Getting Past the Rhetoric
MBWA – management by walking around – is a good thing for leaders to do on occasions. It gives you an opportunity to listen to what your salespeople are saying to their clients. You may be unpleasantly surprised by what you hear.
- “Yes Mrs Seller, our company’s service is terrific!”
- “We’re the best!”
- “We’ll get you the best price.”
Such statements are rhetoric. Everybody says this kind of stuff. Most fall far short of delivering on it too.
As the leader of your agency, you must help your people to get past the rhetoric. Provide your people with training and sales aids that put an end to them making shallow statements and move them into the realm of the professional salesperson – salespeople that make memorable and powerful statements that are backed up with solid PROOF.
What makes your agency measurably different from its competitors? Why should a seller list with your salesperson and not a competitor?
- Everybody claims to be the best. Can you PROVE it?
- Everybody claims their service is excellent. Can you PROVE it?
- Everybody claims they get their sellers the best prices. Can you PROVE it?
If you can’t, stop making such claims.
It is OK to make a claim, but what separates the professional from the amateur salesperson is that the professional backs up his or her statements with irrefutable proof.
Winning salespeople are like solicitors proving their cases. Statements are backed with proof, or they are not admissible in court.
The same goes with selling. Tom Hopkins says, “Whatever you say, the client doubts. Whatever the client says, they believe.” This is an important point. Clients doubt everything you say. You must remove that doubt if you want to make the sale.
Here is where you, the leader, come into the picture. Call a team meeting. Ask each salesperson a question such as, “Why should I list my property with you?” Ask each salesperson a different question. Listen to their answers. Is the reply rhetoric? Do they waffle? Or do they answer with powerful and compelling answers to the question?
You should workshop such questions and devise catchy ‘Grabs’ that answer the question without doubt.
A reply such as, “We’ll get you the highest price” is OK if you back it up with concrete evidence that you do get the highest prices for your sellers:
“Why should I list my property with you?”
You should list with me because I’ll get you the highest price. Would you like proof? And if I can prove to you that I get the highest prices, will you list with me? This last question is a Sharp Angle Close.
Now comes the proof.
I believe that there is no better way to prove your negotiation ability to sellers than to prove that on every transaction your salespeople negotiated right down to the last dollar with their buyers. Your Sales Register should be full of transactions where the final sale price ended in odd amounts – not $750,000 but an amount like $751,423.
Sure, that extra $1,423 won’t greatly increase your commission cheque, but that extra money will mean a lot to your sellers. Even if you only negotiated an extra $1,423, ask the sellers, “Would you rather I put that money in your pocket, or would you rather I left it in the buyers’ pockets?” You know what option the sellers would choose.
This extra money, this odd amount, makes the sellers see that you worked to get them the highest price and it makes accepting the offer easier for them. In addition, you now have proof in your Sales Register that you treat your promise to get the highest prices seriously.
If every sale your salespeople made ended in odd amounts, your Sales Register becomes a powerful listing tool that gives sellers concrete proof that you do indeed get the highest prices for your sellers.
“Here is a page from my company’s Sales Register from last month. You can see here the name of the sellers, the property address, and over here is the sale price. Do you notice how much this property sold for? $751,423. What about this property: $642,212. And this one: $918,443. See those funny little amounts at the end.
In the first example we negotiated an extra $1,423 for our sellers. Most agents would leave that in the buyers’ pockets, wouldn’t they? But to me, the highest price means getting every last dollar for the people who pay me – that’s you. This proves that my team and I get the highest prices for our sellers, doesn’t it?”
Go ahead: close the sale.
Leaders, this is just one scenario of many that you should workshop with your team. Teach your people how to effectively answer their clients’ questions with punchy grabs backed up with proof. Move them away from rhetoric and shallow statements.
Run a training meeting with your people and workshop the fifteen most common questions that clients ask. Devise with your team grabs and gather evidence to support those statements.
Your team will be better prepared and you will get more business.