We have put our house up for sale by owner (know anyone that wants a house in Ohio?) and it’s been most interesting. I have experienced a gamut of styles, comments, and negotiations, and realize this is often how our clients in sports and entertainment must hear us. For example:
The ‘Drive By Realtors’: Going fast…we have a lot to see. Have to hurry if you want. My first experience has been with what I call the ‘drive by’ realtors. These are the ones who are showing a client 12-15 houses in a short time and breeze quickly through a house, all the while commenting “let me show you others but you need to make a decision soon.” No chance to experience the house, think of furniture they could put in, a chance to look at the location. Think about it…how often when trying to sell only on the phone and sometimes even in person do we push people through a variety of seats, letting them know they have to make a decision soon. As a consumer, I found it irritating. Take time. Bring them down. Let them experience the seat, the location. One of the wisest statements I’ve ever heard that has stuck with me was when we owned a hair salon. One of my stylists had ‘waits’ of 2 and 3 hours. I said “doesn’t it bother you to know all those people are waiting for you?” His response: “once they are in my chair they know they are the only person that matters to me. They know that they have my undivided attention and I will always do what is best for them.” Your client you are talking to should be the only one that matters. Give them your undivided attention. This is an investment, not a shirt they are buying.
The “What I Want” Realtors: Sells In Their Best Interest, Not Yours. The second group that came down was even more specific. This group offered comments that blew me away, from “do you REALLY want to have a yard for your kids this size? I mean really, will they be outside all that much?” to “well, yes, the basement has a workroom, but will you really do any work in it? Let’s find one that’s strictly a rec room.” I learned quickly when you sell by owner and negotiate a rate for realtors, realtors will show it if the client requests it, but often find a reason for them not to buy it. Think about the times we give negative reasons to the client’s choices and push what we want them to have. This makes the client sound stupid for even thinking that way. Had they said “let’s compare the last house to this house…what do you see as pro’s and con’s” the client would feel empowered. By giving them negatives, we are doing their thinking for them. Is this what you really want in a long term relationship?
The “I Care Realtors”: I’m Here To Make Sure You Are Happy With Your Purchase. After the initial groups, I found the last group coming through has been the caring group. More relaxed, they have listened to their clients needs and pointed out how this particular house meets those needs. They have taken their time, let the clients experience the house, see how they would utilize it, and even suggested how memories could be created. These are the realtors that will get referrals for the long term. In our sales, are you an “I Care” sales rep? Have you listened to their needs? Have you suggested those areas that fit those needs and explained why? Have you let them experience the area and suggested how memories could be created? If so, you are on your way to loads of referrals, smarter sales, and most importantly…satisfied customers. These are the customers that you turn over to your retention team and they will be buying you coffee in the morning, because they will be buyers for the long term. You will hit your goal and they will hit their retention goal…all because you were an “I Care” salesperson.
The “I Care” Realtors/Salespeople are an elite club. They may not be the highest seller, but they are the quality seller. They are the seller who will sell for the long term. They are the seller who will find needs and fill them. They are the seller who will get the referrals. If I were building a sales team, I would want “I Care” sellers. I would want my reputation as a sports/entertainment venue as one who does care about their clients. We pay kazillions of dollars for a brand, yet who we hire is what makes our brand.
We give a lot of awards for top sales, most calls, most appointments…but what about ‘the most caring’…this will show in the retention of the clients sold. THIS is a valuable employee.
Kathy Burrows, Sold Out Seating
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