If you haven’t already, sooner or later you’ll run across a prospect or client that doesn’t seem to be able to move forward. Most likely, you’re extremely familiar with those that find one reason after another to put off taking further action.
“I’ve been SO busy; as soon as I get a chance I’ll look it over,”
“I want to keep looking just to be sure,”
and the classic
“I have to talk it over with my spouse first. I’ll get back to you”;
these are some of the most frustrating things you can hear, but the good news is these aren’t deal-breakers…far from it.
There are ways to avoid these excuses. Here are a few good tips to put to use in your business that can help turn “Yes, but…” into “Yes!”
Know your clients better than they know themselves
If only being an agent was as easy as showing homes and conducting closings. Unfortunately, while that type of client does exist, the others will usually be a bit more challenging. Many times, the client themselves has no idea why they’re hesitating on a deal, sometimes because they’re too close to the problem.
That’s where you come in!
Take the time to dig down and find out what your client really does or does not want. Sometimes, a client isn’t looking for a reason to say yes as much as they’re looking for a reason not to say no.
That may sound strange, but as you know, we human beings are complicated.
Pay close attention to what your client says they’re looking for and think about what issue or objection that want is trying to overcome. Sometimes, these “hidden objections” will come out in casual conversation, such as complaining about their neighbors. An observant agent will realize this is something they should deal with when finding a home to show.
One agent may spend a year showing home after home, with the client never reaching the point of being ready to “pull the trigger” on the deal. Another agent that pays attention to not only what the client is saying, but what they’re not saying, and takes the time to discover what objections they need to overcome, may close a sale for them within a month.
It’s not impossible to discover these secret objections and problems, but it will take some effort on your part to truly get to know the client. The easiest way to do that?
Stop selling and start qualifying
You’re familiar with the stereotypical “high pressure salesperson”, but what you may not realize is that most people will automatically identify someone using sales tactics on them the same way as those sleazy stereotypes.
Having your client’s trust is enormously important for one very good reason; if they trust you, you’ll be able to help guide them past their objections, because your suggestions and advice will be taken as an informed opinion that’s meant to help the client instead of a line that’s meant to help you close the sale.
If your mom tells you to take medicine when you’re sick, chances are you’re going to listen to her, or at least consider it. If a stranger that knows nothing about you walks up to you on the sidewalk and says “You look like you could use a pick-me-up, take this” and hands you a pill…okay, bonus advice here, but don’t take it.
You view one of those advisors as looking out for your best interests, even if you don’t think you need that pill.
The other one is pushing pills on you, and your first thought is “Sure, the first one’s free, right? I know how this works; get away from me!”
The difference is that your mom knows you; she knows what your fears are, what your health problems are, the reason you’re scared of chihuahuas…so you know her advice is her way of looking out for you, because she knows you.
By qualifying your clients, not only are you discovering what they do and don’t want, you’re also building a level of trust with them. If you do this, when it comes time to give them a recommendation, it will come from someone that understand their needs, knows exactly what they’re looking for, and is also someone they’ve come to know during the process as well.
“People love to buy, but hate to be sold to” is a cliche’ we should all remember.
FOMO is your friend
Once you’ve qualified your client, you can put the power of FOMO to work in helping you to get clients off the fence.
Fear Of Missing Out is one of the most powerful sales motivators, much more powerful than a chance to gain something. As a result, “This house is perfect for you” is not as strong a sales statement as “I found the perfect house, but it’s not going to last long because there’s a lot of interest in it already”.
If a client believes they’re currently in a buyer’s market, they most likely have no sense of urgency about making a decision. If they feel no urgency, fence-sitters can stall for months (or years!) before making a choice.
If you can show them that they could miss out on the perfect home by waiting, you can help them move toward making a decision. Show them the homes on the market, taking special care to point out the ones that have been available for a while; if you explain what this “old inventory” means (that these homes aren’t as desirable to homeowners as the type of home your client is looking for), it can help them feel more of a sense of urgency.
Put it all together:
Discover your prospect’s objections and concerns.
Don’t argue, your job is to listen!
Give them examples of how waiting will cost them (rising prices, higher interest rates, missing the perfect home)
The most valuable advice here is to stop selling and start qualifying. It’s not enough to ask your clients questions; you need to make sure you’re asking them the right questions.
With a well-qualified client, you’ll know what they want, what they need, what their budget is, and how to frame a home to best fit what they’re looking for…even if they don’t realize exactly what they need to make a decision.