With David Van
Hi, my name is David Van, and I went from a broken foot, a broken truck, and a one-bedroom apartment with no money to closing deals in 15 states and retiring my wife. I hope you guys enjoy this episode.
Jack: Welcome to our podcast. Once again, my name is Jack Bosch. I’m a real estate investor, land flipper, entrepreneur, husband, and dad. In this podcast, we’ll be discussing various topics such as success, real estate, and many other subjects. Today, our guest is David Van. David Van is a sales master, land flipper, real estate investor, and entrepreneur. However, I believe his greatest skill is his exceptional ability as a closer. He’s the best closer I’ve ever encountered. So, David, welcome to the show.
David: Yeah, hey, thanks for having me here. This is a lot of fun. We were actually discussing some of this on the way here, and I’m excited because I feel like today, we’ll be covering topics that nobody else is addressing. I don’t know why, but I’m really passionate about discussing them because these are things people need to focus on in their business right now, and they’re neglecting them. So I’m excited.
Jack: Awesome. So, David, could you give us a bit of background about yourself? Where are you from? What do you do? And so on.
David: Yeah, I come from a working-class family in South Florida. My father always told me to stay out of jail, and my mom used to ask, “Why can’t you just get a regular job? Why do you want to do anything with your life?” So initially, I didn’t have any goals. I just had a job. It wasn’t until I started believing in myself and observing others succeed around me that I began taking risks and challenging myself. That’s when my personal growth skyrocketed. I made early improvements that paid off, and now I’m proud to be where I am today.
Jack: Alright, awesome. So what do you do right now? How do you make a living these days?
David: Currently, I’m a land flipper. That means I acquire land under contract at a low price and sell it to someone else for a slightly higher price. That’s essentially what I do.
Jack: So you sell it for more than what you bought it for?
David: Yes, I sell it for more than I bought it for. I do this virtually, operating in 15 states. Although I live in Dallas, Texas, my primary focus is on Arizona and Texas. There’s a vast amount of land available. Interestingly, I once sold a piece of land in Hawaii to a gentleman in Pennsylvania. He was on a ladder in Pennsylvania, holding a nail gun in one hand and his phone in the other. I closed the deal over the phone in just one call because I created a sense of urgency. I’m really excited to discuss this further today.
Jack: Absolutely. That’s great. Also, you work with us in our coaching business, right? You’re a land expert in our coaching business, helping students find their own path to land success and determine which strategy and approach they should pursue. So, you interact with people a lot, right? You work closely with them. Now, from a sales perspective, what do you think is the biggest mistake people make when it comes to sales?
David: Well, I believe many people tend to turn the conversation into a transactional one too early on. In most cases, people need to know, like, and trust you before they engage in business with you, before they buy something from you, or even answer your call. Developing that kind of rapport and trust within the first few seconds of a conversation is crucial. When I train my team on closing deals and selling, I emphasize the importance of those initial seconds. Surprisingly, you’re already building trust right from the start.
So, my focus is on having a human conversation. We can address business matters shortly, but initially, I want to establish a connection with the person. I check in, show genuine interest, and build a rapport. We can discuss business later. The mistake people often make is rushing to the end, going straight to the finish line too early and too fast. The seller or buyer is not prepared for that, and it creates conflict and friction. The trust barrier is still high. You need to break down that wall of trust a bit before going for the close. Those who lack training, experience, a coach, or a network often fail to grasp this concept. There’s a trust barrier that must be overcome, and that’s what I focus on early on. It’s also what I teach and assist with. That’s where our success lies.
Jack: Right, let’s delve deeper into that because it’s powerful. Suppose I get on a call with you, and you want to sell me a piece of land. Let’s say I’m actively looking for land and have submitted my information. You can apply this concept to various scenarios, like walking into a car dealership with a sales representative. Obviously, you’re not the car sales guy, but let’s imagine you are. So, how do you initiate the conversation in a way that doesn’t immediately turn the person off? This is a common issue, as I receive calls throughout the day from individuals saying, “Hey, do you want to sell your houses here?” And even though I’m not interested, they appreciate the directness, allowing me to shut them down right away. But their intention was the opposite. How do you approach such a call?
