Are you losing sales you feel you deserve to make? Perhaps you are making one or all of the 9 biggest mistakes Realtors make! If you realize the importance of great speaking skills check out Lady and the Champs How To Speaking Conference 2012.
Then see if you are making the 9 Biggest Mistakes Realtors Make in Their Presentations
By Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE
Good real estate sales professionals are incredible. Like Hollywood actors, whenever they open their mouths, they are putting themselves and their company on the line, taking a risk in the hope of a favorable outcome. Just like actors, even the best, most experienced salesperson can use some coaching and polishing now and then.
Here are the 9 most common mistakes that my sales clients are making at the beginning of our coaching sessions. By the time we’re through, they’ve learned how to avoid them.
1. UNCLEAR THINKING. If you can’t describe the objective of your interaction in one sentence, you may be guilty of fuzzy focus, trying to say too much at once. You’ll confuse your listener, and that doesn’t make the sale. Decide exactly what you want and need to accomplish in this contact. What would be a positive outcome? For example, imagine that a busy executive says, “You have exactly ten minutes of my time to tell me what you want me to know about your company. In one sentence, tell me why we should list our home with you for when I talk to my spouse this evening.” At any stage of the sales process, you should know in advance why you are interacting, what benefits you are offering your prospect or client, and what you’d like the next step to be.
2. NO CLEAR STRUCTURE. Make it easy for your prospect to follow what you are saying, whether in a casual conversation or a formal sales presentation. They’ll remember it better–and you will too. Otherwise, you may forget to make a key point. If you waffle or ramble, you lose your prospects. Even for a conversation, mentally outline your objectives. What key “Points of Wisdom” do you want the prospect to remember? How will you illustrate each point? What colorful examples will your prospect be able to repeat three days later? What phrases or slogans do you want to guarantee they will repeat afterwards? You speak to be remembered and repeated.
3. TALKING TOO MUCH. Realtors often talk too much about themselves and their service or their company. They make a speech rather than having an exchange or interaction, otherwise known as conversation. The key to connecting with a client is conversation; the secret of client conversation is to ask questions; the quality of client information received depends on the quality of the questions–and waiting for, and listening to, the answers! In fact, a successful encounter early in the sales process should probably be mostly open-ended questions, the kind that require essay answers rather than just “yes” and “no.” And don’t rush on with preprogrammed questions that pay no attention to the answer you’ve just received. Learn to listen, even pausing to wait for further comments. Silence draws your prospect out.
4. NO MEMORABLE STORIES. People rarely remember your exact words. Instead, they remember the mental images your words inspire. Support your key points with vivid, relevant stories. Help them “make the movie” in their minds by using memorable characters, exciting situations, intriguing dialogue, suspense, and humor. Telling stories of satisfied clients and painting a picture of how this client’s condition will be improved with you listing or selling their home are appropriate.
5. NO THIRD-PERSON ENDORSEMENTS. There’s a limit to how many bold claims you can make about your company and service results, but there is no limit to the words of praise you can put in the mouths of your delighted clients. Use case histories of your clients’ success stories about the benefits they received from your service or product. When you are using their actual dialogue, you can say much more glowing remarks about yourself and your company than you could if the words were your own. Your endorsement stories should use the same ingredients as a good Hollywood movie: create memorable characters, use vivid dialogue, and provide a dramatic lesson learned.
6. NO EMOTIONAL CONNECTION. The most powerful communication combines both intellectual and emotional connections. Intellectual means appealing to educated self-interest with data and reasoned arguments. Emotion comes from engaging the listeners’ imaginations, involving them in your illustrative stories by frequent use of the word “you” and from answering their unspoken question, “What’s in this for me?” Obviously, a customer is going to justify doing business with you for specific analytical reasons. What gives you the edge–what I like to call the “unfair advantage”–is creating an emotional connection too. Build this emotional connection by using stories with characters that they can relate to and by providing a high I/You ratio, using the word “you” as often as possible and talking from their point of view.
My recommendation is that you make telephone appointments with your happiest clients. Tell them you would like to use their stories about working with you as an endorsement, and ask permission to tape record your conversation. Then just let them talk. The more they say, encouraged now and then by a question from you, the better their stories and quotes will be. Finally, select the best quotes from what they’ve said.
7. NO PAUSES. Few sales presentations have enough pauses. Good music and good communication both contain changes of pace, pauses, and full rests. This is when listeners think about important points you’ve just made. If you rush on at full speed to crowd in as much information as possible, chances are you’ve left your prospects back at the station. Give them enough time to ask a question or even time to think over what has been said. Pauses allow pondering and understanding.
8. IRRITATING NON-WORDS. Hmm–ah–er–you know what I mean–. One presenter I heard began each new thought with “Now!” as he scanned his notes to figure out what came next. This might be okay occasionally, but not every 30 seconds. Practice in front of your sales manager or colleagues, giving them permission to call out whenever you hem or ah. Or video or audio record yourself and note any digressions.
9. NOT HAVING A STRONG OPENING AND CLOSING. Even you are speaking to one person engage your audience immediately with a powerful, relevant opening that includes them. For example, “You have an awesome responsibility.” Then fill in what it is: selling your home in a month, finding a home in another city with a good school close by. Another excellent strategy is to keep the conversation focused on why you are meeting. Do NOT thank a prospect for their time. Say “Thank you for the opportunity to discuss why listing with ABC Realtors could well be your best choice. To help discover how we can be of service may I ask you some specific questions?” Most salespeople start by talking about their company. Talk about your prospect and their needs instead. If you build rapport they really will not care how long you have been in the business of that your office has 6 other branches!
To close, remember your last words linger. Pick the one sentence that you absolutely want embedded in their minds, and as you shake hands say, “Congratulations for making such a good choice. And remember…” Choose your last phrase carefully!
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When you learn to avoid these 9 common traps, you’re on your way to being a “star” of the real estate sales world, ready to accept an award for your dazzling performance.
See how you can be Powerfully Pithy check out How to be Powerfully Pithy
Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE works with individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive sales presentations give them a competitive edge. She is a Hall of Fame keynote speaker, sales presentation expert, and in-demand executive speech coach. One of her first national engagements was on the program with the world famous real estate trainer and coach Mike Ferry.
you realize the importance of great speaking skills check out Lady and the Champs How To Speaking Conference 2012.