Video Mystery Shopping Tip: The Power of Validation!

When I first started Melinda Brody and Company twenty-five years ago, I was a young single mother trying very hard to grow my business and raise my daughter. Suffice to say, things were a little crazy back in those days! Anyway, I remember that every time I would pick up the phone to call a prospective client my young daughter Sarah would always (at that exact moment) appear before me and need something. I can still hear her saying: ‘MOMMY, when are you getting off the phone? I need to talk to you!’

It didn’t matter to Sarah that I had just landed a big account and needed to finalize the details, no sir! She wanted my full attention, and she wanted it now! Sarah wanted to be seen, heard and acknowledged.  In other words, she wanted to be validated.

Fast forward twenty-five years. As I was watching Oprah Winfrey’s farewell show last week, I had a flashback to those days with Sarah. You see, Oprah’s parting words to her audience were all about validation!

Here is an excerpt from her farewell speech:

“I’ve talked to nearly 30,000 people on this show, and all 30,000 had one thing in common: They all wanted validation. If I could reach through this television and sit on your sofa or sit on a stool in your kitchen right now, I would tell you that every single person you will ever meet shares that common desire. They want to know: ‘Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything to you?


“Understanding that one principle has allowed me to hold the microphone for you all these years with the least amount of judgment. Now I can’t say I wasn’t judging some days. Some days, I had to judge just a little bit. But it’s helped me to stand and to try to do that with an open mind and to do it with an open heart. It has worked for this platform, and I guarantee you it will work for yours. Try it with your children, your husband, your wife, your boss, and your friends. Validate them. ‘I see you. I hear you. And what you say matters to me.”

I believe ALL of us were born with the innate need, desire and want to be validated. As new home sales people, isn’t that really what our job is about as well? Isn’t it our job to validate our clients and prospects while we safely guide them through the journey of purchasing a new home without judging them?

And, the easiest way to do this is to follow Oprah Winfrey’s advice:

  1.  I see you:  Ask Questions
  2. I hear you:  Listen to the Answers
  3. What you say matters to me:  Acknowledge that you understand

Trust me; you can offer the greatest floor plans at the best prices, with the most fabulous amenities in the town! But if you don’t validate your clients, chances are you won’t make the sale.

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