Do you fit with your buyer or seller client? Yes? No? How do you know? What do you think they would say?
Are you a square peg in a round hole? Or are you and your client oil and water?
Most of us probably fit pretty well with our clients, most of the time. But sometimes it's the "square peg, round hole" deal. So whose fault is it?
While we all like to think we get along with most, if not all, folks, the reality is that we probably don't. The same is true with buyer and seller clients. Each person we meet has their own style, temperament, and way of looking at things and solving problems...just as each of us does.
So what happens when the fit is not right? Do you walk away? Maybe. More likely, the potential client makes the decision to hire a different agent. The fit, perhaps, was just not right, although there might be other reasons, too.
So who is in charge of fitting? Should we expect the client to respond to us in the way we want? To see things from our perspective? To want the information we want them to have? Dare I say NO? You bet.
Many times, I suspect that we want the client to see things our way, or we make the erroneous assumption that they do. Perhaps it's not obvious to us that they are viewing things as we have. And sometimes there is a level of discomfort that arises, for reasons unknown, because the peg and the hole are a mismatch.
Let me suggest that we must keep focused on what the consumer wants and needs, and on their style and behavior. Remember, they are, at some level, thinking WIIFM. Maybe not consciously, but they have certain needs we must address, and in a manner that they can relate to and are comfortable with. They have a style we must adapt to, a perspective we should try to understand, and their own way of looking at things.
- There are variations in the kind of information that they want - some want the big picture, while others want every detail and tidbit, some want numbers, others want touchy-feely kinds of stuff
- They might ask a zillion questions, or none at all
- It might be obvious what they are thinking, or clear as mud; they may share information or they may not
- Perhaps they are impulsive, and make rapid decisions, or maybe they must analyze everything before decision time
- Are they very visual? Or are sounds, smells or touch/textures more important?
- And when you are working with more than one person and their styles differ, it becomes even more convoluted.
The challenge for us is to figure out not only what the client needs but how best to address these needs, and then to provide that to the best of our ability. We must adapt OUR style to fit theirs - if they want details, but we like the big picture, we need to modify how we respond. We show them 5 homes and want them to decide, but they need to spend time thinking about it before they make any decisions. Are they wrong? Absolutely not.
Sometime the fit will not be right, no matter what we do. Or there may be other issues that result in a parting of ways - the seller wants a ridiculous price, the agent only wants to show certain homes, the buyer cannot make a decision after seeing 50 homes, and so on. It is in the best interests of our clients that we adapt our style and behavior to fit with theirs, to the extent that we can, so we can help them achieve THEIR goals. After all, they have other choices.
How about a bit of self-analysis - are there any square peg/round hole scenarios in your business? How have you dealt with these situations?