Salesmanship – Don’t Assume Logic with Clients
How often does this scenario happen to you? You’re in the field working with a client. You’ve made a key point you believe is so obvious, anyone would get it. You present the information to your client and they just don’t seem to get it. You ask yourself, “How can anyone so smart be so thick?” Sound familiar? When this happens, it’s time to take a good long look in the mirror. It might be you, not your client!
We all tend to oversimplify things we’ve done over and over. We call that learning process, “Spaced-Repetition.” When you’ve done something hundreds of times, the process comes to you naturally. Once it becomes easy for you, it’s difficult to understand why everyone else isn’t understanding the logic as well as you do. In reality, that is completely unfair to your clients. Their experience in real estate is typically very limited. In addition, they are emotionally involved which makes them unable to detach themselves from their situation to make an objective decision. That’s why most people have Trusted Advisors to give them an outside perspective.
Consider the parent that coaches a sports team for their son or daughter. In the parents mind, their child is always the one that is special or that has unique talents. It’s nearly impossible to be objective when your child or money is involved. From a sports perspective, this is also why so many fans hate the calls that referees make. In most cases, they’re not bad calls. The fan distorts what they see to make the action consistent with what they want. Does this sound familiar? Isn’t that what many of your buyers and sellers are doing? So what’s the answer? A couple key points will help you deal with clients that seem to be struggling with logic.
- Don’t assume. – When a key point is completely obvious to you as an experienced agent, recognize that it may not be obvious to your client because they lack the real estate experience you have.
- Be Patient. – Don’t get frustrated. Take a deep breath and go with the flow. Consider yourself a teacher and your client is your student. You want them to pass because your success depends on it.
- Use Spaced-Repetition. – Remember that people understand only after they have been exposed to a key point or logical argument over and over again. Use different approaches to convey a key point.
One final point, remember that you also have strengths and weaknesses. You can be brilliant at picking up certain types of information, yet struggle with other areas. Give the same courtesy and respect to your clients as you would hope other people would give to you when you’re having one of those challenging moments.