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Clients First: The Two Word Miracle by JoAnn Callaway, Joseph Callaway

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Group Therapy

Finally, JoAnn couldn’t wait any longer, and she told Marta to set the chairs in a circle between the dining room and the living room and to bring the phone. This was unusual. It was probably our first such meeting, and I think it worried Marta and Susan a little.

JoAnn had told me what she wanted to do that morning as we dressed. I said, “Sure,” but I said sure to almost anything JoAnn said. Let’s go rob a bank. Sure. Let’s have another child. Well, almost anything.

Marta and Susan moved their chairs about five feet, and I brought the two chairs from our desks. We didn’t have a couch, so there was plenty of room, and we all sat down like folks do at a group therapy session. Susan was all smiles. Marta was flushed. JoAnn didn’t want to alarm them, so she said, “This is something good.”

JoAnn told them about the night before. She filled them in on the last two counteroffers. They both pretty much knew about the offer and the first few counteroffers. This had been going on for days. They also knew the Smiths and the Browns from listening to us talk and listening to JoAnn’s phone calls. Ours was a very open environment.

When JoAnn got to the part about finding our buyer another house and finding our seller another buyer, I half worried that they would be disappointed. This would mean more work for us—and being paid later, if at all. It was a risk.

I think Susan saw the rightness of the concept, but she was very competitive and hated to lose. I think she may have felt ...

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