Overcoming client objections is a major challenge and Coach Patti hit it out of the park with this post!
When a prospective seller says, "I need to interview other agents," do you know how to turn that objection into a signed listing agreement?
Overcoming client objections is a major challenge for many agents. There are two factors at work here, and one of them will be very familiar to you. It's our old enemy, the psychic vampire. This time we are taking on fear. Fear of not having the right answers, fear of losing a listing, fear of losing a sale. By now, you know that defeating this – or any – psychic vampire is not that complicated. You recognize it, and then you take action.
The other factor is recognizing the difference between an objection and a condition. Objections can be overcome and left behind on the way to a successful deal. Conditions cannot. Here's how to tell the difference:
- A condition is a fact that is so overwhelming that it makes no sense to pursue a sales opportunity. If your sellers were expecting a job transfer, and the transfer did not go through, then they do not have to move. There is no point trying to push for a sale when they don't need or want to move. Keep in mind, though, that absolute conditions like this are rare; be careful that you are not looking at an objection and calling it a condition as an easy way out.
- An objection is anything that stops a customer from buying/selling or from buying/selling with you. Objections really are little more than excuses that can, and must, be overcome. Price, style, size, too many features, too few features, the list is endless. It is an excuse, a justification, or an obstacle that leads a prospective customer away from you. Your job is to recognize and handle each objection until there is nothing left for your client to do than sign the listing or sign the contract.
Identifying and overcoming objections is crucial to a successful sales process. The prepared, knowledgeable and confident sales person will have an answer for each objection, and be able to re-direct the presentation back toward a successful closing.
So what do you do when presented with an objection? Here's my three step process for overcoming objections:
- Distinguish between a condition and an objection, and make sure that what you are hearing is an objection.
- Learn the real reason behind the objection with gently probing questions to bring to the surface what is really bothering your prospect or client.
- Answer the objection and redirect the conversation back toward a successful closing.
If you're thinking something like, "Sure, sounds easy, but how do I do that?!" – here's how.
The key is to find out what the real reason is behind any objection. You ask respectful but searching questions so that your clients will talk about what's bothering them. What are their biggest concerns? What are the primary factors in their decision? What worries them? What are their priorities, and why? Always ask open ended questions, and then listen carefully.
In time you will find that there really are not that many different objections. Your goal is to learn to recognize the objections and have answers ready that will help you re-direct the presentation back to a successful close. And just like any other skill, you get good at it by practicing and using the technique again and again. This is another situation where playing The Real Estate Game will help you to recognize the objections and perfect your responses.
The most important part in all of this is to keep the dialogue going. The worst response to an objection is stony silence or an answer that is dismissive or insulting. Instead, acknowledge the objection and use that as a starting point to keep the conversation open. By acknowledging the objection, you give yourself time to gather your thoughts and form the questions that will bring out the reason behind the objection. Feeding back the prospect's words also further builds the rapport you have gained by acknowledging them. And by verifying that this is a true objection, you are sure you're not wasting your time.
Your success in this will depend upon your knowledge, the fit of your product (real estate) or service (expertise as an agent) to the prospect's needs, and your ability to establish rapport and communicate effectively. Of course, this takes practice, and it's one of the skills we focus on in The Real Estate Game. Here’s what I recommend:
- Study the most common objections that you will hear. Start by downloading my "Eight Most Common Objections in Real Estate Listings," and learn how to recognize these objections you'll hear from potential listing clients. Later you can make your own list of objections you hear from potential buyers.
- Create at least two responses for each of the most common objections.
- Practice your techniques for overcoming objections until they are second nature.
In my work as a coach over the last 15 years, I've seen that overcoming objections is not a strong skill for most agents. Too many deals are lost and bad deals are made because they were mishandled. Take the time to study, learn, and practice dealing with objections, and you'll not only make better deals but you'll also enjoy it more!
Patti Kouri, Accelerated Performance Coaching
Helping you get past roadblocks in your life and business
so you move off any plateau, move forward, and achieve your goals.
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Eight Most Common Objections in Real Estate Listings