Get Your Foot in the Door with FSBOs

For Sale By Owner signThere are many strategies to be applied if you want to win with FSBOs.

Start by calling them as soon as you see their ad or online listing. What follows are the exact words I’d say when making my calls to For Sale By Owners.

I opened the conversation like this: “Good morning. My name is Tom Hopkins, representing Champions Unlimited. I noticed your ad in the paper this morning, and was wondering if you’d be offended if I stopped by to see your home.”

Look at the power of that question. You’re being very polite. If your tone matches the words—and you must carefully rehearse to make sure that it does—you’ll sound very cordial and deferential. Not a whiff of pushiness. Yet, in this situation where they want to say no to whatever you ask, you’ve phrased your question so that a “no” answer actually means “yes, come on by.” When you get a “no” here, go into your close for popping by. This question alone won’t get you inside many FSBOs, but it will work with some.

What to Say When They Aren’t Interested

Now let’s work with the other response that a by-owner can make to my opening question. This time a man answers, and he turns out to be tough.

“Good morning, sir. My name is Tom Hopkins, representing Champions Unlimited. I noticed your ad in the paper this morning, and was wondering if you’d be offended if I stopped by to see your home.”

“Yes, I would be.”

“You would? Is the reason that you’re intending to sell the home yourself?”

“That’s right.”

“Is that also because you’d like to avoid paying a brokerage fee?” [Read more…]

Planned Pauses

Planned pauses make excellent additions to your presentation tool kit. They will help you control the sales process and control your own enthusiasm at the same time. Using planned pauses is nothing more than a matter of pausing at appropriate times during your sales conversations. These pauses, however, are a little longer than your typical conversational pauses.

There are a couple of good reasons to use them:

  1. Planned pauses create a noticeable silence that draws the buyers’ attention back to the sale (in cases where you can tell their minds have wandered). If you just stop talking, they’ll notice and wonder what’s going on. Hence, you gain their attention back again.
  2. Planned pauses allow you to slow yourself down and use the appropriate pace for each sales conversation. This is especially important if you normally talk at a somewhat fast pace (perhaps because you’re excited about your product). If your buyers speak more slowly, pauses will help you to converse at a slower pace that’s more comfortable for them.

The pause has been recognized as having a high value ever since the early days of human communication. Even Menander (342 BC) is quoted as saying, “Silence is often advantageous.”

Planned pauses are also helpful to use after hearing the answers  to questions you have posed to your buyers. Rather than jumping right in with another question or presenting a point based on their answer, build in a pause. If your buyers are like most people, your silence will be deemed a “thoughtful” pause. You will be giving yourself a moment to gather your thoughts — evaluating what the buyer has said before making the next move. And the buyer won’t feel like you’re rushing them.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc. For permission to reprint this post, contact Judy Slack (judys@tomhopkins.com) at Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

Using Phone and Email for Sales Conversions

phone email iconsAccording to Leads360’s latest report, The Ultimate Contact Strategy – How to Best Use Phone and Email for Contact and Conversion Success, “Lead response persistence is critical to maximize conversion. Making more than one call and sending even just one email can have a positive impact on lead conversion, yet 50% of leads are never called a second time and 59% of leads never receive an email.”

When leaving a voice message for a new lead keep it simple. Leave your name and number twice – once at the beginning of the message. Again at the end. Refer to the fact that you’re calling about the information they requested. Then, state a benefit of your offering to pique their curiosity to learn more (thus increasing the chances they’ll either return your call or accept your next follow up call.) [Read more…]

How to Eliminate “It costs too much” When Selling Financial Services

After you’ve met new potential  clients and established rapport with them is the time to qualify them not only as to their needs, but as to their expectations regarding making a financial commitment to their futures. When you establish early on what investment range they would be comfortable with, you can eliminate the stall that move untrained financial services advisers and representatives encounter — “It costs too much.” [Read more…]

Selling Real Estate When They Want to See More Homes

It’s bound to happen. You’ll have buyers who are so afraid of making a bad decision that they’ll want to see every home that comes close to meeting their criteria. If you don’t know how to handle this concern, you’ll waste hours of your time and theirs. As a real estate professional, you need to know how to control the sale. You do this by understanding their fears, having empathy for them, and being the expert advisor. Once they learn to rely on your advice, those fears about missing out on the perfect home will dissipate greatly. [Read more…]

Less is More

Most people think that in order to persuade others, you have to be a real good talker. You have to have “the gift of gab,” “a silver tongue,” or be a “natural born salesperson.” The truth is just the opposite.

The true professionals—the successful people in sales are great listeners. What are they listening to? Their potential clients telling them their wants, wishes, needs and fears…and what they want to own. Yes, people will pretty much tell you what they want to own, if you’ll only give them the chance to speak. All you need to do is get them started. Then you simply guide the conversation along the lines you know it needs to take in order for you to determine needs, qualify and close the sale.

[Read more…]

Keep Your Boat Afloat

How do negative thought patterns affect your life? They give you the emotional droops. Your drooping emotions bring on a mental sag. Then your sagging mental powers cause a downturn in your job performance. That downturn leads directly to a sharp decline in your income. The decline in your income gives you more negative thought patterns, and they add more spin to your downward spiral.

We all go into declines. We all slide downhill now and then. Here are a few things you should be continuously doing to keep from getting exposed to depression:

[Read more…]

Creating a Consultative Environment in Selling

Once all of the rapport-building is done and you’re ready to get down to business, it’s important to set the tone for your time with these clients. I suggest creating a consultative feeling by using a legal pad to make notes. In some types of selling, this doesn’t make sense, but it is helpful if you can do it. When you make notes of their concerns or other details they are sharing, the potential buyers feel that you’re truly interested in them. They feel you care enough to pay attention to their pain points. [Read more…]

Financial Services Guidelines for Asking Questions

Three Guidelines for Asking Questions

Because asking good questions is such an integral part of good selling I’ve given the matter a lot of study and thought over the years. I’ve boiled down all that knowledge into three basic guidelines.

Guideline #1. Establish a bond before you attempt to control the process with questions. Establishing rapport is essential because people want to do business with people they like and trust. They’ll never get to the trust issue if they don’t like you. There’s no need (or reason) to attempt to become “best buddies” on the spot, but it is important that your prospect comes to like you very early in the process. This is one of the reasons for the brief chit chat that takes place before the selling begins. [Read more…]

Getting More Business from Existing Clients

getting more businessIn my comprehensive selling skills book, How to Master the Art of Selling, I teach three ways to get more business from existing clients (Chapter 18). I like to think of it as “expanding your sales volume.”

One system for expanding your sales volume covered in that chapter involves using your imagination. Keep thinking of ways to add-on accessories, warranties, extended programs and additional products. Share different uses for your product or service with your existing clients. They may only have thought about using it for a single purpose. When additional benefits are recognized, additional needs may also come to light.  [Read more…]