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Low Profile Selling

Aug 31, 2017

Posted by

Tom Hopkins

My life's work has been to change the image of the stereotypical salesperson into that of sales "professional." Selling real estate is an honorable profession in which you get to help people make Read more

Truly successful people in this real estate business understand that what really matters is getting the clients talking about what they want and need -- then finding a truly good solution to their needs among the listings you have access to.

Too many people never enter this wonderful field because they think selling property requires them to be pushy and aggressive.  They think they have to talk and talk and talk, wearing clients down until they list or buy properties.  Or, they think if they just tell clients enough information about the company, the market, their own personal success or show prospects enough homes that they’ll just go ahead and buy something.

In many instances, people who aren’t educated about real estate or haven’t analyzed their specific situation carefully enough may just do that -- accept whatever you’re offering.  And while that makes a sale for you today, it may not do you much good in the long run.  And in this business you want to be in it for the long haul if you intend to achieve much real success.

Education is Your Main Job

Don’t just tell potential clients about the homes you have available.  Ask them what their goals are.  What are their thoughts about what homeownership will do for them?  It’s your job to make certain they understand what a particular property will and will not do for them.  Again, your primary job is not to sell property -- it’s to educate people about the benefits of owning real estate and

then to help them accomplish it.  And it’s essential that you relate it specifically to their needs, not to the market in general.

You would never say, “I have just the home for you!” ten minutes into your initial contact with a family unless they have a very unusual need and you happen to have a very unusual property available.  Never, ever assume a quick sale, even if they come to you saying, “We saw a listing on Park Street.  We know that neighborhood and recognize the floor plan.  We think that’s the home we’ve been looking for.”  Once they get inside, they may realize the homeowner changed some things from the original floor plan or that the home backs up to a retail parking lot and then they’ll really be disappointed.

You see, few people know enough to check out the details of a property like you do.  And, it’s not their job to find the right property.  It’s yours.  You serve their needs best by getting them to tell you everything they can imagine themselves enjoying -- from how they would decorate for the holidays to how they would entertain on the patio and everything in between.

Differentiate Yourself

Not all clients will be easy to work with.  They know you earn money when sales are made.  So, they will automatically be suspect of your recommendations, especially if you believe a property at the high end of their expectations is best for them.  Their defenses will be high and they’ll be ready to dismiss you if you come across like a stereotypical salesperson.  That’s why it’s important that you keep a low profile as a professional salesperson.

If helping people with real estate is your professional career choice, see yourself as an expert advisor.  You want to counsel clients into the right home for their needs, not just sell them a property.  Being an educator is an important aspect of the business of selling.  Think back to your favorite teacher.  Most likely that teacher asked a lot of questions to draw out what you knew about a subject.  In fact, at the beginning of every school year, most good teachers will ask a lot of questions to determine what level of understanding their students already have about the subject at hand.  You need to do the same with any new client of yours.

Prepare Yourself with a List of Questions

If you don’t already have a “needs analysis” list of questions prepared and ready to use with potential clients, invest some time in drafting one up.  Be careful to make the questions conversational.  No one wants to be cross-examined or feel as if they’re being “grilled” for information.  However, most people do like talking about themselves and sharing details of their situations when they feel you truly care.  You demonstrate your concern by how you phrase your questions as well as by listening to their needs.

Be prepared to add to your list of questions based on every presentation you make.  A new buyer might raise a question you’ve never heard before.  When that happens, get them the answer -- then consider

whether or not it might be wise to ask that of other new buyers.  Always be open to learning new ways of helping your clients.

The Professional Approach

None of this requires you to be pushy.  It doesn’t involve talking fast either.  Many consumers have the perception of people who sell as being fast talkers.  If they hear or sense that coming from you, they’ll quickly raise defense barriers.  Little alarms will go off in their heads telling them that they don’t want to be sold anything. They will try to get away from you as quickly as possible and seek out someone who will provide professional counsel for them.

The fun part of learning how to professionally meet, qualify and present properties to people is that you are in control, but not in a way that generates fear or alarm.  You control your meetings with buyers by being professional, sincerely interested in their needs, putting them at ease and asking a lot of questions.  When you get them talking about themselves or their needs, they’ll relax.  When they relax, they’ll tell you more about why they agreed to talk with you in the first place and why they want what they want.  And that’s what you really need to know if you are going to serve their needs long term.

Low Profile Selling Brings Success

In some cases, clients will contact you seeking a particular style of home or location because they think that’s what will take care of their needs -- perhaps after doing some online research or just talking with other people.  However, you’re the professional on the subject of real estate.  If all you do is talk with them about what they think is right, you could be doing them a big disservice.  By remaining low key and asking detailed questions about their needs, you could very well determine that a different type of property or another area of town would be so much better for them and make them happier.

By making your clients and their needs paramount in your communications with them, they’ll sense the level of importance you put on serving them well.  When people feel they are being professionally taken care of, they’ll come back to you with repeat business and will refer other business to you.  That’s when you’ve truly made it in this business -- when clients think “real estate,” they think of you.