How disappointing!

It is disappointing to be ranked so low in the consumer’s mind as to how we handle ourselves relative to others in sales.  What I am referencing is most consumers rank Realtors very close to where they rank new and used car sales people.  In the past month or so I have shopped for a car for myself, helped our company vice president and lastly, my mother.  We have looked on used car lots as well as luxury new car lots.  We explained our situations – my lease ends at the end of October, one car broke down, and one car was totaled – basically, we all had an immediate need.  How many have followed up when we told them exactly what we were looking for in our next vehicle and what our situations were  – um – zero.  How many wanted to sell us something we didn’t want – um – all of them except 2 out of about 20.  How many were obnoxious, overbearing, unprofessional, made us feel uncomfortable and made it difficult for us to leave the lot – um – again, all except 2 out of about 20.  As a result of this experience, I asked myself, “why was this case”.  How can Realtors be compared with sales people who exemplified this behavior?  Do we truly have that many untrained, unprofessional agents in our industry? 

Let’s examine what we had done with our shopping experience and how others in our industry can improve if they exemplify the used car sales approach.  In our journey, we had tried to make their job as easy as possible as I don’t like to be sold.  We had partially qualified ourselves for them by telling why we were there, what we were looking for in the next vehicle, how much we wanted to spend, how soon we needed our cars, and that we had our financing lined up.  So, what was the problem?  First, I don’t believe they have been trained in professional sales.  The biggest problem was, they didn’t listen – they were too concerned about making a sale.  Had we not prequalified ourselves, I don’t believe they could have done it for themselves because they weren’t focused on us – only the sale.  They didn’t ask any follow questions like, what kind of cars we had – what we liked about them – what we were looking for in the next car and why – had we looked anywhere else – what did we find there and what did we like or not like.  They were too busy talking and definitely didn’t ask us any questions to build rapport.   The only way they knew what I did was because I gave them my card to follow up with me.  Guess what?  They still didn’t follow up with me – at all. 

As professionals we know the basics of sales which are:  people buy from those they know, like and trust.  If they are so busy talking about what we don’t want to hear, how can this chain of events happen?  The agendas we followed was not ours but theirs – they wanted the sale.  They believe that they had to speak the whole time to be in control when the fact is, those who ask questions are the ones in control. 

Their technique of closing was so far off it was laughable.  We wouldn’t buy from anyone who subscribes to the ABC theory of sales…Always Be Closing.  Don’t close until you know enough about your client so you can help them make the right decision.  Closing is an evolution not a forced approach to sales.

In order to build trust, demonstrate your knowledge of your business.  Listen, clarify, then respond to clients don’t oversell and force yourself on others.  Dress the part, be polite, and communicate effectively.  These skills will result in sales, I assure you.

So the moral of the story is – if you want to attain more sales as well as referrals you need to differentiate yourself from other sales people.  Start by prequalifying effectively, ask lots of questions and then, listen to the answers – don’t tell.  Don’t sell from an empty wallet you are looking to fill, put their needs/agenda ahead of yours, people can sense this immediately.  Build rapport by learning about them and what their needs are.  Have an effective follow up system in place to show your professionalism.  Act, look, and communicate the role of a professional.  Close at the appropriate time in the process – not continuously – it turns people off.  If you follow these little techniques, you will attain the success you desire.  Let’s elevate ourselves from the lower ranks of sales people!  Get it?  Got it?  Good!

Now, go sell something!

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