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— by Dale Archdekin

Real Estate ISAs, Ask Great Questions

One of the key things to learn as an ISA (or any salesperson) is that you don’t want to be doing all the talking during your sales conversations. If you’re an ISA on a prospecting call, and it’s mostly a one-way conversation in which your voice is thundering on with little input from the prospect, then something is not right.

You have to sell, not tell, because those two things are rarely the same. It’s natural for a salesperson or ISA to get on the phone and immediately want to start explaining who they are, talk about their team’s track record, and start trying to close too early by telling the prospect how their team’s strategy and process work great every time and will work perfectly for them too.

The problem with blurting all this information out and essentially talking at the prospect instead of to them is that you have no idea what their particular situation is like. You explained your company’s process, but if you don’t have an understanding of the prospect’s process and an idea of what goal they are trying to accomplish, then you’re in trouble. You have to have an idea of how or if you can actually benefit them if they choose to work with you.

In other words, unless you have an understanding of what they are trying to accomplish and how, you can’t begin to convince the prospect that your team will work for them because you can’t even know that yourself.


Ask Good Questions

The trick to overcoming this? Ask good questions. What great salespeople do is use good, relevant questions to lead prospects to their own conclusions. Great salespeople know that what they are hearing from prospects on the phone isn’t all there is to the story. They know that there are layers to every conversation they have with a prospect and that the outer layer is just a small fraction of what the prospect’s overall situation looks like.

As an ISA you have to read between the lines and be able to hear what’s being said “behind” what’s being said. That’s the only way to get enough information to decide whether this lead is worth working with, and the only way to be able to sufficiently convey the value you can create for them. This means listening very carefully to what the prospect is saying and then asking lots of good follow up questions. The better the questions and the deeper you go, the better the quality of the appointment you are able to set.

Have Real Conversations

As an ISA, just as important as asking great questions is having real and natural conversations. It’s okay to have a script in front of you or a list of questions you know you want to hit, but it’s not okay to just blindly read off of the script or just go down the list of questions checking them off as you go. This is how you sound salesy and distant and not how you are going to understand what the lead is after in order to give yourself the ammunition to close.

Instead, your questions and conversations need to be real and they need to be logical. And by logical I mean they need to fit into the current conversation you are having, and not just because they are on your pre-determined list of questions.

For example, if the lead comes back with an objection saying they just want to wait for a while to purchase a home, then ask questions that get at their motivation for why they want to wait and why they want to move or purchase a new home in the first place.

Do you currently own a home?

Where are you thinking of moving to?

What brings you there?

Why are you thinking it is better to wait to buy a home?

If you are able to ask good questions and get to the crux of why they want to purchase a new home and why they also think it is best to wait to do so, then you will have discovered a logical path to close on the call and convince the lead to set an appointment with you.

More often than not, the objection (and how you deal with it) is going to lead you to the opportunity to close. Through dealing with the objection successfully, you will have had to convince the lead that you can either assist them with their process, or you offered a better process and convinced them that your way will help them better achieve their desired outcome.

The problem that many ISAs or agents have is with timing. Knowing when to close and not closing too early. The solution to this is actually pretty simple: closing has to be the logical conclusion to the conversation you are having with the lead. Most of the problems that ISAs encounter on their sales calls are the result of having forced conversations based on scripts or not asking enough questions or not asking the right questions.

Conclusion

As a salesperson, you have develop the ability to ask good questions and to read between the lines when the prospect or lead gives you their answer. You need to be able to gather all the bits of useful information that the lead says and doesn’t say. Once you have a clear picture of what the lead wants and what is holding them back, you can pounce on the opportunity and ask information-gathering questions that will lead you to the natural conclusion they seek—a sale.

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