David: Well, first and foremost, there are three essential steps: setting the agenda, qualifying, and closing. They must be followed in that order, number one. Secondly, I’m a strong advocate for visualization. I like to imagine two people in a canoe on a river. If one person is rowing in one direction and the other person in the opposite direction, we won’t make much progress. And if there’s a waterfall at the end and you keep fixating on it, thinking, “I need to hurry up and get this done,” you’re already setting yourself up for failure. People without experience, training, or education often perceive the waterfall to be just two feet away.
So, number one, when you answer the phone, whether it’s a buyer or a seller, introduce yourself and explain why you called. For example, “Hi, this is David. We haven’t spoken yet, but I wanted to quickly introduce myself because I’ll be assisting you with the property.” By doing so, you establish trust and provide a reason for your call. Then, you can move on to qualifying by determining if it’s a good fit, asking relevant questions, and seeking answers. Many inexperienced individuals neglect the importance of asking questions.
The key takeaway here is to consider what questions you’re asking and why you’re asking them. If you’re not asking the right questions, you won’t receive the right answers. And if you’re not getting the right answers, you won’t achieve the desired results. So, set the agenda, qualify, and then close. And you know what? If it takes five minutes, it takes five minutes. If it takes 45 minutes, so be it. Those 45 minutes can change your life forever.
Jack: So, asking questions. I understand that. I’ve noticed that many salespeople, especially those who are inexperienced or trying to enter the sales field, make the mistake of simply sharing all sorts of information about the property, the solution, or the product without asking the prospect about their specific needs. Is that what you’re referring to?
David: Absolutely. I also firmly believe that if you’re thinking about sales, you should stop using the word “sales” and start using the word “relationship.” When you approach conversations with that mindset, it becomes much more natural and fluid. Building relationships is something people have been doing their whole lives. Whether it’s making friends as a kid, starting a new job, or looking for a date, there’s a process to building relationships. If you’re solely focused on making the sale, that anxiety will seep through, I guarantee it.
Most of the time, when I explain things, I frame it in the context of a relationship dynamic. Imagine sitting at a bar, wanting to ask the person next to you out on a date. You wouldn’t just lean over and say, “Will you go out with me?” There are other things you can say to bridge the gap. Your role, whether you’re buying or selling, is to fill in those gaps, ask the right questions, and understand the nuances of the conversation. Often, you won’t know what those questions are until you’re on the phone with the person. Are they distracted? Are they paying attention? What are their goals? Do they have any questions for you?
I suggest being open and flexible. Avoid relying too heavily on scripts. Instead, focus on key aspects of the conversation and allow the dialogue to flow naturally. Once both parties are rowing in the same direction, everything will start falling into place. You’ll gain confidence and improve the conversation rapidly.
Jack: That makes sense. You’re building a nice relationship. You’re having a good chat. You’re laughing together, chatting together. Then at some point, how do you transition the call into the next phase?
David: That’s actually very easy. Most of the time, you’re asking qualifying questions like, “What got you interested?” They’ll provide you with answers. Then something magical happens. They start asking questions to you. That’s what you want. You initially start as a friend, and then, as the sales process unfolds, something really cool happens. You transition from being just a friend to becoming their trusted advisor. They ask you questions, and you provide them with answers. Because you’ve built trust and established a relationship, they want to take that further.
In sales, the focus is often on ensuring that the person you’re speaking with is the decision-maker. Once that’s established, addressing price and fit becomes relatively straightforward. Honestly, Jack, most of the time, they ask me for the close. I believe one of the biggest mistakes closers make in the industry is attempting to close before the lead is truly ready. In many instances, the lead asks me to close. They might say, “How do I pay for this?” or “Okay, send me the contract.”
Jack: How do I get started?
David: Exactly. They might ask, “How do we get started?” or “What’s the next step? Walk me through the process.”
Jack: That sounds like a lot of mastery. How did you come up with that? How did you learn it?
David: It came from making numerous phone calls, Jack. I must admit that I don’t have all the answers.
Jack: Because there were probably times when you didn’t do that, and then you realized, “Oh no.”
David: Absolutely. I’ve undergone a lot of sales training. What I’ve also come to realize is that you might be listening to this while driving, and you might be thinking, “Well, I have my own style and personality. I don’t want to change who I am.” Just like in a marriage, you don’t want to change your personality for your spouse. Instead, you want to find common ground. So, here’s my challenge to you. First and foremost, you need to introspect. I don’t know any successful salesperson who doesn’t understand their own strategy and strengths. It’s not a coincidence.
