2013 Salesmanship – You’re Not A Salesman, You’re A Therapist!
There is a common misconception that the best salesman are aggressive closers. That’s simply not true. In fact, most top salesman are like good therapists because like therapists, they’re great listeners. Being a good listener doesn’t come easy because in any communication both parties have a purpose, which we can also call their own agenda. In sales, this agenda is the strategy. It is used to identify the potential for business. For example, if your goal is to help a buyer find a home, your strategy will include showing the buyer several homes and then encourage them to make an offer.
But, what if the strategy is flawed? When you ask questions, you want to weigh the answers against the strategy you’ve developed and modify the strategy as needed. For example, what if the buyer can’t buy a home until they sell their existing home? What if this information is discovered only after you’ve spent several days identifying the perfect home? Do you see the problem with a “Just do it,” Nike-style strategy? In many cases, strong closing skills won’t get the job done until missing facts are discovered. That’s why it’s so important to have a deep understanding of your client before moving forward with your strategy. In most cases, being a good listener, or therapist, is far more important than being a strong closer. Once all of the information is gathered and absorbed, a “winning strategy” can be implemented. This approach is also the most effective way to ensure your clients receive the highest level of service possible.
And, for goodness sakes, don’t assume your clients really know what’s best for them. This is an assumption that usually backfires on even the best agents. Keep in mind, your clients aren’t involved in the business of buying or selling real estate every day like you are so it’s very unlikely they have an expertise that will work better with regard to the real estate process. Even the smartest or most talented people don’t get really good at a new skill until they’ve spent a great deal of time practicing a specific skill. That’s why even the most successful business professionals defer to top agents when making a decision to buy and sell real estate. As an agent, if you have a deep understanding of market trends and product availability, and can apply your knowledge to your clients personal situation from a objective standpoint, you will be invaluable to your buyers and sellers.
Like a good therapist, plan on asking your clients hundreds of questions before offering your opinion. Then, and only then, do you apply the closing skills you’ve developed over years of sales practice. There is no such thing as asking too many questions. Questions show you really care about them and want them to make the best possible decision. Would you do any less if it was a family member? Remember, the way to get everything you want out of life, is to help as many other people get what they want out of their life.