Becoming a 3-D Sales Person

As sales people (and professionals in general), it can be easy to slide into a sort of comfort-zone in our sales practice. We may find something that works well enough and begin to settle into a routine of using that same recipe over and over again to create a sale. But over time, this kind of selling gets old. It needs new flavor—not just for you, but for clients and teams as well.

In our last article, I introduced Erik Therwanger’s ‘sales engine’ to revamp the way you run your real estate business and lead your sales team. Continuing in his book Dynamic Sales Combustion, Therwanger introduces the idea of three ‘dimensions’ of selling or salespeople.

The three ‘dimensions’ of sales are:

  1. Dimensional sales = make a buck
  2. Dimensional sales = make a living
  3. Dimensional sales = make an impact

You may be surprised to learn that, according to Therwanger, both one-dimensional and two-dimensional sales people can be goal-oriented and exhibit excitement when they sell. However, they still lack the basic tenants of becoming a 3-Dimensional Salesperson.


“Those who operate in the third dimension are able to make an impact in the lives around them, which in turn makes a significant difference in their own lives,” writes Therwanger.

When it all boils down, your real estate career can be so much more than simply making a buck and even making a living, you can be making an impact! Therwanger lists several traits of a 3-D sales people that I’ve included below.

  • Unparalleled ability to share (vs. sell) relevant solutions
  • Focused heavily on clients’ goals (vs. your own)
  • Open powerful relationships (vs. closing deals)
  • Deliver (vs. cash) excitement, drive, and passion

Now that we know what is looks like to be a 3-dimensional salesperson, you’re probably wondering how to get there. Therwanger again gives us three areas to focus on.


Goals can be powerful tools, but even more powerful are the desires behind those goals. Perhaps your desire is to have more time with your family, be debt free or have the resources to give of your time and money. This is the true ‘why’ behind doing you do what you do and a much stronger driving force for creating and fulfilling your goals.

“Operating with strong desires eliminates the desperation exuded when you are only searching for a sale. Strong desires create a strong commitment level because it rarely touches just one person,” writes Therwanger.


“Determination must be stronger than your challenges.”

It’s not determination if when the going gets tough, you get going. In real estate, there are always the ‘winter’ seasons, and beyond that, in your personal life there will be challenges and pitfalls. But determination stays steady throughout. Therwanger uses the example of sales being like walking in a straight line. It’s simple. Until suddenly you are a trying to walk in a straight line on a rocking ship, in the middle of a storm. Sales is still walking in that straight line, but it takes a new kind of determination and grit to get it done when things are hard.


“In sales, the choices we make are like the wooden slats of a bridge, spanning across an abyss. Each decision made either builds a section of our bridge or damages a section,” writes Therwanger.

Ultimately, the final decision of working with you, buying that house or selling that house, is in the hands of your potential clients. However, just like they own their own decisions, you own yours. The choices you make can build bridges of trust or destroy them. Making decisions that build trust between you and your clients, that increase your professionalism and resourcefulness, that truly help people is something you can start doing today.

Therwanger (and I) believe anyone can be a 3-dimensional sales person; anyone can become that sales person who does more than just sell, who truly leaves an impact. And anyone includes you!

As we journey through “Dynamic Sales Combustion” together, let us know how we can help you along the way.  Charity Malmberg

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