Three Quick Tips on Getting a “Yes”
If you can’t get a “yes” you might just be asking the wrong questions! It doesn’t matter if you’re asking for an appointment, trying to come to an agreement for a “request for repairs” with a difficult agent, or asking for a raise. If you’re not getting a “yes,” then change the conversation.
All human interaction can be weighed, studied, and calculated just like a scientific experiment but, for whatever reason, we don’t “human being” well. As real estate agents, we don’t reconsider failing methods as “failing” until it is too late to do anything about it! We act like a bunch of weirdos the second we get licensed and completely go against everything we have learned over our entire lives, and then listen to a lot of unsuccessful people tell us how to be successful.
My open house script is the “complete opposite” of what every agent has ever learned! My phone conversations are significantly different than all the agents out there—repeating client’s names back to them at the beginning and ending of every sentence, building “name sandwiches” for all of their potential clients to barf all over themselves when they realize what they’re being sold and it can’t be digested. “So, David, does that mean that you might be willing to sell if the price is right, David?” No. Leave me alone.
Scripts shouldn’t feel like scripts! They should be an aid used to get back to the real conversation that we, as human beings, should be capable of having. So, when you get a potential client on the phone and they’re putting you through the ringer, just remember these three simple ways to get a “yes” and book that appointment!
1. It just has to be fair.
We have to look at intention with everything we do in order to streamline our productivity. What is the intention when you’re picking up the phone to make your 20 daily phone calls? If your goal is to get twenty calls done, you’ll do just that—get twenty calls done.
“Hi this is David and I’m just calling to check in with you and see how your home search is going.”
“It’s going good…”
“Okay. I’m so sorry I bothered you. Have a good day!”
This is the average “sales” call made by your average agent, and all agents are doing is calling to “check in!” I work to eliminate the phrase “checking in” and the word “just” any time one of my agents picks up the phone to book appointments. It’s easier said than done! I slip into “just” constantly and have to remind myself that I don’t “just” do anything. Instead, I am going to give you a different option;
“Hi, this is David with The Homes Team, and I am booking appointments for this Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t book out without talking to you. Which one of those works better for you; Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon?
“Um… Let me just talk to my wife.”
“Okay cool, let’s go ahead and do this: I am going to put you guys down for Saturday morning and if something comes up, and she can’t do it, just shoot me a text and we’ll reschedule, does that sound fair?”
“Uh. Sure. That’s fine.”
“Okay, great! I’ll send you some homes, mark the heart icon for anything you like, and I’ll let you know the first property for where to meet me Saturday morning! Does that sound fair?”
Then get off the phone.
Book the appointment.
Yes, you will get more cancellations, but cancellations typically lead to rescheduling because people feel bad about cancelling. Book the appointment, let them know they can “reschedule” if it doesn’t work and then ask them, “Does that sound fair?” It just has to be fair. It doesn’t have to be “Yes, I will meet you there.” It just has to be a “yes.” People don’t want to be combative. It’s why the presumptive close works so well.
Don’t overwhelm your clients with too many options! If you give more than two options you will find that they’re plagued with indecision, and the dreaded “wife check in” will be heading your way because you have overwhelmed them with options. We can’t leave anything open-ended. Always two choices: “What typically works better; mornings or evenings?” “Weekends or weekdays?” You don’t let them pick a day. Narrow it down, giving them two options until you end up with the one that “works for now.” That’s fair, and get off the phone.
When you get on the phone, get the “yes” and never give more than two choices for anything if you can help it, and you will have more appointments than you know what to do with!
2. Does that make sense?
The beautiful thing about this question is, it is a surefire way to get a “yes” even if the question you are asking doesn’t make sense. People don’t want to seem “stupid” or “uneducated,” they always want to appear ahead of the curve, even if that means the inability to see a thought through to its coherent end. Throughout our entire lives we have been placed in moments where we have been part of a room being monologued at by an overeducated and uninterested teacher that could care less about preaching to the lowest common denominator.
