How to Work with a Buyer Prospect — Good Listening Tips for Agents

Posted by Joel pate in Uncategorized. Tagged:

Have you ever been oversold? I know I have, and it generally rubs me the wrong way. In fact, if someone is trying to oversell me, I sometimes walk right out of the store and out of that salesperson’s life forever.
When a salesperson oversells, he or she usually talks himself or herself out of the sale. Selling a home is not a process of convincing someone to buy. Instead, a sale is made when you have probed so well that you learn what the prospect wants — and then recommend suitable options or solutions.
If you are new to sales, you may try to talk prospects into buying. When you are more experienced, however, you try to listen for openings and utilize what you’ve heard (or observed) to facilitate the buying process. Top producing real estate agents are often so sophisticated that they “listen” people into buying. This not only means that they delve deeply for needs and wants. It also suggests that they pay more attention to how the prospect reacts than to what has been said. Some of those reactions are cues from your prospect that they have heard enough and want you to move to the next stage of the process. Other times, these cues indicate that they are actually ready to buy.
Watch for Verbal and Nonverbal Cues
There’s a certain feeling in the air when the buyer prospect is ready to go ahead, and there is often a distinct change in the prospect’s body language and behavior when he or she is ready to buy. Look out for these potential buying cues:
The buyer prospect has been moving along at a smooth pace, and suddenly slows down. This means that the prospect is making a final analysis or rationalizing a decision.
The buyer prospect speeds up. Often prospects move more quickly when they are excited about what’s to come.
The buyer prospect asks lots of questions. Questions about included personal property or about the operation of a specific appliance are typically a good sign of buyer motivation.
The buyer prospect inquires about general terms of purchase or the specific details of a property (such as tax rate or school district). Many buyers start asking questions about initial investment, possible closing date, and so on, which is a good indicator of interest.
After you have observed some of these cues, try a test question (also known as a trial close question) to make sure you are reading your prospect correctly. As you get more sales experience, you will become more proficient at reading body language and other buying signals.
Put Your Foot in Your Mouth
Some people, however, start relying so much on positive home buying cues that they rush the process. Rushing the sales process can cause you to lose sales. Although it is important to know when to close, and even though you may have done this one million times before, the prospective buyer has not. Each prospect should always get your full presentation in order to make sure that he or she is making an informed decision.
Once you are fairly certain that the buyer wants to move forward, ask a “closing the sale” or consummation question. When you ask a question from which you expect an answer confirming that the prospect wants to go ahead with the purchase, one of two things will happen:
a) The prospect gives you a “yes” or an answer that indirectly confirms their desire to go ahead with the sale.
b) The prospect raises an objection or asks for more information to enable him or her to make a decision.
If you start talking before the prospect answers, you may lose control of the negotiations. Let prospects be silent and/or converse privately. Those silences could work to your benefit. That’s why you should always wait for folks to respond before you speak and why it is so important to keep quiet after you ask your “closing the sale” question. If you have a big mouth, this would be the time to put your foot in it – figuratively — to keep yourself quiet.
Listening usually starts with questions, but it also includes nonverbal cues. When you notice the cues and ask the right questions, you will get all the information you need to close more sales — just as long as you put your foot in your mouth.

By: Melissa Zavala, www.activerain.com

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