This year, Sylvia was invited to Iran for of her expertise in real estate training and as a motivational sales speaker. She was the first Western professional woman speaker to set foot there. She is now looking to go visit other countries to spread her word and teach people about the art of selling. Her distinctive presentations and personal approach are not only fun, touching and compelling but most significantly, useful.
Here is what Sylvia had to say…
Here is what Sylvia had to say…
Question: When did you start your business?
Answer: It seems like I’ve been in business all my life. Years ago, I was a Real Estate broker and after doing a lot of volunteer work, I noticed that agents didn’t have enough access to information, books and courses about sales especially in French. I had dreamt for many years of becoming a speaker but I wasn’t sure about the subject in order to be a successful speaker. After attending many speaker seminars and wondering what to speak about, someone told me you should speak about what you know best! It struck me that I should speak about what I like to do, how I succeeded in my business, the tricks of the trade and try to teach others. I wrote my first book to gain credibility. I had so much to say that it became three books. I did a lot of research and know my stuff inside-out…I could speak about it for years! So that’s how I became a speaker in the real estate business and now teach how to become successful in sales.
Question: What motivated you to start your business?
Answer: My own dreams! For over 26 years I had been very successful in the real estate business and loved it. But I was still missing something in my life. Going to sales seminars, I felt envious of the people with the microphone on stage and every chance I had I would take over the microphone and simply loved it. This is what made me realise that it was my dream. So I took some courses and enrolled in different associations which made it obvious and confirmed that it was my purpose in life.
Question: What is your main service/product or expertise?
Answer: My main product is me! I’m selling myself, my expertise, my knowledge and my talents. I teach people how to sell themselves first before selling any product or service. I also offer books, CD, coaching, seminars and conferences all about my thoughts, my values and my experience in sales.
Question: Who is your target market?
Answer: My main target is really everybody! We always need to sell ourselves to people. I speak about sales and give people tools to gain confidence and self-belief so that they become successful at selling themselves. I started with the real estate market but after a while people from other industries came up to me because they liked what I did. So whenever people have something to sell in any industry I can teach them techniques and basics on how to feel good about selling themselves.
Question: What is the one thing you wish you would have known when you first started out?
Answer: So many things! Wow, to be honest…it probably would be how to surround myself with the right people and how to delegate. Most people starting in business try to do everything themselves and have to cut corners because they can’t handle everything. That will catch up to them eventually. I still struggle with that and I have to learn to delegate better to the right person and focus on what I do best. Sometimes people worry about the expense of outsourcing to get help and wonder if it’s worth it. If you want to grow, it’s normal to delegate and you mustn't be afraid. I now know that it is the right thing to do!
Question: How do you define success?
Answer: I think success is something very personal and we all have different definitions of success. For me, success is working for your purpose, delivering my message and helping people grow. Being on stage in front of 400 people to help them find their own success. If I can accomplish that, I’ll be very proud of what I do as that is my calling!
Question: How do you use technology and the internet for your business?
Answer: I use the internet and technology all the time for my business. I realise that if you want to compete you have to be part of the new technology coming out. You have to embark fast or else you’ll miss the boat and it will be difficult to catch up. I’m everywhere, Facebook,Twitter and LinkedIn. This is a big part of my success and it allows people to get to know me and what I do. At first, people were judging me because they didn’t understand what I was doing. When they saw pictures of what I was doing on those social sites, they started to ask me to go to their own business because they saw how wonderful it was. For me it’s a huge market and I need and want to be part of it. By surrounding myself with the right people it will allow me to take advantage of all the new technology around.
Question: What has been your biggest hurdle?
Answer: The biggest hurdle for me was to become more fluent in English to open up my market to the world. I love French, the vocabulary, the culture but I realised that to offer my services on a global level and open all the possibilities, I had to be fluent in English. I practiced speaking English any chance I had for a few years and totally immersed myself into the language. The payoff was so great! I knew that I had made it when I received a standing ovation at my first English speaking engagement.
Question: What has been your greatest triumph so far?
Answer: Winning over my terror of speaking English in front of people. But if I go further, staying in business for so long. A lot of people would say behind my back “she won’t succeed”, “she won’t make it”, “people don’t need what she is offering”! People were projecting their own fears but I kept going. Also, something that makes me very proud is the name of my company which I came up with at the spa with a friend called “Immo-Succès”. I would hear agents and brokers talk to each other and say “have an Immo-Success”! They were using the name of my company to wish each other an “Immo-Succès”! I thought, wow…I invented that word and they’re using it! That was a pretty amazing feeling!
Question: What is your main source for new clients and how do you market yourself?
Answer: This is what I teach so I walk the talk! Social media is a big part of my marketing strategy. Also, I use my website and I send out newsletters every month. I really follow up with each prospect with phone calls every morning and make a routine out of it. As well, free offers so that people get a taste of me so that they want to do business with me. I do what I teach others, I sell myself!
Question: What would your best piece of advice be for new entrepreneurs?
Answer: Do it! If it’s really in you and you’re meant to do it…do it! Make sure that it’s what you should be doing. Make a business plan and follow it. Don’t listen to negative people. Work hard and keep going. Get a coach and surround yourself with people who will be able to help you. Don’t be afraid to get help and you will grow faster and become better at what you do. Grow, learn, read and you’ll succeed!
Question: Fast forward five years…what do you see?
Answer: The last time I did this it was years ago. I told people that I would write a book about real estate and the tricks of the trade. People were rolling their eyes in disbelief! Sharing my goals with them was a way to have accountability partners without them knowing. So if I share my goals now, then everyone will also be accountability partners for my next success. I can see being on a huge stage and speaking and sharing my knowledge all around the world. Making a difference in someone’s life! Now you’re all my accountability partners and you’ll be helping me getting there! I still have a lot of work to do but I’m getting there, I know I’ll do it!
In Conclusion, I tried to share, be honest and open about who I am. I’m not perfect and I am still learning as well as getting a lot of help and support. I really appreciate the chance to share my message with everybody and hopefully this interview will help someone to become confident and proud of themselves!
You can learn more about Sylvia Perreault here: