like it for a number of years because I was still I started when I was 20. So I was still young, impressionable, just kind of doing what they told me to do. And then you start to learn just through experience like not only what actually works, because you know you want to sell you want to make money, but then you gain I feel like I gained a level of empathy working with people and it wasn't like they were just a number to me was like I wanted to actually do right by them for the sake of it, which ultimately also ends up putting more money in our pockets. So it's it's a win win relationship.
Umar Hameed 14:30
Colleen Rippey 14:34
Yeah, exactly. It's the same in real estate. And the ones who that's another to your original question like what separates the greatness I think what I just said, is a huge factor. The ones who are super successful treat truly treat this not all talk because everybody would say they're in the business of building relationships but actually doing this taking the steps to make that a reality showing loving on your clients. Just at the closing table when you're getting paid, not even just, I mean, one step, even just beyond 90% is even doing something a year later, you know, like keeping in touch with them sending them a gift in their one year anniversary. I mean, there's so many things they can do. And this applies to any business but in real estate in this example, like sending your clients gifts, and being proactive about showing them that you love and appreciate them.
Umar Hameed 15:23
So let me ask you a question, there are realtors that same philosophy and other people fall short, who's someone that comes to mind that did a really good transition from being a solo person? And then they built a team that basically has that same feel and caring connection with their minds?
Colleen Rippey 15:55
Wow, that's a great question. I'm like, I'm going through like my mental roll of decks because there's so many and probably people are gonna be listening to this like, why didn't you say me?
Umar Hameed 16:07
Umar Hameed 16:07
Yeah, exactly. Um, well, you know, somebody that actually we both know. And he's on my mind because I just actually got an amazing connection referral from him by email today, Mike Schiff. And, and I know every every team has some level of turnover. So I don't necessarily think that that's, you know, I don't even know to what degree they've had turnover, but still, from what I've perceived both him and Jen and the culture that they've created in their team, it sticks and I watched their Instagram stories, I don't know how much you follow. You know what they're up to that. That's, I mean, from talking to them and watching that, like you can just get a vibe that they, they, they get it done, they get business done, and that's the priority, but they also have so much fun together, like just playing different games together and doing activities. Together outside of business, like getting together, it's a family. Yeah. So I think modeling that within their own organization, it just has this inherent teaching within it, that that's how you also treat your clients and they model it with themselves. And then they go out and they do it. And I saw them, do client appreciation events all together. And so like, like they can all participate in it with their clients and bring them all it's like this giant team appreciation. And it's things like that, like teams, the teams that come to mind are ones that I'm thinking that like any boss or Zack, she has an amazing team culture and it's mostly women except I think her husband and like,
Umar Hameed 17:41
This guy in the background, the pictures, I think [garbled]
Colleen Rippey 17:42
Yeah, yeah. But But yeah, it's a bunch of badass girls and are women not girls, but they're, they're killing it. And everybody that I can think of like, they have an amazing team culture, but they also have learned and started continuing addition to love on their clients in a variety of ways,
Umar Hameed 18:03
Colleen Rippey 18:03
hosting events, it's hard now with COVID going on, but bringing people together face to face, which again builds long term relationships.
Umar Hameed 18:11
Absolutely. And I that's one of the marks of a great leader is, inspire people to let go of their own limitations and go to the right [garbled] maintain those customer relationships, all the things that made me successful in the hearts and minds of their, their administrators to their agents.
Colleen Rippey 18:33
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's not something that's necessarily easy to do, which is why I think the majority of agents out there have a hard time making that transition and and building a team I mean, for a number of different reasons. And some of them don't really want to manage people. Yeah, they just want to worry about their own their own business.
Umar Hameed 18:59
It's kind of interesting. I saw this show a long time ago, it was about founders of great companies, the ones that got to a certain level, and continue doing what they were doing but they hired someone to take over the business. And so one of the companies that was a spreadsheet can be called Lotus 123. That was like, around long time ago. And they were like the 800 pound gorilla. And they found funding said, you know, hey, I want to be an engineering coding. So I'm gonna hire a professional CEO to run the company and do all that stuff. And I'm gonna just go play where I want to play, because I'm holding the company back and not having fun being confident and comfortable enough to go, Hey, I'm a creative. I'm not like a guy that runs force myself to do it.
Colleen Rippey 19:52
Umar Hameed 19:53
There were other people that were holding the company back by just you know, I'm the boss. I'm doing everything and [garbled]
Colleen Rippey 19:58
I feel like that, probably the more common reaction because it takes a humility to do that, especially when it's your baby If you built it from the ground up.
Umar Hameed 20:07
What is one area that you're working on to make Colleen 2.0 [garbled] to get better at?
Colleen Rippey 20:16
The main focus for me right now, which kind of detracts from business. I can talk about a business one, if that was your goal, or just anything. And my relationship with my wife, Jill, and that has a ripple effect to really all my relationships, because that's the most important one. And there's so much I could say because, you know, I'm one that's I'm, I'm all about therapy and unpacking things like we're we've been doing zoom couples therapy during COVID. And that's been a game changer and really amazing. But, you know, I've noticed over the years, and I've had to really come face to face with the fact that I treat most I treat like my business relationships and clients, sometimes better than my wife or people that don't know me as well, or that, you know, it's almost like you take your closest relationships for granted.
