In part 1 of this series, we talked about how to prepare yourself - and your sellers - for the time you’re going to spend at their home.
The moment you knock on your seller prospect’s door and shake their hand should not be the first time they learn anything about you. In fact, by the time you get to the front door of the seller’s home, they should be moderately familiar with who you are, what you do and how you’re going to be able to help them achieve their goals.
Conversely, you should be equally familiar with the seller’s timing, motivation and the goals they’re looking to achieve with the agent they choose to sell their home.
It’s now time to knock their socks off by leading them to the conclusion that you’re the absolute best agent for the job of getting their home sold.
Here’s part of a complete strategy to nail your listing appointments. Follow these steps to get the best results:
At the front door
Will Rogers has been credited with saying: “You never get another chance to make a first impression.”
Scientifically, you only have about 7 seconds to hit someone with the best version of you and have it stick. What’s even tougher is that someone’s first impression of you can last for months, so if you’re planning on having a good, long-term relationship with your future clients, you need to bring your A game from the first second you make eye contact on your seller’s front steps.
To make this happen, you need to greet sellers with enthusiasm, a big smile and a handshake that is on point with what’s comfortable with the people you’re meeting.
As part of this greeting, you’re going to ask a simple question: “Are you folks ready to get your home sold?”
Asking this question gives you an idea of where your seller’s mind is on the process.
If you get a resounding “Yes”, it’s game on and full steam ahead.
If you get a “Maybe” or a “No”, then you may have some additional work to do to uncover any roadblocks along the way.
Make sure you crush this part of the process as it sets the tone for the rest of your visit.
The home tour
Virtually nothing happens in the sales process without rapport being established. To that end, it’s vital that you spend as much time as you need to build massive rapport with your seller prospects.
Once you drop your bag off at the kitchen table, look at your prospects and ask: “Who’s going to take me for the grand tour?”
Whoever speaks first is likely the person who has a bigger hand in making the decision about whom to hire to sell the home. Please make a note of this and be sure to spend a little more time and energy building rapport with this person and paying attention to the signals they give you in the sales process.
Yes, both sellers are important, but one of them likely has a little more influence over the decision.
Building rapport here is a two-pronged strategy:
- Physiology: Rapport is built fastest and easiest through physiological means. Using strategies to match and mirror your seller’s body language and voice qualities as you do the home tour will help you get in rapport with your sellers quickly.
- Common ground: From there, you’ll want to look for similarities and things that are common between you and your seller prospects. Books, kids, cigars, cars, sports, clubs...anything. If you share an affinity for something with your prospects, point it out and talk about it.
Many agents shortcut this part of the process and head to selling too soon.
Take your time, get to know your prospects and let them get to know you. If you have the ability to do so, do an exterior view of the property as well. Make sure you do a thorough job in building rapport with your seller prospects and don’t go back to the kitchen table until you have.
Now that you’re ready to do your presentation, you need to make sure that you continue building rapport and on the authority and credibility you started to engineer with your pre-listing materials.
To do this, you’re going to do two things:
- Review the answers to your qualification questions. When you were on the phone with the person you set the listing appointment with, in many cases, you only got one person’s opinion of timing, motivation and goals.
By going through the seller counseling interview questions again, you get to hear the any other seller’s point of view and get a 360° appreciation for what your sellers are trying to accomplish.
At the same time, it allows you to build even more rapport with your prospects and put yourself in even better position to secure the listing.
- Review current market data. You need massive credibility in your listing presentations and demonstrating that you’re an expert in what’s currently happening in the market is a great way to accomplish that.
Take the time to cover what’s happening with sales, mortgages and market trends on a national and local level to help your sellers understand what they’re facing when they put their home on the market.
Doing this not only prepares them mentally for what’s going to happen in selling their home in today’s real estate market, but it also differentiates you from your competition as likely few, if any agents, are going to take the time to demonstrate their expertise on current market conditions.
A nice byproduct of reviewing what’s going on in the real estate market - nationally and locally - is that sellers haggle less with you when it’s time to cover pricing. Because you’ve shown them that you know the market and understand pricing at a high level, you have more credibility when it comes to helping them identify the price at which they should list their home down the road.
As with the walkthrough and rapport building process, you don’t want to shortcut this process, either.
You’re looking for lots of head nods from the seller or for their eyes to glaze over. Either outcome is acceptable.
Your listing presentation
The goal of your listing presentation is to demonstrate as much value as you need to in order to lead your seller to the natural conclusion that you’re the best person for the job of getting their home sold.
To do this, you’ll need to match what your company does to the needs, wants, desires and problems your prospect wants fulfilled and solved.
Ideally, you’re going to share all the features that your company offers: marketing, advertising, customer service, negotiations, etc. to let the seller know that you can get the job done.
Where most agents fall short is in connecting the dots for sellers and identifying the benefits for the features of the services they offer.
Every time you share Features you must also share the associated Benefit(s): (FaBs).
For instance, if you do an amazing job at generating buyer leads for your seller’s homes, then you also must tell them that driving up the demand on their home helps them sell their homes for more money.
Or, if you have a team in place to help them with their every need, you also must let them know that this will save them a tremendous amount of time and stress in getting the home sold.
Most important, you must not just tell them, you must show them what your FaBs are.
In presentations, what you bring to the table - literally - must have a strong visual component to help you influence your prospects at the highest level.
In the end, if you let the seller know that your company provides any service to help them get their home sold, you have to also let them know how that service makes them more money, saves them time, makes life easier or anything else the benefits them...especially as it applies to their goals.
By spending time accentuating your FaBs, you set yourself up to close successfully to get the listing when it comes time to put pen to paper.
In part 3 of this series, we’ll talk about the transition from listing appointment to pricing, pricing and then getting the paperwork signed.
Until then, lay out your listing process properly and practice your FaBs.
Never, ever, never, ever, ever give a feature without a benefit.
We’re not selling the steak...we’re selling the sizzle.