Lost to most salespeople, especially agents, is the art of listening. The more you listen the more you can learn and earn. Listening is one of the most difficult skills in communications to have and we are far worse at it than ever before.
Those you are trying to secure as clients have a lot to say – a lot they want to tell you about their real estate needs. However, to learn how you can help someone, you must listen, especially during listing and buyer presentations. Here are three things you should be listening for:
- Problems and needs. Simply put, we are problem solvers. Your prospects are sitting with you because they have a specific problem they need solved. However, you can’t solve their problems if you don’t listen. Listening is a skill, so it’s imperative that we listen and find out the needs of our clients and their problems. Once we determine the problem (need), then we can solve them. However, we can’t determine them if we are not listening, so that means let them do most of the talking. Clients think you don’t care if you’re not listening and that creates all kinds of challenges. It’s important to ask the right questions and learn about what they want and need. Take notes, repeat what they say, acknowledge by being understanding and empathetic. People trust those who listen. The more trustworthy you appear, the more clients you will secure.
- History and background. It’s important to learn as much as you can about your client’s background. You want to know where they came from, how many kids they have, where they work, educational background, pets, likes, dislikes, etc. You’re looking for a story that they are writing for you. In speaking with people, did you ever just sit back and listen and then their decisions, behavior and feelings just make sense? This allows you to put the picture together of how you can help them. Engaging like this allows for a deep and personal level to help build that strong relationship that can last for generations.
- Personal notes to remember. You need to find out as much information as possible, no matter if you think it’s important or not. Later it could prove to be the piece to the puzzle you are trying to solve. Learning as much as you can about your client is key – it develops trust and a deep relational bond. Pets, kids, hobbies, interests, birthdays, anniversaries, languages spoken and anything else offered up will provide you the information you need cultivate the relationship. However, you must keep records of everything you learn. Write it down and then load it into your CRM later. All this information will make for good reference points for future conversations. They will truly know that you are listening to them.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” –Stephen R. Covey
When it comes to listening, the best tip is to follow the 70/30 rule. You should let your client talk 70 percent of the time, while talking only 30 percent of the time. This allows your client to tell you their story and how you can best serve them.
For more great tips to enhancing your real estate business, order my new book, 21 Habits of the Highly Successful Real Estate Entrepreneur.
By Mike Weinstein, MBA