Think back to the last time you qualified a buyer, a seller, or a recruiting candidate. How much talking did you do? How many questions did you ask? Unfortunately, too many of us go into sales because we’re ‘good talkers’. Then, we wonder why we’re not burning up the world selling real estate. It’s because we’re talking too much. Here are some recommendations on talk vs. listening—along with best first questions for agents and managers. You’ll make more sales and gain more recruits with these tips.
How Much Talking?
In the first part of the sales process, you should be talking no more than ¼ of the time! Why? Because you want to gather all the information you can from your client or recruiting candidate. How come? Because you have to have that information do decide:
- Do you want that person as a client or agent recruit?
- Do you want to do a presentation?
Also, if we don’t know their hidden needs and sub-conscious motivations, how are we going to help them make buying decisions?
Why Don’t We Ask More Questions?
If it’s so important to ask all those questions, why don’t we do it?
- We get nervous, so we talk
- We don’t have the questions
- We don’t understand the significance
- We’ve focused on the ‘tell’ or the ‘sell’, thinking that was the way to convince people to work with us
The Significance of the Questions
How do we know when we haven’t been able to sell something to a client? They don’t ‘buy’. But, here’s the problem. It’s way too late then. Sure. We can become masters at objection-countering, memorization, and ‘jam it down their throats’. But, that’s an awfully old-fashioned way to try to sell, and consumers hate that today.
Closing and then Answering Objections is Just Not Today’s Method
We take all kinds of classes to learn to answer objections and close. We think that we’re supposed to sell, sell, sell—get those objections—and answer them so beautifully that the client acquiesces and falls at our feet—buying whatever we want them to buy. Happens once in awhile. But, we don’t gain loyal clients who will refer us to others. Instead, we create lots of buyers with ‘buyers’ remorse’.
Instead of Muscling a Sale….
Ask questions. Lots of questions. Probe to find out more. Keep finding out more until you’re really sure you know what they mean. Let me give you an example:
The buyer says, “I want a ‘deal’.”
Do you jump to a conclusion because you know what ‘deal’ means? Don’t. You may be surprised. Instead, ask questions at what ‘deal’ means to that buyer. When you know exactly what the buyer means, you can proceed to find what the buyer wants.
Preliminary Questions for You to Use
Agents: I’m providing 2 preliminary questionnaires for you. Click here to get them.
Ask these questions before you spend time and money chasing buyers or sellers who don’t meet your standards.
Managers: Here’s a questionnaire to qualify a new agent candidate before you spend time in a formal interview. Click here to get it.
Use In-Depth Questionnaires to Discover Real Needs
Besides using these preliminary questions, always use written in-depth questionnaires so you’ll know
- The benefits to the features/needs stated
- Hidden objections you may not discover until too late
- Motivations to buy that not even the ‘buyers’ realize they have
Ever hear the term ‘buyers are liars’? I think that’s not really the case. I think that we don’t ask the right questions to help buyers clarify what they really want. Most ‘buyers’ of services don’t know what they really want. They think they want three bedrooms. But, what they’re really looking for is the motivation provided by ‘personal space’. That means different things to different people. To the person living in a crowded apartment, it could mean a one-bedroom condominium all their own!
Ask the Right Questions in the Right Order and You Won’t Have to ‘Close’
Knowing the motivators of your ‘buyers’ is key to helping them make the right buying decisions for themselves. All you have to do to ‘close’ is to remind them that this ‘product’ fulfills their needs. And, how do you get there? By creating and using the right questions in the right order.
Carla Cross, CRB, MA, is an international speaker, writer, and coach, specializing in real estate management. A National Realtor Educator of the Year, Carla was recently named one of the 50 most influential women in real estate. Contact Carla http://www.carlacross.com.