'Million Dollar Listing' star Ryan Serhant's 5 steps to become a master salesperson

Dan Schawbel, Contributor
Jim Spellman | Getty Images

In the past decade, Ryan Serhant and his team at Nest Seekers International have built an extraordinary real estate business with sales of $630 million in 2015 alone. They have been ranked as the top sales team in New York State and No. 6 by volume in the United States.

Serhant is a master at closing deals and growing businesses. He also stars in the two-time Emmy-Nominated Bravo TV series "Million Dollar Listing New York" and will star in and produce the new series "Sell It Like Serhant," premiering this year. He recently launched a vlog to give an inside look at his life off-camera.

I talked to Serhant after his fireside chat with Gary Vaynerchuk at the first annual Agent2021 Conference, held on January 24 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Here's what he had to say about what worked for him and how to achieve high-level success in sales.

Wake up early

While most people wake up between 6 and 8 a.m., Serhant is up around 4:30 a.m. everyday, which allows him to stay as focused as possible.

"Routine is very important that way and between working full-time in real estate and filming two television shows, it's the only way I'm able to stay incredibly productive," he says. During this early morning time, he can review and respond to emails before everyone else so he's ready to go and start his day in the most productive way.

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Lead by example to inspire your team

"It's incredibly important for everyone from the newest agents to our veterans to see that I don't take anything for granted and, no matter what, I'm the hardest worker in the room," he says. Serhant has seen first hand that his success translates into his team's success because those watching him naturally want to rise to the occasion.

He stays very accessible, too, and helps them to feel like they all have the same goals and mission.

Be candid, even when working with difficult clients

"The only way I know how to prevent uncomfortable situations with anyone, whether in professional or personal situations, is open and honest communication," he said. Be direct about how you feel. Frankness goes a long way with clients, family members, co-workers and friends.

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Approach clients like friends

The same way you are always there for your friends from childhood, show loyal support for your clients, says Serhant. Successful sales people don't separate out business relationships from personal ones: "Great salespeople treat every single person the same, with the utmost respect, as a close friend," he says, and that's why his clients return to him time and time again.

Don't be afraid to ask

As Serhant puts it, "If you don't ask, you'll never know." Whether you're looking for a raise or to work with a particular client, you need to ask for what you want instead of waiting for it to happen. He believes that, by asking for what you want, you will progress 50 percent faster in your career than if you just sit and wait.

Dan Schawbel is a partner and research director at FutureWorkplace and New York Times bestselling author of "Promote Yourself"and "Me 2.0." Follow him on Twitter @DanSchawbel.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC, also owns Bravo.

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