2:40 Minute Read.
You’ve invested the last hour pitching yourself to your client. Now here’s a surefire way to guarantee you’ll get the listing. Nail the closing – and it’s yours.
Sales resistance is just a normal part of our culture. We’re bombarded all day long with advertising, marketing and sales pitches. Watch them on TV. Listen to them on the radio or simply accept free samples from sweet, old ladies at Sam’s Club. Everyone wants to sell you something. So, it’s natural to build response mechanisms to politely discourage salespeople. “No thanks, I’m just looking” or “I’ll need time to think about it” are examples of these automatic responses. Smart agents completely bypass that process.
“Never use presentation-killing questions.”
Don’t do this…
When directing the conversation towards closing, don’t ask questions that can be answered with yes, no or maybe. And, don’t ask open-ended questions that can be used to escape making a commitment. Too many agents have great listing appointments and then end with presentation–killing questions like, “Well, what do you think?” or worse, “So, are you ready to list with me?”
Do this instead…
Clear all objections during your presentation. If you’ve read previous posts, you know the perfect listing presentation has four parts, the Greeting, the Answer, the Plan and the Close. Each segment is designed to answer client’s questions, clear objections and remove sales resistance. Make sure you’ve achieved the goal of each segment before going onto the next.
Before closing, clear all objections again. Try, “I think I’ve answered every question about selling your house. Do you have any other questions or concerns?” If they offer anything other than unequivocal agreement of your assessment, circle back around and address those issues. Don’t try to close your presentation until you believe your client has satisfied their concerns and their questions are answered.
Assume the listing. Let your confidence kick into high gear. You know you’re willing to give 100% to serve your client - so its OK to assume you are the best choice of agents.
Close with a time-line question. Try, “Before I leave, I have one question for you: If this were a perfect world, by what date would you like to be moving into your next home?”
The “before I leave” portion of the question helps reduce sales resistance. It sets the tone that you are preparing to go without pressing them into a decision. The rest of the question places the responsibility of setting a date on the client’s shoulders. Now, it’s their goal we’re discussing, not your selling effort. Usually, the answer to that question is very specific.
At that moment, take out a fresh sheet of paper and create a timeline. Starting with today and ending with their goal date, educate your seller about the selling process. Explain possession time and back track 30 days on their timeline. Explain the time it takes to close a transaction and backtrack another 30 days. Explain marketing time and DOM - average days on the market (from your CMA) and add back those days. If possible, use the idea “if this were a perfect world” to help extend the best listing date back to today. Often, sellers are surprised how much time it will take to complete the sale of their home. Try, “I don’t want you to feel pressure, but to accomplish your goal of being in your next home by (date), this house will need to be on the market by (date). This method establishes the best timeframe to list their home. If it’s not in their best interest to list their home right now, tell them so and pull out your calendar to set an appointment to meet again. If it’s the right timing, pull out your listing forms. “We’ll need around 15 more minutes to complete to marketing agreement to make that work out for you.” And start writing.
Agents who have never tried the time-line closing method want to know how effective it is. Nearly 100%. They also are curious if clients feel rushed or pressured. Almost never. In my experience, most clients are happy to be moving forward. In fact, many clients comment how nice it was that I helped them over the hump of making a decision. I have learned if they don’t want to move forward with listing, they will let you know.
And it doesn’t need to be harder than that.
** Bonus thought: What if your client isn’t sold on your time-line approach? Ask them what type of person are they - a gambler or a person who only bets on a sure thing? The longer a person waits to list their home, the greater risk they are taking to be successful. A person who lists earlier rather than later betters their chances of reaching their goal.