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Free Shots

Some years ago, I presented a Field Challenges workshop in Perth. Participants submitted for discussion challenges they were facing in the field. A few topics were offered and dispatched quickly as the solutions were obvious.

I then read to the audience a field challenge submitted by email and asked the audience if that challenge affected anybody. All hands went up.

The challenge centred around objections raised by clients after they had spoken to a competing agent. In effect, the competing agent was feeding clients with objections to raise with other agents.

We spent the rest of the workshop on that one challenge, the audience commenting later that they learned a lot.

Then I made a confession: the email was actually sent to me in 1993 – around 12 years before this workshop!

It doesn’t matter what those objections were. My point is, they were the same objections recurring over a period of 12 years. Wouldn’t you think that agents who are faced with the same objections repeatedly would learn how to overcome them?

Stop giving competitors free shots!

Competitors are going to lie to win listings. Get used to it. Learn to combat it.

Competitors are going to discount to win listings. Get used to it. Learn to combat it.

Competitors are going to make disparaging remarks about you. Get used to it. Learn to combat it.

Your competition is predictable. The salesperson who makes disparaging remarks about you won’t do so only once. These people do very little training – the fact that they resort to such low and desperate tactics shows this – and their behaviour is predictable.

All you need to know is the name of the competing salesperson and you know what he or she is saying to win listings. Think about what they say, learn ways to overcome those objections and, whenever you are competing with that salesperson for a listing, combat the objections that you know are coming. Even if the client doesn’t voice the objections, you can deal with them anyway.

At a workshop in New Zealand, an audience member said that whenever a certain competing salesperson was told by a client that they were talking with XYZ Real Estate, this salesperson said, “They’re amateurs”. It is so easy to destroy tacky lines like this.

All the salesperson had to say was this: “You’re talking with x from xx Real Estate? They’re a good company. Could I ask you something in confidence? Did x say that we’re amateurs? He usually does.”

The sellers will sheepishly reply, “Yes”, to which you say, “Has that been your impression of me so far?” Followed by, “It’s a pity he chooses to say that about us. Funny thing is, a true professional would never say such a thing. I thought they were better than that.” Job done.

Then you go on to prove why those sellers should choose you.

There are times when you can ignore your competitors and there are times when you must stand your ground and stop giving them free shots. Standing your ground doesn’t mean being aggressive. It doesn’t mean being a door mat either!

Gary Pittard

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