What Your Client Hears
1:53 Minute Read.
Oh my. Seems everywhere you look there are life lessons for the taking.
I dropped off my car at the dealership for servicing, putting it into the hands of highly trained, certified professionals.
Late Friday afternoon, I was told the parts were not available. Given two choices, I could take the car home for the weekend and use it or leave it until the repair was completed.
Serviceman #1 said it this way – “Mr Henderson, I don’t want to inconvenience you. We can handle this any way you want. The car is safe to use. Feel free to take it home and I will call you as soon as the new part arrives. When you bring it back, we’ll get it fixed asap.”
Serviceman #2, who wasn’t as adept at communication said this – “Look, you can take the car if you want but I can’t guarantee when the part will get here. And if we’re booked up when it arrives, you’ll just have to wait.”
“What you say is less important
than what they hear.”
I was livid at the second guy. After taking some blood pressure meds, I calmed down enough to realize that both servicemen were really saying the same thing. One just said it so much better than the other.
And here are some lessons for any real estate agent willing to listen…
Be forthright. Sometimes, we must relay unpleasant information to our clients. Say it. Don’t ignore it. Don’t run to the tall grass to hide. Make sure your client knows the facts. But in saying it...
Empathize. As you speak, think about how your client will hear it. Consider the difference between Servicemen 1 & 2. Mr. #1 described everything from my perspective. Mr. #2 explained the circumstance from his own point of view. In real estate, putting a home on the market can create a major upheaval for families. Knowing your work will affect client’s lives, sincerely communicate the desire to make the transaction successful and pain-free for them.
Anticipate and answer questions before they’re asked. In the car story, I needed to know whether the car was safe for my wife to drive. The better serviceman understood this and addressed the issue before I could ask. That’s a mark of a true professional. His awareness of my needs helped calm the situation.
So, here are three important questions every home seller wonders about. Answer these early in the presentation. If you don’t, they might not listen to anything else you’re saying.
How much is my home worth? What do I have to do to it before listing it? How long will this process take?
Buyers – especially first timers – can hyper-focus on their wish list and forget about the larger transaction. They’re counting on you to guide them through the process. Answering these questions early in the process will put them at ease. Other questions they'll have:
What does a buyer’s agent do and how are you paid?
How will you protect my interests throughout the transaction? What does the process and timeframe look like?
Offer alternatives. Every agent carries a toolbox – some are better stocked than others. The tool you’ll always reach for is creativity. Wow clients with your knowledge and experience by offering creative alternatives to solve problems and meet their needs.
Promise results. Clients pay us to get things done. Make sure their goals are your goals. E’nuf said.
Leave the decision with the client. It’s too easy to fret over the choices of others. Truth is, we cannot know the future so we won’t always recognize the “right” decision. Offer your best advice. Let your client choose between the alternatives. At the end of the day, it’s their home, their money and their transaction. Not yours.
On another note, I – like many of you – receive several recruiting emails each week. One stood out this week. While describing how brokers take enormous amounts of money from agents, it promised to only take $4,400 every year from you. Why do they need to take that much? What are they offering to give you in exchange for that money? At Best Homes of Michigan, we take ZERO from our agents. We are picky about who we recruit, but if you’re a great agent with a big future, click on the link below and find out how we serve our agents.