Selling Techniques

Published on 2015-07-06

Preparation is key and includes knowing as much as possible about the operations of an estate agency, its services, properties and its customers – both buyers and sellers.

Opening

The opening, or introduction to a customer, gives the critical first impression. It is also the time to find out how the customer prefers, or is able, to communicate as they may have specific communication needs or difficulties.

Qualifying

When meeting a customer, qualifying them as either a potential/ actual buyer or seller using questioning techniques will establish how to work with them. Open questions require a longer answer for example ‘How quickly do you need to move?’ versus a closed question such as ‘Do you need to move quickly?’ which can be typically answered with yes or no. Everyone entering the agency is a potential customer and engaging him or her using questioning techniques helps to establish what services can be offered.

Features & Benefits

Having gained an understanding of the customer’s need, it is time to communicate the agency’s features and benefits. Identify whether a particular feature or benefit is of more interest to the customer and start there, for example, a prime high street location.

Handling Objections

Knowledge of features and benefits helps to overcome objections or problems. One approach to doing this effectively is by empathising, using phrases such as ‘I know how you feel’, ‘others have felt this way’, or ‘however, others have found…’ which presents an opportunity to say how the objection can be overcome. Using the example of trying to win an instruction when the customer objects on the basis that the fees are too high, appropriate phrases are:

  • ‘I know how you feel, they do seem quite high’
  • ‘We’ve had others saying the same sort of thing’
  • ‘But in the end we think you get what you pay for and we offer….’ which presents an opportunity to expand on the benefits.

‘Ask it back’ can be used to clarify or isolate an objection by asking it back to the customer. For example, ‘What you’re telling me is…’, then stating the objection. This means the objection can be dealt with by offering a solution or alternative suggestions. If an agent is trying to get an offer from a viewer presenting an objection of no central heating, the ‘ask it back’ approach could be used as follows: ‘So what you’re telling me is that you quite like the property but you are put off because it doesn’t have a central heating system?’ Assuming the answer is ‘yes’, the follow up would be ‘It would not be too difficult to install a central heating system, but I recognise there would be a cost. Would you be prepared to make an offer if there was an adjustment in price?’ Thus encouraging an offer to be made. An objection that the garden is too small cannot be overcome but does allow alternative properties to be offered.

Asking for the Business

Asking for the business and successfully closing the sale is the final stage. This process usually avoids closed questions and makes an assumptive close thus making statements that assume the business has been secured. Asking for the business is a must, even if the initial response is a ‘no’, keep in contact and follow up.

Categories: Residential Sales Best Practice