by Christy Crouch
I believe that all business and sales comes from communication. We can only get leads, appointments, and contracts signed through communication. The same thing can be said and it have a completely different meaning and impact when said one way vs. another.
In coaching agents across the United States I see this with my clients. Two agents can use the same exact script or objection handler and have two completely different results. It’s not only WHAT to say it’s also HOW to say it that makes a difference in the result. It’s also in who and how you’re being with the client that makes a huge difference.
Before I share some thoughts and ideas on communication I want to talk a little about what I mean by who and how you’re being for the client. We all know we never get a second chance to make the first impression on anyone. Before you make a call to a client, a potential lead, or go on an appointment, take a few minutes to clear out your thoughts and get focused on the client. Our head can be a really scary place and our ego can be very dangerous when it comes to our business.
The client can sense almost right away if you’re only concerned about getting a paycheck, if you’re arrogant, pushy, egotistical, a know it all, or rushed to get in or out. My intention whenever communicating with my clients is to always be completely present with them, not in my head about all that I have to do or what’s going on in my life or what’s in it for me. I want to come from a place of contribution to the client and look to make a difference for them. I am focused on talking about them, their needs, their wants, their desires, and leading the conversation by asking great questions that allow them to talk and share about themselves and their situation.
Guys trust me, the client does not care about you, your personal life, your interests, or being friends with you. They are looking for you to be an educated professional to assist them in one of the biggest investments of their life. They don’t care about your kids, your busy life, or your personal interests. Taking the focus totally off yourself and putting it on the client will have a huge impact on your business. And I know you may think this is elementary but trust me, this will be huge if you study and practice it.
The more questions you ask, the better the client feels. This allows them to talk about themselves and their situation. The most important person to everyone is themselves. Whether we as human beings are willing to admit it or not is another conversation. One thing is for certain, people love to talk about themselves. You allowing the client to do this will set you apart from most agents. What do most agents do? Talk non stop about how great they are, and what the client needs to do or not to do. No one wants to be TOLD anything. They want to be led and guided to making the choices and decisions that’s right for them and their situation.
I see it time and again with the agents I coach. The use the exact same scripts and objection handlers and get two totally different outcomes. Why? It’s how it’s said, it’s your body language, it’s whether you have rapport or not, it’s the words you choose to use.
I was on a listing appointment the other day and going through the house with the seller talking about things that could be done to help the home show better. She had interviewed several other agents before me. At the end of our meeting she said, “Gosh, you are so different than the other agents, they told me the same things that needed to be done, but totally offended me and I would never do business with that one lady.” Case and point right there, same thing being said, and the client took it in two totally different ways. Needless to say I got the listing and one of the reasons was HOW I communicated with her.
You have to gain rapport with the client not by having common interests, and telling them how great they or their house are, but by aligning with them, matching and mirroring them, acknowledging them, and having compassion and understanding for their situation. Then lead them to the decision that’s right for them.
To gain instant rapport with your client you want to BE like them. Not have similar interests but communicate like them. People like people who are like themselves; it puts them in their comfort zone. If you talk walk and act like they do, the client will automatically feel more comfortable with you. Sounds crazy but try it on for a while.
If they talk slow, you talk slow. If they talk fast, you talk fast. If you’re a fast talker what do you instantly think of when you’re talking with someone who speaks slowly? If you’re a slow talker, what do you automatically think of when talking with someone who speaks fast? Case and point, you need to be like them so they trust you.
Same thing with loud talkers vs. soft talkers, words and phrases. If you’re a soft talker, how do you feel abuot loud talkers? If you’re a loud talker, how do you feel about soft talkers? Talk the same as them. Also, Pronounce words and phrases the same as they do. Not doing this makes them feel uncomfortable and possibly wrong because you didn’t pronounce the word the same as they did, or they think you’re wrong. Choose to BE like them.
And last, emotions. Match their mood and their emotion. Think about this, if you are angry and upset and someone comes up to you all cheerful, happy and excited telling you things are going to be okay, how does that make you feel? Same thing, if you are happy, energetic, and excited and someone comes being tired, unenergetic, and overall mundane, how does that make you feel? Match your client’s mood. Don’t be how you are as a person, transform yourself to be, talk, and act like your client.
Let’s face it, when we are presenting, it’s show time.
And always, always, keep in mind, no one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.
Here are few examples of what I mean when there is saying something and it coming across in two totally different ways.
Before you put this home on the market you need to clean it up, paint it and get rid of all the clutter in the yard. This is what the other agent said when the client I mentioned above got offended.
I said, “Guys I know it’s overwhelming to sell a home, especially when you’re moving out of town. I realize you don’t have a lot of free time right now but can I mention a few things that I think would help the home to show better?” And THEN I shared what needed to be done.
Just the preface of acknowledging them, their situation, and their feelings FIRST made all the difference. This is what I mean with whom and how you’re being.
If you want to sell this house then you need to price it right or it’ll just sit on the market.
Try on… Guys, I know you want to get as much money as possible, and I want to help you make as much as possible. I realize this is one of the largest investments you have, and that you’ve put a ton of time and money into the home with the improvements you’ve made. Unfortunately, the market is still very challenging and to sell in these conditions, price is very critical. If you want to actually sell in this market vs. just sitting on the market like the other thousands of homes that aren’t selling, then we need to price it right, does that make sense? We have to look at what’s going to cause the buyer to buy your home vs. all the others that are for sale. When you’re buying, isn’t price most important to you in most cases? Same thing said but two totally different impacts.
One more example:
Before you look at homes or we go out, you need to get pre approved for a loan.
Try, Guys, if you haven’t already talked with a lender to discuss what price range we need to stay under in order to get your payment at a place that’s right for you, we may want to do this. You know, most lenders will approve you for way more than what you actually want to spend and what we want to find out again, is exactly what price range we need to be looking under in order to get you at a monthly payment that’s comfortable for you. Plus, in representing you and negotiating on your behalf, guys in this market, most sellers won’t even look at an offer without a pre approval letter from the buyer’s lender. Being approved ahead of time will give us much more negotiating power to get you the best deal possible. My job is to protect your best interests and I want you to go into the home buying process with eyes wide open about the entire process and all your options. How about I have one of my lenders give you a call to get started with helping you?
Same thing, two totally different impacts.
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