The Socratic Method of Selling: Listening to Connect!
Last month, I had the opportunity to write on a sales approach that has helped my team sell over 240 homes in 2017. It’s called the Socratic Method of Selling. I’ve listed the three questions again below for reference. As a refresher, these questions aid my agents in teaching a client ways of thinking about the home buying process in an engaging way.
What did you like and what would you change about the homes you saw?
If you could wave a magic wand, when would you be in your new home?
Do you have a friend or a family member in the mortgage business?
In the process of having an engaging, fruitful, and purposeful conversation with a new prospect, it’s important that we humanize our role as a friendly guide. If we aren’t careful, our role can be relegated to an automated and sterile source of information that a prospect has no connection with. This is unfortunate for several reasons but the most glaring would be that it doesn’t produce the desired result of an agent. Here’s a pro tip: If you consistently speak with prospects and those same prospects never respond to your calls or emails after the initial discussion is completed, you aren’t connecting with them. This is such a massive deal!
When agents only collect information from a prospect, they are not adding any value beyond what an online website can do. If the summation of your sales call is simply bedroom & bathroom count, you’ve missed the opportunity to be valuable. If you are going to be successful, you have to offer more value than the internet. Prospects are overwhelmed with the information online and our gift to them is calming them down and deciphering the information and teaching them what it is they need to know.
I’ve taught my agents to listen to a prospect’s answer to each question.
When something is shared that we can learn more about prospect, we must use the opportunity to engage them in a friendly and personable manner. An example of this would be if the prospect said something to the effect of, “I didn’t really like the kitchens of any of the homes I saw, but I loved the big backyard of 123 Smith Street.” Use this as an opportunity to ask them why they like big backyards? Do they have pets? Children? Stressful job and love the serenity? There is so much you can relate to the prospect about on a human and friendly level. To the degree you learn this skill well, it will result in a SIGNIFICANT increase in conversion rates. When I was a solo agent working online leads, I stayed in the 10% conversion range which is more than double most conversion rates. It’s not because I am amazing, it’s because I connected with prospects quickly while on the phone.
My encouragement to you would be to LISTEN while using the Socratic method! I promise you, you won’t regret it!