The late comedian Mort Sahl had an expression he employed most frequently to poke fun at President Richard Nixon: “Would you be a used car from this man?” The implication was that Nixon wasn’t likable or trustworthy enough to buy a car from, despite his two elections to the Presidency.
Take the politics out, look in the mirror, and ask yourself: “Would someone buy a house from this person?”
Fact is, you have to know and expertly use all the tools of the real estate trade. You’ve got to memorize scripts, practice objections, follow up with referrals, and use digital marketing if you are to succeed.
But what’s less talked about is that you must be likable. With many excellent agents trolling for business, customers have the option to work with someone with whom they click. No matter how skilled you may be, if you can’t get prospects to like spending time with you, your road to success gets longer.
Even if you weren’t voted Mr. or Miss Popularity in high school or college, you can cultivate traits that will endear you to prospects.
- Appear confident.There’s a difference in being confident, which typically draws others to you, and cockiness, which is a turn off. Confidence shows itself quietly; it’s defined as ‘the belief that one can rely on something or someone.’ Confidence isn’t presumptuous or arrogant. You’ve been successful, and you have the skills: Now, you are here to share them with your clients.
- Listen rather than speak.Show a genuine interest in others and ask questions of prospects rather than focusing on selling yourself. Listen thoroughly to what people say and ask follow-up questions. We all enjoy feeling that others want to learn about us and care what’s on our minds. By giving that feeling to your clients, you’ll know them better and thus be able to serve them better and they will see you care.
- Nail the greeting.Perfect your handshake – no one likes a limp grip! – and make direct eye contact with the person you are speaking with. Whoever said eyes are the window to the soul was spot on, for any verbal expression is better understood when you can read facial expressions.
- Be enthusiastic and keep a sense of humor. You always have something you can display enthusiasmabout – beautiful weather, your town, a new listing you are excited to show. Give earnest compliments – and ‘earnest’ is the key here: Don’t lay the schmooze on too thick for there are few among us who don’t know bull when we hear it!
What most of this boils down to is paying careful attention to the people you are with. Match your expressions to theirs – if they are frustrated, you shouldn’t be smiling and thinking about the commission check you are going to get.
Because the fact is, if they don’t like you, you probably won’t be collecting a commission. But, this shouldn’t be tough. Start each new business contact with these tips in mind and we are confident you’ll be earning new clients, friends, commissions and referrals.