When it comes to selling a house, personal connections that create memorable experiences can make all the difference. Jeff Shore is the founder and president of Shore Consulting, which specializes in psychology-based sales training. He spoke with Zonda principal Mollie Carmichael about how a sale can leave a lasting impression ahead of his national sales summit that will take place July 25 to 27 in Nashville, Tennessee, which is sponsored by Builder Online's sister site Livabl.

Carmichael: Was there a turning point in your career that really shifted your success? What were the three key ingredients?

Shore: Well, the first one was recognizing that it doesn't matter how you want to sell, the only thing that matters is how a person wants to buy. Once I could start down that path of understanding buyer motivation, that really lit the fire. I had some theater arts background, so marry that with the desire to understand the buyer, put it in the form of how you reverse-engineer a sales presentation, and then add that theater, and the stars aligned. I felt like it all bubbled up, and suddenly I was in my lane.

Carmichael: How do you navigate that in this digital world?

Shore: I'm not a digital native, I’m a digital immigrant. I’m having to run as fast as I can to keep up with the young people on my team. Add to that I'm an introvert, right? Introverts love the digital world, anything that I can do separately and don't have to be out there. I don't do well at shallow relationships, but I do well at deep relationships. So, in my mastermind group, which has been going on since 2014, we've had 100 people through that program. I've got this network of people, because left to myself, I'm either at the ice rink or sitting at home watching Netflix.

Carmichael: You have a book that just came out called "From Contract to Close." You did that with Bob Mirman. You have a great quote in there about how service is about the customer, the experience is about service providers. Tell me a little bit about that.

Shore: Tell me very briefly about a great vacation you had at some point in your life, just give me a little picture of a great vacation. Where was it? What made it great?

Carmichael: Usually, it's some form of resort. There's always water involved, and I've always got my family around me.

Shore: When I asked you about a great vacation, you didn't say, “Well, certainly, the trip was to this place, the alarm clock went off at 5 a.m. for a 7 o'clock flight.”

No. When we talk about great vacations, we think about great experiences, they trigger an emotion, and the emotion said resort, spa, water, family; all those things are very emotional, they're not tactical. It had nothing to do with the architectural style of the resort.

Ultimately, when we talk about experiences, we talk about triggering the emotion. And if you think about a great meal, and you can just think about how you felt about the meal, either about the food or about the service, these little micro moments are where the emotional altitude is elevated, and that's what people remember.

John Medina, who wrote the book "Brain Rules," has a great quote about this. He said, “Emotions act like sticky notes that go on top of an experience and turn it into a memory.” When you think back about a great meal, a great vacation, or whatever it is, that emotion is like a sticky note on top of that, and it makes that experience memorable. In the absence of that emotion, the experience is entirely unmemorable.

When we think about the most memorable experiences of our life, there's always a significant positive emotion that's attached to it. And that's the key here, how do we invoke the customer's emotion when they're buying a home? This is why the summit is such a big deal to us, because we don't want to just have a bunch of talking heads on the stage. We want people to have a positive emotional altitude throughout that experience.

Carmichael: Post-COVID, everything has shifted from stuff to experience. And I can't tell you how often that word comes up in my own research. I want to ask you one quick question with everything transforming now to digital. How do we bring experiences to digital?

Shore: Well, ironically, the answer might be in turning to an analog solution. When is the last time you got a handwritten note mailed to your house?

Carmichael: Ryan Marshall from Pulte did. I practically wanted to frame it.

Shore: Because it happened to you, you remembered exactly who it was from and exactly the company. It tells us that this doesn't happen anymore. And when it does happen, it's highly memorable. If we put those things together, then we ask the question, “How do we step out so we can use the digital world to make us more efficient?” But I think there's an analog answer to this that makes us more effective. It comes in the form of a handwritten note, it comes in the form of a phone call.