Even if this person did care, even a little bit, about what was happening in this room, it is impossible to not leave anyone behind just by the sheer nature of a lecture and the lack of a shared attention span (the ever-disappearing anomaly). This is why they bounce back and say “Any questions?” No, we’re all terrified to admit we are the one that didn’t get it. Especially with the open ended “Does anyone have questions?” question. However, with the following question— “Does that make sense?” —we have no problem giving a healthy “yes” every time, because “we get it,” and we didn’t have any questions!
We need to look no further than our shared experiences to find the answers to the questions we have been programmed for our entire lives. Most people’s desire to comprehend does not outweigh their desire to not look stupid! I always look to educate my clients, my team, and my industry, but often we need that “Yes” or a series of them to make the point we need to make, and we always want to know we aren’t in left field operating by ourselves. The beautiful thing is, you can still sell the hell out of anything, even if it doesn’t make sense, does that make sense?
3. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
I hate scripts! I have always hated the idea of working in sales. I never wanted to sell anybody anything. In fact, I have spent a great deal of time convincing myself, and those around me, that I don’t work in sales. Our society gets too caught up in the pedantic.
We want to fit everything into a box, and then judge the hell out of it! Which is why we introduce ourselves and are immediately asked, “What do you do?” Sure, it’s friendly conversation and it leads to a common ground to build on, but it also prevents people from separating themselves, mentally, from their careers. We feel like we “always have to be a real estate agent” because we have been made to feel that way through the “name-tag real estate” that has been preached to us by our brokers and managers that came up in real estate before the internet. I’m not saying this to be “ageist.” I’m saying this as a man here to “hack the algorithms of life.”
Our brokers that were doing this 15 years ago got the opportunity to go home at the end of the day. They walked in the front door and their cell phones weren’t going off, they didn’t have clients that had access to them in IDXs, CRMs, social media, and at the kid’s soccer practice so the balance of work/family/self was an easier thing to attain because it was environmentally enforced. When they went to the grocery store they had no issue wearing a name-tag in the world and being your “friendly-local-neighborhood real estate agent that shops at your grocery store” because they could “unplug” at the end of the day, at the start of the day, and whenever the hell they wanted to. Sometimes I just want a gallon of milk and I don’t want to give anyone a “market update” because I am the guy that knows exactly what their 2,133 square foot model is, what neighborhood it is in, and what it is worth (based on two or three questions) and immediately I am back at work. It isn’t fair to my brain. It isn’t fair to my family. It isn’t fair to our clients. Granted, we’re not all there yet, but some of us are, and I think you need to decide whether or not you are “honoring your design” when you are wearing that name tag around all day. Some people love it! Great, not all things are for all people! Do what works for you.
The world has changed.
Our spheres can be grown sufficiently with the help of technology and our cell phones make it much more difficult to find the work/family/self balance we strive to attain, so many of us rebel from the thought that we “always have to be on” by never being comfortable being on. Then, they start talking everyone out of working with them by saying things like, “You don’t need to give me your phone number, though” or “I won’t call you” because we feel bad about doing the job they are asking us to do! People want to buy houses and you know how to help them do it—don’t cripple yourselves by not getting their cell phone number because you feel bad about “working in sales.”
Recently someone asked me while I was sitting on a panel: “Do you consider yourself a real estate agent, sales person, or a consultant? Do you think of yourself as ‘working in sales?’” This is something our industry struggles with. Why? We immediately feel like it puts us in a situation where they feel, or we feel, like we have to sell them a house! I told the crowd to “be whatever you need to be to make yourself comfortable with being in sales.
If you want to be a ‘real estate dragon’ be a ‘real estate dragon breathing fire all over the real estate industry.'” It doesn’t matter. You just need to have the confidence in knowing that when they walk into your open house, you’re the best possible thing that could have happened to them that day!
You sell homes, homies. You’re not selling used cars, home insurance, or fidget spinners in a mall kiosk to people trying to avoid eye contact with you. You get to be a part of “The American Dream.” For many of you, you will get the opportunity to be a part of “The American Dream” for an immigrant who went through great terrors to get here from a part of the world you, hopefully, will be able to live blissfully ignorant of your entire life. It’s an amazing thing to sell!
Everyone is always being sold something.
