What do you think are the sales skills a Top Earning Real Estate Agent should possess? Most agents hate this because they feel like they are hustling!
I speak to Real Estate Sales Agents nearly every day and the ones that are making huge commissions possess many sales skills but probably the most important one is knowing how to have sales conversations with anyone! They know the importance of picking up the phone and starting conversations. This activity is commonly known as prospecting, cold calling, and lead generation and without it, you won't have a business. These days, no one is interested in a presentation, agents with good sales skills present a really good cleverly crafted conversation and that's it!
What is the definition of selling? I believe the definition of selling can be easily summed up by saying it is a conversation between two or more people where at the end somebody gets the opportunity to buy and money is exchanged. That’s why mastering conversations are crucial to getting more customers and making more money. More real estate agents are realising that it’s not their presentations that need work but their sales skills and in particular, conversations and crucial understanding of dialogue are paramount.
Therefore, the only thing that dooms a sale is the person’s inability to candidly and effectively hold conversations required to resolve someone’s problems. After all, without the presence of problems, needs or desires there is no sale. In most cases, people only buy or sell a property when they really want or need something.
With the explosion of information about sales skills over the internet, some basics still remain the staple diet for anyone in sales and that is eloquently described by the recognised author, Phil Polson of Sales Drive, The Definitive ‘no-brainer’ street smart guide to Sales Stardom. One of my favourite lines in his intelligent book is The Six P’s of Selling still applies, “Pre-Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.” The buyer or seller is so well informed and heavily researchers all options prior to purchase or sale of a property. Therefore, you cannot fool vendors or buyers in this technological savvy driven world. Some vendors and buyers know more than the “so called” property specialists. In real estate, particularly the agents need to be armed with deep market research and unexpected fine details that would be welcomed by prospective sellers and buyers.
Research shows that currently 92% of the population “don’t wanna cold call and don’t know how to cold call.” Sometimes, it’s their ego which is holding them back – the fear of the unknown, but part of being a great communicator is being fearless and believing in yourself.
An agent in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney confessed to me, “I always tend to start the conversation with hello, how are you?” The truth is most conversations are killed a few words after saying hello. Saying, how are you? is an obvious giveaway that you are a cold caller. Most inexperienced callers start the conversation this way and it usually doesn’t go down too well. Let’s face it, isn’t it an insincere approach to ask a complete stranger how they are? Are you really that interested? Start the conversation by seeking answers and clarification that you are speaking to the “right” person then progress the call. Ask for “Help” it’s one of the most powerful words amongst the 250,000 words in the English language. Simply say, “Hello, I am hoping you could help me please?”
Another good opening technique is to say, “Is this a BAD time to speak?” Most people say No. If you say, “Is this a GOOD time to speak ?” Most people say No. Human beings are programmed to say, “No” to either question so by slightly changing what you say you get a different result. If you are given a few moments, quickly get to the point in a clear and concise manner.
According to Julian Treasure, the expert in this field, "The key to great conversation is speaking without being tempted to gossip, judge, be negative, complain, make excuses, lie and be dogmatic." Boy, sounds like really hard work for the average person. The great communicators look to share knowledge with honesty, authenticity and stand by their own truth only wishing the other person the very best with whatever they decide. They rise above all the noise and back their words 100%. Their voice is their biggest selling asset and they exploit it on a daily basis.
Odile Faludi's three tips for real estate agents seeking more sellers and buyers:
- When you see someone having a garage sale, it's usually because they are wanting to declutter their home. Always carry your business cards and spend the weekend in your local area talking to neighbours and people who are having garage sales. Ask them, "What prompted you to have a garage sale?" Bingo... most times it is because they are planning to move - yes ... buy or sell.
- Visit daily your local coffee shop and start conversations with your locals whilst waiting for your coffee. You will be surprised how much you can learn. Ask the question... "What do you do?" and hopefully, the person you are speaking to will return the favour and ask you. Start a conversation, offer your business card and a free appraisal. After all, aren't you the expert in the local area?
- Whilst on the sidelines watching the kids play sport on the weekend, ask the person next to you..."What do you do?" and in turn, they will ask you. Build your network through schools, associations, sporting clubs, charities, and large and small organisations. Once you are successful with that network, you are like honey to a bee. Customers will flock to you via word-of-mouth due to your great success in your local area.
There are many more tips ... but hey ... you will have to do my course!
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Business Development doesn't have to be hard. It just requires you to use your dynamic personality and start conversations wherever you are. So why not start a customer conversation today and start making more money now and in the future!
About Odile Faludi
Odile is a passionate freelance writer and a Starting Customer Conversations Specialist. She is trained in "Crucial Conversations" through VitalSmarts. They have helped 300 of the Fortune 500 realise significant results using a proven method for driving rapid, sustainable, and measurable change in behaviours.
Odile runs workshops in Australia, teaching Business Development Managers, Start-up Entrepreneurs, and Sales teams' how to improve their sales skills in initiating client conversations. The one day course is available via SKYPE.
The aim of the course is to teach you how to widen your business net. Grab my free eBook – register NOW!