10 Things Agents Say That Destroy Client Confidence

Services for Real Estate Pros with Real Estate Pipeline, Inc.

Seems to me that regardless of how often Brokers or Sales Managers say not to do it, there are certain phrases that continually pop up during the course of a presentation/phone call/appointment that simply take a client's confidence and blow it clean out of the water...Sometimes even to the point of losing your listing to another agent...losing that big sale...or even driving away a potential repeat customer.

Having said that, I ran across a blog a long time ago that listed the top 10 things that sales people should never say.  So, I thought I would take that list and go through it line by line and show you exactly what the client thinks when they hear it come out of your mouth.

So...here it goes...

"I was just in the area and thought I would stop by..." 
SERIOUSLY????  You mean to tell me that the ‘professional' I just hired to assist me with (insert issue here) has absolutely nothing in the world better to do than to just cruise by my house and ‘drop by' unannounced??  Why did I hire this idgit in the first place??  Why are they here?...and how fast can I get rid of them??

"Have you got a minute?"
NO!  In fact, I don't have a minute...or 10...or the 30 that you may plan on taking.  I'm busy...in fact, I can think of 100 things I would rather do with my minute than sit here and discuss this with you right now.  (I think it would be far better for you to actually engage the customer in some meaningful conversation than to just simply give them a way out.  Yes or no questions are simply a way for them to cut you off and bail...thus, slitting your own wrists.  Skip this question and just start your pitch.  If they are really and truly too busy to talk to you, they will let you know.)

"I'll try."
I don't care if you try to do it or not.  What I want to know is...CAN you do it.  If you can, great...do it!  If you can't...tell me.  Don't zoop my head up with a bunch of hopefulness knowing you may not be able to get this done.  I would much rather hear you tell me that you need time in order to determine if this is possible then to give me a sense of false hope.

"I'm really not sure."
You don't know the answer?? Isn't this your job?  Shouldn't you be prepared enough to be able to answer all of my questions when I ask them?  And, if you are not prepared, why am I not important enough to not be worth preparing for??  (Again, I think this would be far better answered by asking for time to determine the correct answer...If you don't know the answer...be honest about it.  But, do it in a way that makes them feel like they are worth taking the time to get it right.)

"It's not my fault..."
Whether you like it or not, it is your fault.  And, the reason it is your fault is because YOU are my only contact with this company that YOU represent.  Therefore, the entire situation is YOUR fault.  In fact, everything that goes wrong with this deal is YOUR fault.  Even if it isn't directly your fault...its YOUR issue to fix.  Why?  Because YOU are the person I speak with with regards to this deal.  That makes it YOUR problem.  (To deal with this, I recommend a sincere apology and an immediate re-direction in your course of action to remedy this problem for your client right away.  And, tell me what you are going to do to fix it.  That way, I gain trust you again.)

"What do I have to do to get you started today?"
OMG!  SLIMY SALESPERSON!  RUN AWAY!  (Any rapport that you have attempted to develop with me at this point has just flown right out the window.  You would have been far better off asking me if I had any other issues or concerns that were stopping me from moving forward.  At least that way, you appear to care about ME rather than the money you will make off of me.  If I have more, address those.  If not, then tell me what the next step is that we need to do to move forward.)

"We are the lowest price in town."
Really.  Is this really how you want to try to compete for my business?  Don't you have anything of any merit better than this??  (It doesn't take much effort to come up with a better presentation than price.  So, apply yourself and go another direction.  Aside from that, if your clients does in deed find a cheaper price for your service - and there is always some snake-oil salesperson willing to do something for less money - then you are a liar...and any trust you have built up to this point is shot.)

"Always" and "Never"
There is an exception to every rule.  But, I surely hope you don't prove this correct for me...because I won't trust you as far as I could throw you afterward.  (Unless you have it in an iron-clad contract that can be upheld in court, avoid using absolute statements like this.  All they are going to do is paint you into a corner if you are caught by the ‘Always-n-Never Snafu'.)

"What you need is...."
What I NEED???  Who are you to tell me what I NEED??  What I need is to know what my options (both good and bad) are and you to back the hell off and let me decide what I want to do...and then help me once I make that choice.  I am the decision maker here.  I will choose my option based on the facts that you presented.  But, by no means are you qualified to tell me what I NEED.  In fact, YOU need to respect that or I will find someone that does.

"Trust me."
The mere fact that you feel the need to say this makes me want to run away screaming.  At this point, I'm starting to wonder why in the world I have listened to you this long in the first place.  I also will probably not trust you in the long run.  And, I'm simply going to assume that anyone that works with you or looks like you is suspect.  (Trust is like love.  It is built over time and the only way one can gain it is to earn it.)


I hope this lists helps those of you that took the time to read it.  I'm certain that you all have things you hear in daily conversations that make your gears grind...and I would love to discuss those with you as well.  So, please feel free to comment on this list...or add to it. 

Connect with me any time! Im always around. Always.


Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Louise Thaxton NMLS 69996 08/10/2011 04:08 AM
  2. Dana Smithers 08/11/2011 04:52 AM
  3. Michelle Minch 08/11/2011 11:39 AM
  4. Tina Yeates 08/12/2011 12:50 PM
  5. Jose Siojo Santos 08/15/2011 04:56 AM
  6. Jimmy Phan 01/20/2012 03:46 PM
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Shiela Heg
Lake to Lake Realty LLC - Kenosha, WI
Broker-Owner - Find Homes in Southeastern WI

I just hate it and know immediately when a "salesperson" calls and the first words out of their mouth is, "how are you today" and they really expect me to tell them - I don't even know them, should I tell them "I was fine until you interupted my peace and quiet time."

Aug 12, 2011 06:52 AM #185
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Kathy -- Amen!