Umar Hameed 21:07
Yeah, it's a, it hurts the ones you love.
Colleen Rippey 21:11
Umar Hameed 21:12
I think that happens.
Colleen Rippey 21:14
Umar Hameed 21:20
Remember I talked about those three faces?
Colleen Rippey 21:22
Umar Hameed 21:22
When we showed the outside world?
Colleen Rippey 21:24
Umar Hameed 21:25
Who we think we are and who we actually are. I think because we're in a loving relationships. We show our loved ones, the person who we actually are people that are strangers. We show them the version of ourselves that we want them to see.
Colleen Rippey 21:39
Umar Hameed 21:39
And so it sounds like a bad thing. And it is. But what's really happening is because we trust and love the people we care about, we do not feel the need to...
Colleen Rippey 21:49
Put on that face.
Umar Hameed 21:50
Put on that face and kind of like bamboozle them.
Colleen Rippey 21:53
Umar Hameed 21:53
And on the intended unintended consequences that we treated badly.
Colleen Rippey 21:58
Umar Hameed 21:58
And will we get judged That thing I was talking about knowing who you are, like the person I was leading yesterday, one things to kind of demonstrate, you know, so in your marriage, what is, you know, important what has to be there in order for you to be fulfilled and for this person, it was like attraction, was connection, it was humor and there was another five or six values that were really important that it was like, okay, attraction, how would they know you have attraction? Never take that step to be able to see here like physically touch. And she said, Well, there'd be lots of touching. There'd be a lot of initiating from me and my husband, Becky, and we would share common values. And there was a list of things that if that was happening, she would know that we have what a gift it would be for her husband, which Probably reading it today, kind of go for dancing. I can do that.
Colleen Rippey 23:05
Umar Hameed 23:06
I can't do because that doesn't suit me. And then we can have a discussion about it. And then it's like, I love you anyway. It's like when you don't know what that is. It's like buying that new car and not being satisfied we talked about earlier, or I've got the new house now, Ii that all there is?
Colleen Rippey 23:23
Umar Hameed 23:23
[Garbled] You don't have to think about what's important, and what the criteria is. and share it with your spouse and have them share theirs with you. And all of a sudden you realize, "Oh," and this thing that you're calling X, I'm calling Y. And we think we're missing what we're talking about the same thing.
Colleen Rippey 23:45
Umar Hameed 23:46
[Garbled] that got started. We're finding the same thing. People kind of go, "I can't believe I did that."
Colleen Rippey 23:53
That's, that's amazing. I, I completely agree with that. I will everything you said from Just who I show to the world versus, versus who Joe gets to see. Yeah, it's...
Umar Hameed 24:12
[Garbled] my movement.
Colleen Rippey 24:14
I, I would love that. Tell me about it.
Umar Hameed 24:17
So, that lady over there that can see out there.
Colleen Rippey 24:22
Umar Hameed 24:22
You could go over there and say hello to her.
Colleen Rippey 24:25
Umar Hameed 24:26
And if you took a moment and you looked at her, and you went, if I connected with her with my heart, what would I say? What would I do? All of a sudden, it'll change the way you approach. And there might be something noble or beautiful or noteworthy that he would say that would be authentic and true. from your heart, and it would change the way she would react back to you.
Colleen Rippey 24:54
Umar Hameed 25:00
[Garbled] Go say hi. It's like it's very artificial. I am a realtor or whatever. I'm going to talk about you, but I really want you to ask me about me.
Colleen Rippey 25:07
Umar Hameed 25:07
What if a total strangers before we said hello, it was like, we connected heart to heart first [garbled] time soon, your wife is going to be picking you up. And you can get in the car and you would have done. You know, hey babe, he was in the house bought gas and he said, you know, whatever you said, but before you stepped in you went, "I want to connect with my heart. What would I do?" What does your heart tell you? What would you say to her?
Colleen Rippey 25:39
Hmm. Well, I don't know if this is my heart or not. I would, my initial reaction is to talk about to ask her about whatever she just did and be genuinely interested,
Umar Hameed 25:58
Colleen Rippey 25:58
which Again, I know that's not like mushy from the heart stuff. But it's only because I know that just based on what we've been uncovering, like, one of the biggest issues that we're that I'm trying to improve on, at least something that I struggle with is being fully present, fully listening, letting her finish. And I tend to unintentionally, kind of dominate the conversation. And even if she is talking, I'm either looking at my phone, or somehow I flip it and make it about me. Like, I'm just being real. So if but, but even if I just had a second to pause and go in the car with that intention, that's already a game changer, because otherwise I just wouldn't have the presence of mind to consciously do that.
Umar Hameed 26:49
Thank you for sharing. [Garbled] way in sales and leadership in life, it changes the entire system.
Colleen Rippey 27:01
Umar Hameed 27:01
Colleen Rippey 27:12
Yeah. Yeah. You nailed it.
Umar Hameed 27:16
Colleen, thank you so much for sitting down with me.
Colleen Rippey 27:17
This was great. Let's do it again.
Umar Hameed 27:22
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.