What I suggest is to look within yourself and ask, “What am I good at? Am I good at initiating relationships? Am I good at concluding them? Am I good at communicating?” You need to find some talking points, a story. In the industry, they call it a sales story. My sales story is that I’m the little guy. I’m interested in talking and getting details. I often say, “It’s just me, my laptop, and my dog.” That disarms people, and in my mind, I visualize the trust wall coming down, down, down, until eventually, they’ll jump over and say, “Come on, let’s go. I’m ready.”
Jack: Very nice. It’s not always about the features of the property, the program, or the thing, right?
David: Absolutely not. I would say, maybe 90% of the time; it’s not. And 90% of the time, it’s about the conversation and the relationship I build with them. Absolutely.
Jack: Very cool. Listen, guys, when you hear that, stop focusing on just knowing. Yes, you need to know every detail of the product you’re selling because if it comes up, you want to present it with certainty, confidence, and all the relevant details. But prioritize building the relationship because people buy from those they know, like, and trust. I love that because I would almost call it relationship selling, right?
David: Yeah, I consider myself very strong in that aspect. I want to be an ambassador for my products. I want to say, “Hey, listen, I use this. I love this, and this is why.” That’s why you often see infomercials hitting those key points and keywords. Personally, I like to use certain words strategically, such as “easy” seven times. If I’m talking to a seller, I want to say the word “buy” seven times. If I’m speaking with a buyer, I want to use the word “purchase” seven times.
There are specific keywords I employ to target the subconscious mind in a fluid, creative, and gentle manner. I don’t want to go in and start aggressively slashing and cutting off arms, so to speak. That’s not a conversation, that’s not a relationship—it’s just overwhelming someone. Nobody is truly happy in that situation. Neither the buyer nor the seller, and it’s not a sustainable approach.
Jack: Absolutely right. Let’s delve deeper into an important area. You mentioned learning through sales training, trial and error, and knowing yourself. Actually, it’s the same area. Let’s explore it further. By knowing yourself, does it mean that everyone has to do it exactly as you’re suggesting right now? Or if someone is more talkative, extroverted, and exuberant, while someone else is more introverted, calm, and speaks at a slower pace, how should they adapt their approach? Because from what I understand, you’re saying that they don’t have to become a replica of David Van. Everyone can develop their own style, but can they still apply these principles?
David: Yeah, a lot of people emphasize the keyword “confidence.” It’s a common theme in sales training and the industry. Confidence is about identifying something you excel at without needing anyone else’s validation. You just know you’re good at it. For me, it’s my mom’s chicken pot pie. When I think about my mom’s chicken pot pie, I absolutely love it. I could eat it for two weeks straight. There’s nothing better than my mom’s chicken pot pie. When I mention it to my mom, she proudly says, “Oh yeah, it’s my chicken pot pie.” Nobody can tell my mom how to cook that chicken pot pie. The confidence she exudes while making it in the kitchen is unwavering.
If I were training my mom on how to close sales and be a better seller, I would tell her that she is the best in the world at making chicken pot pie. I want her to have that mindset. I want her to act like she’s making chicken pot pie when she’s on a call with potential buyers or sellers. I want her to feel that emotion in her heart. Whether you’re a tech person, a social media influencer, or a landscaper, bring that same level of confidence to your interactions. When landscapers speak to clients, they confidently discuss where they’ll place palm trees, for example. That’s confidence.
When dealing with buyers or sellers, it’s important to have confidence because, as humans, we look for subtle cues that indicate whether someone is being truthful or not. Confidence serves as an indicator of honesty. Of course, you must also possess knowledge about your product and present yourself with good posture and assertiveness. Personally, I stand up and walk during my calls for about 14 hours a day because it helps convey confidence. I want the person I’m talking to, the person I’m working on a deal with, to know, like, and trust me. I want the interaction to be an exceptional experience for them. I want them to make a decision on the call and not call me back five minutes later to say they’ve changed their mind. Loss of confidence in the deal or in me leads to such situations, and I want to avoid that.
