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Added: February 15, 2010
Article rating: 3.45 (of 5) - 11 votes

Do You Really Need Sales Skills in Real Estate?

[ by Linda Schneider ]
Unfortunately "sales skills" has become almost a dirty word in real estate. That's because the traditional ways we're taught to "handle objections," "build yeses," discover needs and present solutions," "close," etc. make us feel aggressive, pushy, and out of our integrity. Our instincts are correct: These methods actually create resistance, making it harder for us to grow our business.

Psychological Insight

Why is it that? Here's some psychological insight: When we ask a prospect to do anything, no matter how small (look at our data, listen to information, meet with us, give us their phone number, see a house, divulge their lending information, give us a referral, say "yes," tell us what kind of house they want, look at a CMA, listen to our presentation, etc, etc, etc.), we're asking them to do something we want them to do... not something they want to do. That causes us to feel manipulative.

Our prospect senses a trap and puts up a fight in the form of reluctance, anger, coldness, being vague, or most commonly by giving us objections. This makes us feel adversarial and out of our integrity. Who wants to feel that? It's demeaning to us and our prospects.

So what do we do? Usually, most real estate agents avoid the confrontation by dancing around the difficult questions. They let prospects off without a commitment (for instance, not asking for a buyer broker agreement). Or they spend large amounts of their valuable time "wooing" the prospect by educating them, showing houses, doing complimentary staging, sending "stuff" etc-hoping the prospect will eventually volunteer to hire them.

All this makes agents feel out of control and powerless over their pipeline.

But "sales skills" don't have to be a dirty word and agents can learn to sell both intentionally and with integrity. For instance, instead of focusing on wants in a sales conversation (what we want, what they want), we can focus on what our prospects are thinking about. This is important in real estate because the complexity and size of the decision means our prospects have a lot on their minds and don't want to be pinned down to a decision yet.

A Sounding Board Approach to Sales

Have you ever had a friend, family member, broker, or coach who acted as a sounding board for you? All you needed was for them to listen and ask questions and occasionally point out patterns. You got greater clarity. Then after a while, you were also perhaps more receptive to a bit of advice.

High-integrity consultative salespeople do something similar for their prospects. By acting as a sounding board, drawing prospects out with great questions and not asking them to do anything, they open the communication up rather than closing it down. A great openhanded, consultative salesperson isn't afraid to allow the conversation to be directed by the prospect, because they know that by asking the right questions, they can always move the conversation in a different direction. Think of it as a karate master, moving a person's force around and deflecting it in different directions without ever using force of his own.

By encouraging people to talk, top salespeople move the conversation to a sales conclusion without making it adversarial. When the time is right, after a significant amount of listening and asking questions and listening some more, the agent will find the way open for giving information or taking action, allowing the conversation to flow peacefully to a closing.

Avoid the pitfalls and challenges that plague most Realtors!


About the Author: I dispel the sales tactics most real estate agents are taught that actually create resistance, making it harder to grow your business! My name is Linda Schneider and I am the Personal Sales Trainer to hundreds of experienced real estate agents who are re-learning how to sell and finding whole new levels of income.

Read how to prospect and convert leads naturally, with dramatically more control and confidence. Visit my site and read the following report--10 Secrets of Influence (that top consultative salespeople use to peacefully convert leads, handle objections, and ask for a commitment without "sounding or feeling like a salesperson"). Go here to read more:

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