Rustie -- Yeah, hopefully sounds empty. There is no hope in hopefully...

L2L -- :-) Love it!

Aug 12, 2011 06:55 AM #186
Jeannette Kohlhaas
Keller Williams Jacksonville Realty - Jacksonville, FL

That is a good post! There are many others too!!

Aug 12, 2011 07:52 AM #187
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Jeannette -- Thank you very much! Glad you liked it....

Aug 12, 2011 08:10 AM #188
Katie Munoz
Moving Forward Inc - Seattle, WA

Hilarious!  I loved the pictures!

I do think it's okay to say, "I don't know" as long as you follow it up with "Let me find out."  No one knows the answer to every question!  Well, I don't anyway.

Aug 12, 2011 09:06 AM #189
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Katie -- Yeah, that was brought up several times....and I agree with you.

Aug 12, 2011 09:16 AM #190
Rob Rosa
Berkshire Hathaway - Wethersfield, CT
Personal Real Estate Expert

Good points every salesperson should stay away from.  They didn't feel right even reading them.  Thanks for sharing!  :)

Aug 12, 2011 10:23 AM #191
Scott Saults
Long Realty Partners - San Tan Valley, AZ
Search San Tan Valley and San Tan Valley Arizona H

What a great list...The "do you have a minute" just drives me up the wall when I hear it from someone.  Good Post!

Aug 12, 2011 10:24 AM #192
Liane Thomas, Top Listing Agent
Professional Realty Services® - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

oh Lord, it is the "Just a Minute" line that makes me crazy, too. It never takes just a minute, might as well plan for half an hour!

Aug 12, 2011 12:34 PM #193
Stephanie Leon | Miami Lakes Realtor®
Realty Empire Incorporated - Miami Lakes, FL
Turning For Sale Into SOLD!

Got a minute.. I just dropped in to say I like your list....

Aug 12, 2011 02:28 PM #194
Billy P

Good post. Many of these bother me big time but as much as we all have pet peeves, "let's be clear":

Anything you say can be construed to be a 'line', contrite, disingenuous, and chesseball-like. It's your delivery that counts and ultimately it's all about sincerity and authenticity - no matter what words you use to get there. We have to communiate by saying words, and those words form common usage phrases that we sometimes find ourselves saying whether we think they're THE best words or not. It's a by-product of living in society, and being in constantly changing and challenging situations where you don't know what will be demanded of you in the next breath. It doesn't mean they don't or won't work for you.

We also can't be responsible for worrying about what other people's pet peeves are. Saying nothing, or thinking on the fly of a better reply than "I don't know. Let me get back to you" might incline a prospect to think you hesitate from lack of confidence, lack of experience, lack of overall knowledge etc. Stop trying to please everybody and be yourself.

I don't fault myself for using some of these phrases sometimes but I will fault myself if, after saying it, I feel insincere and 'smarmy'. It's all about authenticity with your clients. Be sincere.

This is also why good actors can say what should be cheesy lines so believably that the 'audience' buys it every time.

Aug 13, 2011 05:35 AM #195
Beverly of Bev & Bob Meaux
Keller Williams Suburban Realty - West Orange, NJ
Where Buying & Selling Works

Good point to remind us about. We are in the perilous position of having to "sell" ourselves everyday. Of having to be in an interview every day...at least that's what we are privleged to do if we are busy enough. Sometimes we stumble but hopefully not as much to utter the wrong statements you've listed. LOL!

Aug 13, 2011 06:19 AM #196
Beverly Femia
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Hampstead, NC
Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are

I see Georgia has already called you out on the "got a minute" thing and it does make me happy to seel all these folks who agree with me that the "what would it take to get started today" line is just the worst.  Truth is you identify yourself as an old school "mike Ferry type" and it might work if you are an insensitive oaf but I just cannot abide it.  Get a new line that at least sounds sincere...  LOL  Now sometime, truth is, I want that 20 or 30 minutes they are dreading and that's jsut the way it is... Yes, we'll stumble because we're  all human an,d like gardners bury their mistakes in the garden, we'll bury our mistakes deep in our psyche and focus on the days we opened our mouths and the right things came out! 

Aug 14, 2011 06:43 AM #197
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Hey Clint, I'm in agreeance with a few people above. It's impossible to know everything about everything when it comes to real estate. But I do what I can to find out the answers! Take care, Pal.

Sep 02, 2011 04:01 AM #198
Ellen Kippel
Weichert Realtors - Suffern, NY
Licensed NY and NJ realtor 914-588-2365

I appreciate this blog.  I didn't read it when you published it, but it was helpful to read now.  I hope I don't use any of these expressions, but I will be more careful when I speak to clients in the future, to be sure I don't use them.

Jan 20, 2012 07:45 AM #199
David Dodge
Margo H. Stanley Real Estate - Southwest Harbor, ME

How about the oh-so-obvious "Would four o'clock be good for you, or would five be better." Grrr.

Jan 20, 2012 09:43 AM #200
Jimmy Phan
Phan real estate group in hickory

what a list Clint

what a list

thanks a bunch

jimmy phan

Jan 20, 2012 03:45 PM #201
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Clint, great post and great list.  Congratulations on top 10!

Jan 22, 2012 09:56 PM #202
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

I'm way behind on my ActiveRain e-mails, and I'm just now getting to read the DailyDrop from August 11th.  However, I now realize that 4 months later, Clint passed away after a battle with cancer.  Clint, wherever you are, thanks for all of the support you provided us agents through your blog, and I pray that the comfort and peace of Christ surrounds your family during such a difficult time. 

Feb 06, 2012 03:59 AM #203
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Good post. Trust me. I have never said anything on that list....

Oct 04, 2012 02:40 PM #204
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