By Lee Kiser, a multifamily expert, active broker and co-founder of Chicago-based Kiser Group
After training more than 50 commercial real estate brokers in sales and multifamily brokerage, I've discovered that there are three sales tips that never grow old — and that bear repeating.
Never argue with a client. It isn’t your job as a salesperson to convince someone that they’re wrong. Think about it: If you win the argument, the other person feels stupid and doesn’t want to work with you. If you lose the argument, you lose. Arguing with a client is a no-win proposition.
Instead, it is your job as a salesperson to make sure your prospect is thinking things through clearly so they are making the best decision for them. Too many salespeople take an objection personally. Rather, take it as an opportunity to understand what is bothering the client. If the objection is “I don’t like blue,” it isn’t helpful to try and convince the person that they do like blue. It is helpful, though, to find out why the person doesn’t like blue. The more you understand, the better position you are in to help the person make a decision.
Unlike the easy example of liking or disliking a color, objections in a business transaction or purchase can be very complex. Use language like, “So what you are saying is…?” and “Have you considered…?” Actively listen to the response and probe it further until you clearly understand what the other person is saying — and objecting to. Only then can you help them navigate a potential solution. You must also always be prepared that perhaps the best solution is not making the sale. By helping a person decide this, you may lose the battle (the sale) but win the war (obtaining a client).
Purge Superlatives, "Salesy" Adjectives And Clichés From Your Vocabulary
Words like “good, better and best” are subjective. Don’t use these in descriptions. Instead of saying, “This is a fantastic location,” explain the location: “This building is 500 feet from the blue line train station at Berwyn,” and let the client decide whether the location is good, better or best.
Words like “fantastic, phenomenal, excellent, great, stupendous” are words used in a circus — and that’s where they belong. These words do not belong in professional sales. Instead, describe in detail the subject of the phrase and let the client decide the appropriate adjectives.
Also remove clichéd phrases from your vocabulary. One of my pet peeves is “Let me be honest with you.” People usually say this when they have to deliver bad news. Just deliver the bad news; you don’t need a qualifier. When you use this phrase, it actually implies that you are not always honest because you are qualifying the next words out of your mouth as “this time I’m being honest.” Look at the phrases you use and make sure they convey what you really want to be saying.
Don’t pretend to know things that you don’t. The best and most effective salespeople are those who will stop at nothing to find the right answers for their clients/prospects — not the ones who already have the answers.
The flip side of this coin, which points back to the above, is don’t answer something until you understand the question. Sometimes salespeople are so anxious to demonstrate their knowledge that they leap into an answer before they even truly understand what the client is asking. Slow down, listen, answer directly with what you know and be very forthcoming about what you don’t know. The client will appreciate this, respect you for it and want to do business with you.
Keep these three simple ideas in mind to help improve relationships when on your daily sales grind.