Q & A WITH PAULA PAGANO
Q: What is the message of Soul’d: A Top Realtor Shares Her Insights, Strategies and Outrageous Stories?
A: Successful business is all about developing an emotional bond with your customer, colleagues and competitors so that they like and trust you. Most importantly, it’s about not allowing your emotional baggage to get in the way of a sale.
Q: What is the book about?
A: Soul’d is a follow-up to Secrets of a Top Salesperson, a self-published book I have been selling in my seminars. It is an inspiring journey that any businessperson would expect to go on in order to master what I term “the heart of the deal.” It is filled with true life gripping stories, edge-of-your-seat twists and turns, and unabashed life lessons – sometimes Herculean, and at other times disastrous. It draws on my own experiences, which have led me to become the #1 real estate salesperson during a recession, and to remain a top sales leader for the past three decades.
Q: Why is the book newsworthy?
A: In addition to describing a number of relatable situations that I experienced over the course of my 30 years in the real estate industry, I also offer a series of “Lessons Learned” at the end of each chapter. I believe, and hope others will agree, that the stories and insights will be both educational and inspirational.
Q: How is your book different from other books about careers in sales?
A: Soul’d is not just another sales book with routine scripts and positive-thinking models. Rather it is more like the popular business bestsellers that are based on true stories, such as Stephen Lundin’s Fish, Barbara Corcoran’s Use What You’ve Got, and Lynn Grabhorn’s Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting. Like these powerful books, I cite real-life negotiation situations, many with cliff-hanging outcomes that could play out on the big screen. Think Melanie Griffith’s Working Girl and the famous “Show me the money” scene from Jerry McGuire.
Q: What inspired you to write the book?
A: I wanted to bring a new kind of human awareness to the personal and emotional side of business, using myself as an example. I believe that most sales-related books currently on the market don’t do so. In Soul’d the reader can experience – through my own hard-won lessons – when it is time to be the bulldog, when to be as mild as a lamb, and sit back and listen.
Q: Who is Paula Pagano?
A: I am an active real estate broker, speaker, coach and author. I broke into the sales field after coming from a strict Italian-Irish Catholic upbringing and nearly going broke while working as an analytical medical researcher. I was eager to do something different and experience a new kind of success, so I chose sales. After some false starts, misguided ventures, breakdowns and breakthroughs, I was able to transform myself into a top producer.
Q: How does Soul’d differ from Secrets of a Top Salesperson?
A: Soul’d is the new and improved version from feedback I learned from Secrets of a Top Salesperson. A few readers told me they had only wanted to learn how to make money, and so were disappointed in my message—which was, deliberately, more about the “heart of the deal than the art of the deal”. However, most were genuinely impressed with the true-to-life stories on how to solve conflict, let go of self-doubt and experience true job fulfillment. These readers, the majority, wanted me to delve even deeper into the emotional aspect of sales. Soul’d is the result.
Q: What is the secret to 21st century success?
A: Because we are living in a time of such rapid change, people need to be flexible, adaptable and creative. People are not as trusting as they once were. The old hard and fast rules for success do not apply anymore. Success is unpredictable. In real estate, for example, clients may change their minds at the last moment, choose to go with someone else, not trust you for some petty circumstance and disregard your hard work and good intentions. Soul’d will give the reader a fresh approach to transforming interpersonal relationships, which is what success is really about.
Q: What is the reason that this emotional approach to selling works so well?
A: We have been taught that our emotions are our enemy, but I believe the reverse is actually true. Notice that it is the enthusiastic, positive and confident businessperson who is most successful. My book shows how the reader can access productive emotions to become better salespeople, negotiators and employees.
Q: What has been your feedback on both of your books so far?
A: Secrets of a Top Salesperson had been endorsed by such sales greats as Barbara Corcoran, Tommy Hopkins and Ray Brown. For example, Barbara called my first book “a powerhouse of ideas…which gives the reader a systematic and creative roadway to help you get your business back on track.” In fact Secrets received rave reviews on Amazon.com and sold hundreds of copies with very little promotion. As one reviewer put it: “Paula writes from the heart, sharing very personal experiences in a most intimate way. You feel as if you are right there with her. The book flows very well and is hard to put down…I would recommend this book to salespeople and non-salespeople equally. The life lessons shared in the book alone are worth the read.”
Q: What will you do to promote Soul’d?
A: When I was promoting my first book, Secrets of a Top Salesperson, I spoke at many groups and organizations, including the Women’s Council of Realtors in San Francisco, the East Bay Women in Business, the San Jose Mercury News, as well as several local real estate companies. Moving forward with Soul’d, I plan to visit these same groups and schedule even more speaking arrangements with the same kind of organizations.
I also plan to expand promotion to multilevel marketing companies including Avon, NuSkin, and Nutrisystems. In addition, I will reach out to sales force organizations such as auto dealerships and tech and media companies, as well as Human Resources divisions in retail stores, financial institutions and government agencies.
Q: Who is your target audience?
A: My ideal audience includes women realtors as well as any woman in the process of buying or selling a home, or thinking of doing so. However, for most people their house or apartment is their major asset, so I believe that for a vast majority of the public there is a lot they can take away from my story. Soul’d should also appeal to forward-thinking business leaders who want to provide better guidance, support and motivation to their sales force.