How often does this scenario happen to you: You’re in the field working with your buyer or a seller. You’ve made a key point that you believe is so obvious that 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. You see, it’s not your client that may be a little thick, it’s you!
We all tend to oversimplify the things that we have done over and over and over. We call that learning process, “Spaced-Repetition.” When you’ve done something hundreds of times, the whole process comes to you naturally. And, 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 buyers and sellers. Their experiences in real estate are typically very limited. In addition to that, they are emotionally involved which makes them unable to detach themselves from their situation long enough to make an objective decision. That is why most people have Trusted Advisors that can give them an outside perspective.
Consider the parent that coaches a sports team for their son or daughter when they’re young. No matter how hard they try, 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 it’s your child or money is involved. From a sports perspective, this is also why so many fans hate the calls that referee’s make. In most cases, they’re not bad calls. It’s the fan that 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? Absolutely!
So what is the answer? A couple of key points will help you deal with clients that seem to be struggling with logic.
- Don’t assume – Even when a key point is completely obvious to you as an experienced agent, recognize that the logic may not be as obvious to your client because they lack the real estate experience that you have.
- Be Patient – Don’t get frustrated. Just take a deep breath and go with the flow. Consider yourself a teacher and your buyer or seller your student. You want them to pass because when they do, you make thousands of dollars for being successful teaching them.
- Use Spaced-Repetition – Always remember that people understand only after they have been exposed to a key fact, or logical argument only after they have been exposed to it over and over again. Be sure to use different approaches to convey a key point.
One final point, remember that you also have your challenging moments. 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 or your family when you’re having one of those challenging moments.