Most people, by nature, are “reactive” in their interactions with fellow humans:
- They observe.
- They make conclusions based on these observations.
- They respond based on their conclusions, then assess the outcome of their response.
For the most part, this process serves us well.
However, when it comes to selling, our reactive habits are likely limiting our success for one important reason: in a reactive mode, we are often projecting our beliefs and experiences on the other person. We often assume, incorrectly, that the other person is “walking in our shoes.”
The opposite approach to reacting is “adapting.” In adaptive selling, we:
- Identify the prospect’s Social Style.
- Reflect on what the prospect might be expecting based on their style.
- Modify our behavior to create a more effective and focused pitch.
In today’s post, we’ll discuss adaptive selling, continuing our series on “Versatile Selling” based on the Wilson Learning Library book by the same name.
FOUR-STEP SELLING PROCESS
Future posts in this series will provide a deep dive into each of the four Social Styles reviewed in the first post: ANALYTICAL, DRIVER, AMIABLE, EXPRESSIVE.
This deep dive will include a four-step selling process that you can use to adapt to the unique qualities and traits of each of these four styles. These four steps include:
Relating is about building rapport and, most importantly, TRUST. Without building credibility with your prospect, it’s difficult to diffuse the relationship tension that naturally exists when we begin a sales relationship.
Regardless of the prospect’s social style, your relational efforts can cover three areas:
- Purpose: You have a “purpose statement” to let the prospect know why you are meeting and what you hope to accomplish in your time together. Perhaps you’re on a preview appointment. You might say: “I’ll only take 20 minutes of your time to look through your property. Perhaps you can show me around. Would that be OK?”
- Process: Whether it’s a first, lead generation call, preview appointment or listing meeting, it’s always good to put the prospect at ease by mapping out what will happen in your time together. Nobody like’s a surprise.
- Payoff: Once you map out the process, you’ll want to close by letting them know the benefit of working together.
This is where you establish and clarify the prospect’s needs, dreams, goals, etc. Your ultimate goal here is to develop a mutual understanding of where the homeowner stands with regard to selling their property, and what you can do to best assist them.
As we’ve said countless times in this blog, but bears repeating: the MOST EFFECTIVE way to build rapport and trust is through asking solid, open-ended questions. Again, in later posts, we’ll cover the types of discovery questions you might ask depending on the person’s social style. But for the purpose of today’s post, a few questions might include:
- If someone does not seem urgent to sell: “What if I could help you move up your timetable to sell?”
- For FSBOs: “If someone calls me and is interested in your neighborhood, can I bring them around to see your property?”
- Where do you plan to move once you sell?
If you’ve done an effective job in the first two areas: Relating and Discovering, it should make it easier for your prospect to advocate for you as their agent. That’s because you will have built a certain level of both trust and understanding as to what your prospect is looking for in an agent.
But be aware: you must continuously work in building rapport throughout the process. Even if you’ve built a certain level of trust, you must advocate for yourself by proving you are an expert, a true professional who is interested in helping the homeowner meet their goals.
Contrary to belief, your work actually begins once you’ve signed the listing contract. That’s when you move into a supporting role, which covers a number of bases:
- Reinforcing the homeowner’s decision to work with you. Or, put another way, don’t let up on continuing to build rapport and keep the customer feeling good about their decision.
- Execute with excellence. Your follow through should be flawless throughout the process, from listing through closing.
- Handling problems. OK, it’s possible that you might run into problems during the process, often things that are out of your control. Your ultimate value might be in how you handle a dissatisfied customer.
- Working the relationship. If you’ve done your job right, you will have built a long-term relationship with your customer. But you need to work on that relationship, both for repeat business when that homeowner decides to sell again, and referral business from their friends and family members.
Trust is your most valuable commodity as a real estate agent. Learning how to work these steps to build, and maintain, trust for the long-haul is a sure-fire way to ongoing success.
In future posts, we’ll put all of these practices to work as we look at strategies for adapting to social styles of your sales prospects.
To learn more about Versatile Selling, CLICK HERE.