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  • John Henderson

The Gentle Art of Down-Selling


1 min 23 sec read.

There is a reason good clients keep calling you to handle another transaction for them. They like your approach, character, intelligence, persistence and professionalism. You’re not likely to hear they called you because you’re a great down-seller. But clever real estate agents know how to harness this technique.

What is down-selling? It is removing all external pressure from clients so that they can find their own internal reasoning for purchasing. It is determining the correct pace a buyer needs to feel in order to make a sound decision. As an example, it might be easier to describe what down-selling is not. Consider the pushy used car salesman. We’ve all felt the stress of shopping for a vehicle. From the moment you step onto the car lot, he is applying pressure for you to select and purchase something, anything. It’s obvious he’s working for himself – not you.

Down-selling is just the opposite.

Never forget Rule #1:

“People choose you because

they know you, like you and trust you.”

From the moment you meet a potential buyer, determine the pace they’ll need to hear from you and make sure to deliver it. Measure how they talk. Fast talking clients tend to make fast decisions. Slow talkers take their time. Ask lots of questions about what’s important to them.

While they’re touring homes, point out both what they’re likely to enjoy and dislike. Try, “Based on what you’ve told me, I’m not certain you’d like… about this house.” Using this tact, buyers will reveal what’s really important. That sends a strong message that you’re there as an advocate – not a salesperson.

In a balanced market, (read: not in the crazy seller’s market we’re still in.) it’s OK to slow down decision making too. Try, “If this is the house you really want, I won’t try to stop you. But know, we’ve only toured 2 houses and I don’t want you to ever feel you didn’t take the time to see all the selection available.”

And don’t be afraid to hush other voices. When you sense a buyer is getting pushed into a decision against their will, stand up for them. Politely remind everyone who is making the mortgage payment and encourage clients to make their own choices.

I was talking recently to a father of one of my buyers. I think he said it best: “John, I’ve been watching you through this entire process. Never once did you apply an ounce of pressure to (his son) to buy and that’s why we trust you so much.”

And that’s the true benefit of down-selling: client loyalty.

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