Coaches Corner Newsletter - Issue #975
 
April 9th, 2020
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Words of a Champion...

I have always believed that new challenges in life present new opportunities.  We are given opportunities to grow, improve, and learn new skills and abilities, which we might not learn otherwise.

It is easy to get comfortable and complacent when the going is easy.  We often just ride the wave of success, rather than learning how to paddle better.  We miss the opportunities to learn, grow, and gain greater strength.

I have come to realize that there is always a greater challenge around the corner.  The obstacles that you are facing right now are preparing you for the future.  I did not always embrace this attitude of gratitude for challenges and obstacles.  I used to say, “If I could only solve this problem, I would have everything else handled.”  That’s not the way that life and business works.  The most successful people are problem solvers.  Rather than CEO, President, Sales Manager, or Salesperson on your business card, it should read Chief Problem Solver. 

One technique to build your confidence and competence in facing new challenges is to record them.  Record the challenge then think on paper to create the solution.  Too often, we don’t concisely write out the new challenge.  Then we fail to think solutions through on paper.  Completing this process gives us two benefits:

  1. Greater access to our mind to create solutions:  By writing your challenge down, you activate your whole mind (the conscious and subconscious) to work on the challenge even when you are asleep.  You will light a mental fire that will burn bright until you have extinguished the problem for good.

  2. A record of success:  By writing things down, you create a blueprint for greater success.  You allow yourself to go from one victory to the next, applying your gained knowledge quickly and efficiently.  Making the right decision is essential to success, but making it quickly is nearly as important.  Sometimes, we might make the right decision, but we have waited too long.  We have missed the opportunity that was before us.  Many times, opportunity merely knocks once.  You must be prepared to seize the opportunity when presented.

The speed at which a good decision is made is essential.  Place yourself in the cockpit of an F16, one of the highest advanced aircraft in the world.  You have been instructed to attack another military force.  You have a series of missiles bearing down on you.  Do you let the speed at which you make the decision have a bearing on your success…of course!  If you don’t move quickly, you’re dead.
We have to take the right perspective and attitude to achieve success.  We have to acquire the focus and intensity of a great problem solver.  We have to act decisively and quickly to achieve our desired result.

To Your Success,

Dirk Zeller

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Creating a Dynamic Listing Presentation
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The listing presentation is one of the most misunderstood areas of real estate sales.  There are as many theories about this presentation as there are licensed Agents in North America.  Although the listing presentation has been changed and altered dramatically in the last five to ten years, an efficient and professional presentation will enable the Agent to control his clients properly.  What are the elements of an efficient, professional listing presentation?

First, it is necessary to clearly define a purpose for the listing presentation.  Now, I know that you are thinking, “Of course, the purpose is to take the listing.”  You would be partially correct.  Certainly, the objective is to get the contract signed.  The true purpose, though, is to identify the clients’ problem in an efficient manner and convey to the clients that you are the person who will provide the best opportunity to solve their problem.  These are the objectives of a professional’s listing presentation.

The first part, identifying the problem, has two issues that must be resolved.  The first issue is identifying the actual problem.  The actual problem has a baseline that stems from price.  “Price will fix everything else in the equation.”  The price is like the known variable in an algebra equation.  You need to search for the other potential issues, or potential problems, but they all flow through the known issue, which is invariably price. 

By lowering the price, you can sell a property in poor condition, in a poor location, on a busy street, functionally obsolete, in a “buyer's market,” or poor marketing.  The list of fixable problems is never ending; price has a direct correlation to all of these issues.  These issues or problems may, or may not, be interconnected with each other, but price is the only guaranteed connection to all these issues or problems.  Your presentation should be focused and centered on price so that you will have an opportunity to get a sale, rather than just a listing.  Both you and your client want the sale.  Neither of you just wants the property listed.

The second key issue, during the identifying the problem stage, is to get your client to agree on the problem.  This one certainly is the harder of the two issues.  You must be in agreement with your client about what the problem is before you can proceed forward.  Since the problem is most often price, you must have a mutual agreement on price.  The stronger you are regarding the price, the better chance you have of a sale.  Many Agents will delay the hard reality, hoping it will go away.  Deal with it up front rather than thirty days down the road.  You must have the integrity to tell the client the truth; “It won’t sell for what you want.  You need to lower the price.”  Do not hedge or mince words.  Tell the client straight up that it will not sell and get an agreement with the client on price before you move on.  There is no point in continuing if you and the client do not agree on price.  You will just be wasting your time.  I urge you to have the conviction in your skills, as an Agent, to truthfully interpret the market, even though most Agents will not.  Be honest.  Most Agents want the listing and are unwilling to risk losing the listing even though they know the property will not sell for the client’s desired price.

