I had just got my license as a Realtor and was interviewing with my very first agency, Keller Williams. The education coordinator at the time asked me if I was comfortable speaking to strangers. I laughed out loud.

Here is the deal. I have been a registered nurse for over 17 years. I have done things to complete strangers that no one can imagine. I have met people and seen community members in places where they would not even recognize themselves.

I have dealt with great things, such as a magical birth of a baby, and tragic things, such as sudden death of a loved one. I have taken care of children who are lonely and scared. I have taken care of adults who are confused and tired. I have dealt with pain, sadness and the unknown.

I have sat at the bedside of family as they read the scriptures to a passing grandma. I have seen and smelled some things that almost make me nauseated simply recalling the visual in my mind.

Can I talk to strangers?

I laugh at this, but for a new agent, who might have not had the same opportunity as I have, it might be daunting. I assume it must be very difficult to talk to strangers. Even I sometimes find it difficult to do cold calls or knock on doors.

So, here are a few simple words of advice I can give you so that you might approach people with confidence and assurance:

1. Always make eye contact and lean in toward the person with a firm handshake.

2. Hold your head up high with your chest slightly out.

3. Do not sway back and forth; stand firm and confident.

4. Make sure you are present and not checking your phone or letting your eyes aimlessly wonder.

5. Talk with a firm but gentle voice. You should be loud enough so they can hear you and soft enough not to scare them.

6. Smile.

7. If you do not know the answer, always admit it and offer help: “I don’t know, but I can find out for you.”

8. Here is the key: Remember they are human as well. They are just as nervous as you. You will find comfort in providing comfort.

Melinda Goodwin is a luxury real estate expert in St. George, Utah.

Email Melinda Goodwin.

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