You are either buying or selling with every transaction of the human experience. Whether you are in a car driving by a transient selling you “pity” and you are buying “guilt-free eye contact,” “comfort,” “promise,” or you are a parent trying to sell your kids on something other than “Cars 2” again, or a human being selling “love me,” we are all selling and buying constantly.
Whether you want the “perfect closing script” or you need to know you are a part of “The American Dream,” know that—if you do your job well enough—you won’t have to sell anything to anybody; everyone needs a “yes” every once in a while. Even if they just need a date!
Find the compelling reason in the person you are looking at, relate, be personable, be you, be authentic, OR be a fake, “name sandwich” type-of-realtor, and get really good at scripting. There’s no one way to the top and there is no “right way.” Just remember: it’s not 100% what you say, it’s how you say it. I work in sales every day. I won’t church it up for you. I am in the grind of “helping enough people get what they want” every, single, painstaking, awe-inspiring, beautiful moment I get to call this industry “home” and I love it and am grateful for every minute of it. I go into my own personal scripts (recycled conversations and perfected pitches that are all tailored for their audiences) so don’t get all worked up, dialers! Use your scripts, just add a few new ways to add a “yes” to your arsenal. I am a businessman and I understand that if I want to get paid for doing what I enjoy, and if I want to get those around me paid, I need to understand human interaction and how to get a “yes.” The motivation behind getting the “yes” is up to you!
Bonus Tip: Sometimes all you have to do is ask!
My father-in-law use to love to tell this recycled story about walking home from work and seeing a beautiful bird in a window. Walking in and talking to the shop keeper, he finds the sales price of this bird is “a million dollars.” He walks out, contented, knowing this bird will never sell. The next day the bird is gone, and the shop is still open. Bewildered, flabbergasted, and befuddled, he runs in to see the newly-wealthy shop owner, only to find out he had sold it for “a hundred and fifty dollars” because “the man made me an offer.” Ask for it. You might be surprised what you can get by asking! I can tell you this: you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Who knows when the ball is going to come back around. So, if I pass it back to you, will you shoot it?
Part of “how you say it” is intonation. We can’t ask questions that sound like questions all the time. We need to phrase our closing questions in a way that sound like statements by going down in intonation at the end of the sentence, instead of up, like how we have been trained our whole lives. Think of training for your first customer service job—affected smiles, affected voices, being trained to be exactly the same person so the customer can have exactly the same experience. You shouldn’t sound like you’re asking “Do you want fries with that?” when you are asking for an appointment. Tell them they want fries, but make it a question. Think about the strong conviction you use when you’re giving someone directions. Be in control. The “customer service” voice keeps more people from getting paid than they realize. No one wants to talk to—let alone buy a home from—someone that is talking like they work at Jamba Juice the entire transaction. Be you! Just ask the right questions, drop the affected voice, and believe in what you are selling.
There are a million different scripts and a million different ways to a “yes” but if we find ourselves getting caught up in the pedantic and semantics of defining a battlefield by the end goal (phone number, contact information, writing the offer, getting the date), then we will miss the entire psychology around the series of questioning and how the “yes” feels to the giver when it is given. Which is just as important as the initial “yes” if you hope to get another one! No one wants to buy a house from you, they want to buy a home, and you are going to make that the best, most fantastic experience in wherever-it-is you live. Just don’t feel greasy about getting a “yes” when your customer feels good about giving it!
At no point did I say “are you ready to sign the contract?” or “are you ready to make an offer?” These are questions that give people anxiety. Put them at odds with their agent, their representative and, in many cases, their friend or family member. I don’t treat any of my clients in a way that I wouldn’t want someone to treat my grandmother or my pregnant little sister, and if your “closing script” makes you feel like you need to take a shower afterward, then you’re not “honoring your design” and you don’t believe in what you are selling.
I’m not saying “this is the best and only way,” but I am saying I reached the 7th level in less than four years and a higher percentage of my team clears six figures than any other team out there. Why? What’s different? I’m a student of human nature and a studier of people, and I work with the most honest, fantastic, creative, and collaborative people on planet earth. I didn’t do this alone. These are my observations of genius in the field. I just happen to be surrounded by them. These scripts don’t work without being tested and reported back on. This is how we win.
It just has to make sense, it has to be fair, it’s how you say it, and if all else fails just ask!
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