Objection Handling


It is amazing how an objection raised in the sales process can make most Agents look like a deer in the headlights: they get that blank look of disbelief that you see just before the front grill of your car connects with deerskin at full speed. If the deer manages to move at all, he does it at the last split second before fatal impact, leaving you to experience heart-pounding adrenaline for the next 30 minutes. Many Agents treat objections the same way that a deer treats oncoming traffic. They are frozen in terror, and move only at the last second before the buyer or seller runs them over.

Often, Agents will view an objection as a big wall between them and the sale . . . a wall so tall that they can see no way around, over, under, or through. But objections are really like a two-to-three-foot-high picket fence. There are, in fact, many ways over it; or you can walk down its length and find the gate. An unskilled salesperson fears hearing an objection, but a great salesperson views objections as opportunities.

Your mental approach to an objection will determine your success or failure. Most Agents dread hearing an objection, but most objections result from one of two situations. One is the seller or buyer has legitimate concerns regarding the property and/or your skills to sell his home. The other occurrence of objections is because your presentation was not good enough. You did not convey the confidence that you are the person for the seller to hire for the sale of his home. You did not make a convincing enough presentation for the buyer to purchase the home you showed him. The clients’ desire to work with you is a natural ending to a good presentation. If the presentation is weak, the objections will flow like a river. There are really only about forty possible objections in the selling process of real estate. The question is why haven’t you learned them all? If you wrote them all down and practiced them for half an hour a day for the next six months, you would know them automatically. You would be prepared for any situation in selling. You would then have the confidence to say, “Bring them on; I am ready for them.” There are about ten to fifteen most common objections that will stop unprepared Agents in their tracks 90% of the time. How difficult would it be to learn just those ten in the next 30 to 60 days?

The problem is we do not regularly practice countering objections in real estate. The Denver Broncos spend four to six hours a day practicing football. The players and coaches spend a couple more hours a day reviewing film and studying their playbooks during a two-month span in spring training, then they play four practice games in pre-season to prepare for the real NFL season. Next, the players and coaches spend a few hours a day practicing and watching films, five or six days a week, to prepare for one 60-minute game. They will spend 40 to 50 more times practicing and preparing for the game than actually playing the game. How skilled in sales would you be if you adopted that regiment? How about if you practiced even one hour a day on your skills at overcoming objections? You would become an unstoppable real estate sales person.

Your attitude and mental approach to objections will determine your success level. Do not relinquish control of your mind to your client. Step up with mental authority and clarity to handle any objection a client raises. Practice being successful daily, and you will be amazed at your progress in as little as 30 days.

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The two Cs of objection handling:

1. Communication

When we look at our ability to communicate at the Champion Agent level, we need to evaluate our verbal, vocal, and visual communication skills. The vocal and visual are the most powerful when dealing with objections.

Verbal: These are the actual words and phrases you use to communicate to people. The words really don’t convey the complete story, since they account for only 7% of communication. However, it is hard to think about how best to use the vocal and visual to improve your communication and conversion if you are stuck focusing on the words. It is priceless to have mastered the words for the approximately forty major objections.

Vocal: This is the tone and pace of your delivery. This carries more weight than the words. We experience 38% of our communication using the vocal medium.

Visual: This is what people see when you speak. It’s the powerful, subtle yes head nods, confident posture, and eye-to-eye contact. This form of communication accounts for 55%. Your body language conveys how you perceive yourself and the value of your service. If you visually demonstrate that you are the best, the prospect and clients will have more faith in your claim. They can see right through practiced responses that are inconsistent with the body language. The salesperson who exudes confidence and excitement will generate the same feeling in their prospects and clients.

2. Confidence

When your confidence goes up, your competence goes up, as well. When you communicate your confidence, and the prospect feels that you are prepared to handle the objections that you might encounter, this will reduce the amount of objections they express to you, and they will sign more quickly. This confidence must come out from the initial contact with the prospect. My question is what do you need to improve on to dramatically raise your confidence? What skills do you need to practice? What mental attitude do you need to change? Is there knowledge that needs to be acquired?

Preparation is essential for Champion Objection Handlers. Learn who they are, so you can anticipate their needs and questions. Prepare the proper questions; prepare to listen, as well, and you can better direct the presentation to answer their objections before they come up.


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The Champion Do’s and Don’ts of Objection Handling

There is a series of mistakes that prevent most salespeople from reaching the Champion level in their objection handling. In this article, I am going to address the most common mistakes that stunt a real estate agent’s progress.

 1. DO! – Let them be heard

I have listened to countless agents’ presentations. Often, when the client begins to object, the agent will leap into objection handling mode too soon. Many don’t even wait to let the prospect finish their thought. They interrupt, which is certainly rude to the prospect. It can also cause frustration on the part of the prospect. It’s almost as if the agent is hoping to stuff the objection back into their mouth before they even get it out. We need to let he prospect express their view and concerns fully.

2. DON’T! – Argue and lose

There is a fine balance between guiding them to the truth of your advantage and the marketplace realities and arguing with the prospect. I know I have, at times, crossed the line into arguing. Almost every time I did, it cost me the transaction or listing. When you feel that you are beginning to be at odds with the prospect, you need to re-phrase everything into a question. It moves what might be considered verbal swordplay into a one-man-battle. The prospect will be using his sword against himself with the right questions. He will be the one getting cut

3.   DO! – Shrink it down to size

We need to shrink any financial objection down to the true size. If it’s a commission objection (when we want 6%, and the seller wants to pay 5%), we need to shrink it down to the 1% difference and not talk about the 6% and the 5% commission. If the seller wants to list at $450,000, and you know it needs to be priced at $399,000, you need to talk about $50,000.

We need to use payment, interest rate, inventory levels, list price to sales price, and monthly or even daily cost. The smaller we can make the difference between where they want to be and what we think is necessary to achieve their goals and create a reasonable fee for us, the better. That is the key discussion.

Once you have shrunk it down, you can then do a comparison close of the difference. Ask them, “If (the commission rate, initial list price, etc.) was the same between myself and Agent X, who would you select to represent your interests? So, if I would be willing to _______________ like Agent X, you will commit to working with me right now . . . correct?” We have to be able to define the reason and the size of the objection into the smallest differential between where we want to be and where the prospect wants to be.

4. DON’T! – Be the “but” of the problem

The most common error in objection handling is the usage of the word “but”. A “but” used in objection handling is the kiss of death. The “but” negates what you said up until that juncture.

For example:  “I understand how you feel about my commission, but I really feel I am worth it.”


“I hear what you are saying about the list price you want to start at, but are you aware of the market conditions?”

Using “but” tells the prospect you really didn’t listen to them, and in fact, you don’t even care that you didn’t listen. It also says, “The things I said to you were said to make you feel comfortable with me. I am just trying to manipulate you to make a sale. I wanted to make you feel that I liked you and accepted your thoughts.”

The “but” says, “I’d argue with you, but you are wrong.” One other caution is that many salespeople try to substitute “however” instead of “but”. The truth is “however” is really a dressed up “but”. It’s really a “but” with a bow tie on.

 5. DO! – Get offensive

Objection handling is really an offensive opportunity. It’s not a time to play defense. When you respond to an objection, the final part of the objection should be a question. You should respond to the objection and then ask for them to proceed forward. Even asking them if they have any other questions sets the stage for the close. You can use any question you want. You could ask them, “Shall we get started?” or “Do you want me to handle the sale for you?” or “Shall we do a broker open this week or next?” or “When can I bring the first buyer through?” There is an unending series of questions that can be asked. We have to get in the mindset that we are going to hear objections as a scoring opportunity.

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