Jack: Absolutely, because they feel coerced into it. I don’t want that either. So, to wrap this up, can you provide a few tips, one, two, three, or as many as you like, for someone out there who wants to improve their sales game starting today? Let’s say they’re selling land, like many of our coaching students. We have numerous individuals who have never sold anything before but are now venturing into land sales and are unsure how to proceed.
During our coaching sessions, we guide them on having effective conversations with buyers and sellers, asking the right questions that compel them to close the deal. However, let’s provide value to everyone out there who wants to enhance their sales skills. What are a couple of things they can start doing today to become better at sales?
David: Yeah. Well, number one, I would definitely recommend doing some mirror work to improve your self-awareness and build confidence. Look at yourself in the mirror and speak the truth to yourself. When you can do that and see yourself looking back, your confidence will grow. If you struggle with confidence, practice your keywords, lines, and opening pitches while looking in the mirror. Keep it brief but impactful.
The first thing you should do when on a call is to introduce yourself properly. Maintain good posture, stand up straight, put the phone to your ear (without a Bluetooth device), and announce yourself with presence. For example, say, “Hey, Joe, this is David.” Avoid sounding like an infomercial person because that can turn people off. Standing tall and projecting confidence in your introduction sets a positive tone for the conversation. Then proceed to explain why you called them in the first place, focusing on the relevance to their needs in your industry.
Secondly, don’t hesitate to ask them questions about why the property or product is a good fit for them. Many salespeople make the mistake of trying to convince the buyer instead of engaging in a dialogue. Instead, ask questions like, “Jack, why do you think this property is a good fit for you? Why is this situation favorable to you? Why did you reach out to me today? Walk me through it.” This approach helps build a relationship and demonstrates genuine interest in understanding their perspective.
Lastly, don’t always be the one asking the closing questions. If you’re skilled and attentive and allow the conversation to flow naturally, the buyer will often ask the closing questions themselves. This makes the conversation smoother, more enjoyable, and more profitable for you. Remember, by slowing down the conversation and focusing on building a personal connection, you can create a better sales experience overall.
Jack: That’s great advice. I particularly like the tip about announcing yourself with confidence. I had a recent experience when I had to call a title agent to get some account numbers for a property purchase. I simply said, “Hey, this is Jack Bosch,” and remained quiet. It was a moment of expectation where I assumed he knew who I was. There was a brief awkward silence, and then he responded with, “Oh, yeah, Jack, Jess, how are you?” I realized that I could have applied this technique in a sales conversation as well. Just stating your name confidently and pausing can catch the other person off guard and pique their curiosity. They may start connecting the dots and recognizing you. So, in a sales conversation, announcing yourself with confidence, especially if you have already set up an appointment, can be effective.
Most of the time, that’s how it happens. Slow it down, everyone. One of the worst things salespeople often do, regardless of what they’re selling, whether it’s cars, lampshades, or solar panels, is rushing the conversation. Slow it down. Make it a personal conversation. Remember, the person you’re speaking to wants to have a conversation too. Not everyone wants to engage with a salesperson, believe it or not. However, they would love to speak with Jack Bosch, the husband, or with Patrick, their friend. So, make it personal and take the time to connect.
Jack: Absolutely. Those are great tips. Slowing down the conversation and creating a personal connection can make a significant difference in sales. Thank you for sharing these valuable insights.
David: Yeah. I would say, obviously, number one, no matter what you want to achieve in sales, whether you’re just starting out, aiming to improve, or seeking to increase your earnings, you need to have clear goals. If you lack confidence in your goals, take a moment to look at yourself in the mirror and truly understand what you want to accomplish. In sales, the conversation itself is the transaction. If you come across as desperate, overly eager, or forceful, it will create issues.
Knowing yourself, understanding your goals, and having confidence in them are key factors in my own success. I believe in establishing a connection with the person first. So, slow down, build that connection, and proceed from there. Take your time, everyone.
Jack: Alright, that concludes our podcast for now. Thank you very much, David, for joining us. We greatly appreciate it. If you’d like to follow David on social media, particularly Instagram, his handle is @davidvaninvest. Check him out, follow him, and you’ll find some excellent tips. Also, if you’re interested in land flipping or any related topics, find the links below, leave comments, like us, subscribe to our channel, and we’ll see you in the next episode.