Once you have resolved the pricing issue you are in the home stretch.  Your job now is to convey that you are the real estate agent for the job.  Brevity is crucial to success in this arena.  Most people do not want to listen to someone talk about how great they are at selling homes.  Ask them specific questions to see what kind of services they are looking for from their agent.  Find out the type of agent they are looking for to sell their home.  Most people will just say, “We want someone who can sell our home.”  This is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your confidence and conviction that you are the real estate agent for the job.  Look them straight in the eyes and tell them your track record of success and ask them if they are looking for an Agent of your caliber.  If you do not have a track record, sell your company’s record.  You may even need to sell a little of both.  Finally, ask the clients to sign the paperwork.

This section of your presentation should last less than ten minutes, unless they ask a lot of questions.  Throughout this presentation, pepper them with trial closure.  For instance, “Do you want a lock box or by appointment only?  Are there times that would be inconvenient to show the home?”  If you have a concern about the condition of the property, ask the clients if they could fix these items.  There are a million trial closes; use a few to test the water.  Most people will answer them and proceed forward.

When you have set up a few trial closes and you have already agreed on the price, you have arrived.  You have arrived at the moment of truth, simply ask for the order.  It does not have to be elaborate, just ask.  Here are a few examples: “I think I have all the information I need; I just need your o.k. in the box” or, “Do you believe I can sell your home?”  When they say yes, ask them to sign.  If they say no, ask them to tell you why and listen to their answer.  Once you have heard their answer, handle their concern, and ask them for the order again.  Do not give up after the first setback.  The average sale is made after the fifth or sixth customer refusal.  Be persistent; do not give up.  If you firmly believe that you are the Agent for the job that belief will come through.  People want to select winners to sell their homes.

Many Agents do not understand the concept of brevity.  They have a two-hour listing presentation.  What in the world are they doing for two hours?  The seller wants to know each Agents version of the problem, wants to know how that Agent can solve the problem, and which one is the best Agent for the job.  The rest of the presentation the seller really does not care about.  If you want to be the chosen Agent, focus on the problem and the solution.  Spending endless amounts of time on other stuff will just weaken your presentation.

Lastly, once the contract is signed, spend a few minutes debriefing the seller.  If you have staff, introduce them to the seller.  If you have a routine of communication or system you use that may be unique, fill them in.  A few minutes of explanation will save you the "frustrated seller" phone call in thirty days.  Let them know you care, appreciate the opportunity, and move on to the next appointment.

A truly dynamic presentation is short and to the point.  It also stays on focus for the entire time of the presentation.  Do not break your momentum by going too long or not staying focused during the presentation.  Stay directed, stay focused and solve their problem.

 
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Do You Do What You Know You Should?
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Most Agents know deep down inside that they need to do a better job of prospecting in order to increase business. They know that true long-term sales success is built through the work of looking for new business, but they do not do the work.  Unlike those Agents, if you want to succeed, you must provide service to clients once you have acquired them, but you have to acquire them before you can serve them.  The guy who builds the best mousetrap only has a great mousetrap.  He still has to find someone to buy it.  Finding someone to buy it is often harder than creating the mousetrap.

Rule #1: Schedule a time to do it.

You should schedule your prospecting block for the same time daily.  This time should be when you are the sharpest – at your peak performance.  For me it was early in the morning.  I did my prospecting calls first thing in the morning, because that was when I had the most energy.  Your time schedule may be different.

For most of us, including myself, if the prospecting is not scheduled it doesn’t get done.  The time for prospecting has to be treated as if it were a listing or buyer appointment.  None of us would ever think of being late for or skipping either of those.  You can’t afford to miss a prospecting appointment.  The prospecting appointment feeds your listing and buyer appointments.  By sticking to your prospecting appointments, you will have many more listing and buyer appointments to work with.

Rule #2: Stay the course.

When you get busy -- because you will -- don’t stop prospecting.  Stay the course.  Agents who stop prospecting ride the roller coaster of income: one month . . . great, the next . . . nothing.  The ups and downs of income are caused by the inconsistency of their prospecting.  Resolve today to keep up the momentum of prospecting!

This problem happened to one of my clients.  She was doing a fantastic job prospecting, and she created more leads and business than she could handle.  She then stopped prospecting.  You can guess what happened; she took the big swan dive.  We coached her “to raise the bar” instead of stopping what’s working.  What I mean by “to raise the bar” is to qualify your leads harder.  You have the opportunity to select better clients.  You have earned the right through your prospecting to work only with highly motivated buyers and sellers.  The more motivated people will treat you better, respect you more, and do what you say.  What a great reward for prospecting!  More money and easier people to work with – who wouldn’t like that? 

