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On "Scripts and Dialogues"...

Real Estate Agent with msWoods Real Estate, Serving Hamilton County & Fishers IN

This is awesome and so true! Our clients know if we are presenting our authentic selves. Each client's situation, desires, fears, joys are unique to them. It is our job to engage them and help them to their best outcome...great blog!

Original content by John Schumacher

Someone close to me - one of my very best friends - actually USED IT ON ME...the classic "Alternate of Choice" closing technique some 20 years ago in trying for an insurance appointment and I can still remember my reaction to "Would Tuesday be good for you, or would Thursday be better (with an upswing at the end as a demonstration of positivity!)?".  Although  I'd been taught this very language myself early in my sales career,  I still remember the distinct surprise, the disappointment, the low level of disgust I felt that a friend would actually attempt to employ sales talk on me.  (You actually know and hate when you're hearing canned language... don't you?)

I still have this very same negative reaction today every time I hear such trite and canned phrases from salespeople.  What our industry refers to as "scripts and dialogues" - each technique uniquely labeled such: "Alternate of choice"; "Feel, felt, found"; "Tie down"; "Trial close" are all designed primarily for one thing - to manipulate other people.   (I understand and appreciate the way you feel about manipulation.  Others have felt that manipulation was right if it served the goal of getting the listing, but they found they were wrong.)

I'm disappointed that our industry still emphasizes these antiquated, sophomoric phrases and techniques.  Scripts and dialogues may provide salespeople something to say, but any success gained through their use is temporary and ultimately undermines the establishment of deeper, richer, genuine relationships. Through the use of "scripts and dialogues" we may be able to get people in the short run to say what we want them to; to drop objections, to swallow their fears, to choose us or even to sign our contracts, but in the long run their use erodes rather than builds relationships. (Do you honestly believe your spouse would tolerate being on the receiving end of even your very best "Feel, felt, found"?!)  The great salespeople aren't those with the best answers - they're those with the best questions!  Instead of teaching our sales associates how to use memorized words (no matter how naturally spoken), we should be teaching them how to ask meaningful questions, be fully present,  risk going beneath the surface,  share their truths and listen actively for the real questions behind the questions.  (You'd want to know the real questions...wouldn't you?)

Conveying a canned response to anyone is downright demeaning, for it assumes that the same question or objection that one person offers means exactly the same as when offered by another.  The words might be the same, but the meaning, the emotion behind them is never exactly the same.  Just think about the very language that we attach to our "scripts and dialogues" practice, as in:  "USE this technique ON them".  Instead of discussing objections, we teach our salespeople how to handle them. (It's time we dropped learning things to use on people... wouldn't you agree?)

There is no doubt that what we say, and how we say it matters, and I don't intend to minimize that.  A well crafted presentation is art. Yet, the most effective presentations are delivered in response to the wants, needs, desires of the potential client.  How can we discover those unless we are actively engaged in genuine conversation?  While clever verbiage might convince a home seller of the value of our services, how much more powerful is the sales associate who actually knows and has deeply internalized her own value?  Which is really the BIGGER problem that our industry has...  that sellers aren't convinced of our value...or that our agents aren't?   (You're worth every penny you charge...aren't you?)

Let's quit teaching scripts, let's start teaching communication.

Leaders are excellent communicators.


Comments (2)

Mark Mansfield
RE/MAX Ocean Properties - Morehead City, NC
Broker - NC Beaches , Water & Golf Course Homes

Great post I totally agree. People like people they can trust and who would feel that with those responses.

May 23, 2011 04:41 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Great post, Jennifer.

Canned Sales Pitches are so lame, don't you agree?  

And you wouldn't want to offend a potential client with this scripted jargon, would you?

I'd love to talk with you more about this later... perhaps tomorrow, or do you have time on Wednesday?  Which works better for you?  


May 23, 2011 04:58 PM