Who is Elke S. Laughlin?
Elke S. Laughlin spent 25 years in corporate America, working in multiple commercial real estate industry facets. She’s worked with privately-held regional brokerage firms to global, publicly traded, Fortune 500, and S&P 500 corporations. In 2017, she decided to take a leap of faith and start her own company, creating a unique industry niche by establishing Laughlin Consulting Group.
Laughlin Consulting Group is a firm geared exclusively to the commercial real estate industry and focuses on change management, organizational, and leadership development services.
Once she started her company, she immediately became a Value-Added Associate with TTI Success Insights. Elke stated,” I knew how valuable behavioral assessments were in helping my clients obtain the right talent for commercial real estate brokerage.” Her go-to assessment is The TTI TriMetrix® DNA Coaching Report for Sales Professionals and The Target Selling Insights™ (TSI) report.
Commercial real estate brokerage is a unique industry. Brokerage is typically 100% commission-based, which takes a particular type of person to enter this industry. So, when identifying talent, it’s important to use tools that provide a predictive indicator that a person is suited for commissioned brokerage. She maintains, however, that these tools can be used in any selling environment.
Why TTI Success Insights?
In a world of options when it comes to behavioral assessments, why did Elke not only choose to partner with TTI SI but primarily use the TTI TriMetrix® DNA Coaching Report for Sales Professionals?
By using this single report that combines 3 sciences, Elke can explore Behaviors (using the DISC Profile), Motivators (using the 12 Driving Forces), and Competencies (using Developmental Indicator – DNA 25).
“By using these three sciences, this tool helps me better understand where an individual will perform within the sales cycle of commercial real estate transactions. Additionally, it helps me in building dynamic sales teams.”
Now, this is where Elke adds a specific report output of TriMetrix DNA, the Coaching Report for Sales Professionals. “Not all sales professionals are created equally, yet we continue to expect them to perform the same way,” stated Elke. So, she suggests simplifying it to the greatest possible extreme.
She explains that some salespeople are very good at working the market and developing relationships, which leads to new business. In contrast, others are very good at servicing clients — they have the demeanor, attention to detail, and passion. Historically, professionals are asked to do both. TTI Success Insights assessments give her and the people she works with the understanding to lean into their strengths.
How To Build A Team
Elke’s process starts by creating a team around the two primary components of Business Development and Service Delivery. Doing this can capitalize on professional skills (performance effectiveness; professional satisfaction) while maintaining more effective and consistent business development (performance effectiveness). It also can enhance responsiveness to and impact emerging cycles (quickness and cohesion).
Elke states, "utilizing the TTI TriMetrix® DNA Coaching Report for Sales Professionals gives me a better window to see where a team member falls within the transaction sales cycle.” She then uses the team report and comparative reports to allow everyone to understand team members’ Behaviors, Motivators, and Competencies.
Playing into everyone’s strengths can harness an individual’s talents and backfill where there are gaps or deficiencies, which makes for a stronger team.
After Elke begins working with a client, the first step is to have every team member take The TTI TriMetrix® DNA Coaching Report for Sales Professionals, Executives, or Management-Staff.
Once she has completed coaching reports, Elke creates the team report and comparative reports for the team leader and all their team members. She then meets with each team member individually to conduct a debrief and gets everyone together for a team debrief. This ensures everyone understands how their talent can be best used for the team.
“It’s exciting to see everyone learn how to capitalize on their strengths, understand what motivates them to act, and help them know that they can use the developmental indicator (competencies) to manage and develop their career future.”
One of her favorite things about working with her clients is explaining how the behaviors, motivators, and competencies correlate to the transaction sales cycle and how they can capitalize on their people’s talents. She shared that they are very often surprised to learn that what someone dislikes doing, there is someone else who loves doing that particular task.
What Success Looks Like
Behavioral sciences help others understand how to communicate effectively, how others want to be communicated to, and how they adapt their behaviors.
A perfect example is when Elke’s commercial real estate valuation client observed certain behaviors in their new business development person. She revealed a 35% deviation in his Natural I (85%) while his Adaptive was considerably lower (50%). Chances are that since he was relatively new to the company, he may be holding back on his Influencing abilities. Additionally, she shared having him work remotely was not the best environment for him either. He needs to be in the office with other colleagues.
“When I explained that to my client, he said, ‘Well, no wonder when he comes into the office, he speaks to everyone and seems to know everyone.’” Elke recalled, knowing that by his scores, he thrives in an environment where he can establish relationships.
With the tools TTI SI provides and the expert coaches to deliver on the knowledge, like Elke, it’s easy to imagine the growth and possibilities. In this instance, it inspired her client to see what his new employee could do to develop relationships with the new clients and the business he could develop. “It was like the light bulb went off,” she stated.
Finding Long-Term Success
What’s the number one thing a salesperson should do to be successful? Elke S. Laughlin often asks this question; she believes it’s straightforward.
“They must embrace change! It’s cliché, but if you are not changing, you are dying.”
As a result, she shares that some sales professionals need to reassess their business model and approach to accelerate growth, increase market share, and drive revenues. Imagine how effective a change could be if the sales professional really understood their strengths and talents and how to capitalize on them while initiating strategic change.
In the ever-evolving commercial real estate sales landscape, the TTI TriMetrix DNA Coaching Report for Sales Professionals has emerged as a powerful tool for Laughlin Consulting Group. By recognizing and optimizing individual talents, embracing diversity within teams, and fostering effective communication they’re helping sales professionals thrive.