Rule #3: Don’t worry about what you can’t control.

Don’t worry about the people who are not home when you call.  Don’t worry about the people who are negative.  Don’t concern yourself about the best time to call.  Don’t worry about the conditions of the field – just play.  The field conditions are the same for us all.  Nobody takes seriously the football coach who says that the rain caused his team to lose -- was it only raining on his side of the field?  Focus on what you do have right now.  What you have is the person on the other end of the line.  Focus on serving this person and seeing if you can solve this person’s problem if it’s an expired or FSBO.  If this is a cold call, or if you are calling someone in your farm, try to connect with the person and check for motivation to sell.  If you find someone who doesn’t have motivation, move on to the next person.  There is a four-letter word successful sales people say all day -- it’s NEXT!

To be effective at prospecting, you must make a firm commitment to do it daily without fail.  It’s amazing what a few calls every day will yield after a year.  Start today and stay with it.  Stay the course through the ups and downs.  Don’t worry about things that are out of your control.  Regular prospecting leads to control of your business and of your income.  It frees you to work the schedule you desire.  If you need help getting started, give us a call or visit our web site at www.realestatechampions.com.  Don’t delay -- start today.

 
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Preparing for Objections
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There are really two parts to preparation for sales objections.  The first is the preparation of practicing to perfect your delivery.  You must make a commitment to role play a few times weekly; to work at delivering your responses in a controlled environment where you can learn, but it won't cost you sales.  Don't practice in front of your prospects; practice before you talk with them.  You also must memorize, rehearse, and internalize multiple ways to overcome each objection you will regularly encounter. 

For most real estate sales, there are about a dozen objections that occur over 80% of the time.  Commit to practice, role play, and perfect the response to those first.

The second part of the preparation process for objections happens either before or very early in the presentation.  The difference is based on whether you have a one step sales process where, on the initial call, you are attempting to make the sale or a two step process where you are working to book an appointment either on the phone or face-to-face to make a presentation to secure the sale.

The more information you have about the prospect before you make the presentation, the fewer the objections you will encounter.  You want to ask the prospect five categories of questions.  You will want to ask problem/need questions that determine what problems they have and solutions you can offer them.  You will want to probe with experience questions about past agents and real estate sales.  You want to focus on the past and present; you need to know time frame/motivation questions like how soon and how likely a move will be.  You want to ask budget/price questions.  Is it in the budget?  What do you expect to pay?  Lastly, we need to know expectation questions.  What are the top three things you expect?  How would you gauge a successful relationship with me as a service provider?

To property ferret out objections and serve the client well, we must know:

  1. How the customer is going to make their decision
  2. When the customer is going to make their decision
  3. If they have the authority to move forward
  4. What they want
  5. What they need
  6. What their financial ability to move forward is
  7. If they have enough motivation or desire to do it
  8. How they are going to judge a successful relationship with us
  9. Who else they are considering
  10. What the possible threats or reasons are for a stall
  11. What the possible objections are that we will receive

If you know many of the answers to these questions, you will encounter fewer objections.  You will also know, in advance, the ones you will most likely hear, so you can prepare, in advance, how you will respond to them in a professional, confident, and non-emotional manner.

Too often, salespeople allow prospects to bring out objections at the wrong time when they are early in their presentation, and the prospect objects to the listing price or timing or other factors.  The truth is if the value of your service was so significant, they would find the money in the budget, and the price would be a non-issue.  The best tactic is to delay the objections until later in your presentation.

Ask permission to delay the response to their question until later.  Tell them you have a particular order to your presentation that you have found your clients like best.  They will also gain a more comprehensive understanding of your service this way.  Ask them, "Would it be okay if we wait and address this later in the part of my presentation where I will address all of your concerns?"

Having a written agenda for your presentation that can be faxed, e-mailed, or handed to the prospect in advance of your meeting is highly effective in delaying objections.  You can explain the agenda and get them to agree that they will follow it with you.  When they bring up an objection, you can then refer back to the agenda and tell them exactly when you will be dealing with their concern.  That allows you to stay on track and not go somewhere that will hamper the sale.  You can also easily use this technique if you give them a copy of the agenda.  First tell them what the typical process of your presentation is like.  Share with them the six, seven, eight (whatever the number may be) steps of your presentation.  You should share how long your presentation will be even.

When they try to change the order through an objection, you merely say to them, "I thoroughly cover that concern in step #6.  Would it be okay if we talked about it then?"  It would be rare for them to say, "No, I want to talk about it now."

This technique is especially helpful when you are encountering price objections.  In many cases, price objections can come out early for a busy prospect.  The problem with that early timing is that most salespeople haven't built enough value for their service, so answering the objection at that time won't help you much.

 
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