Too many Agents operate with Buyers from a desperation or scarcity mentality. They use the four step Desperate Agent Model, applying it over and over again, hoping that the odds some how miraculously swing in their favor at some point.
1. Talk with the prospect with the objective of building rapport.
Too often, we believe that, by keeping the prospect on the phone longer and finding commonality or common ground, we will be able to secure their business. We feel that if they like us or think we are nice, we raise the probability of a sale. We want to keep them on the phone long enough to secure their phone number so we can follow-up with them. Our objective as a desperate Agent is to secure a lead. A Champion Agent’s focus is not securing the lead but securing the appointment. The lead has limited value; the appointment has significant value.
2. Offer to send the prospect… stuff
The average Agent wants a phone number and e-mail address, so they can send the prospect stuff. There is nothing wrong with acquiring full contact information of a prospect. The problem arises when that is our primary objective, rather than getting an appointment. When sending them properties via e-mail becomes our “be all, end all” form of prospect conversion, we have lost the game of sales. An e-mail contact’s conversion ratio is significantly diminished over a face-to-face or even phone contact.
The use of prospect matching software for Buyers is so over-used that the perceived value to the consumer is negligible. It’s not a unique feature to any Agent in the marketplace. We often use this excellent tool to make up for our lack of phone contact.
There is no substitute for the call. I worked with a dynamic young couple in the Atlanta area. They are effective Internet marketers. They had about 300 leads that they even had phone numbers to. These 300 leads were getting property match information based on their preferences as homes came on the market. They produced a couple of deals a month from this Internet strategy.
When I began to work with them, I asked them why they hadn’t called all 300 of these people that they were “working” with. They said, “We get a few deals a month from this; why bother.” I told them to call all 300 in the next week. They called 79 and reached 39 people at home. Of those 39 they talked to, they set 16 face-to-face presentations. That is a 41% close ratio. They had conducted 11 face-to-face Buyer interviews while committing 7 to a Buyer’s Agency contract. That is a 64% close ratio. They had already sold two homes but expected to sell several more in the next few weeks. They ended up selling six homes in the next 30 days out of their 7 clients, 11 appointments, and 39 leads. They also found out that, of the 40 people they tried to reach for a few weeks, when finally contacted, had already bought and sold with another Agent.
The sending stuff philosophy of sales cost these Agents in excess of six figures in Buyer side commissions alone. When they booked the appointments, the probability of their income and, indeed, their actual income exploded.
3. Hope that your stuff is better than that of the five other Agents who are sending them stuff.
Unless you can prove and clearly show that your marketing materials, philosophy, sales strategies, and track record are superior, it will be rare to convert a Buyer via properties you e-mail to them based on a profile.
If you secured them through an ad call, sign call, open house, or the Internet, you must assume that other Agents have all the information you do. If you manage to convince them to share their e-mail address, you must assume that five other Agents have it as well. Whoever meets them face-to-face wins.
We all send the same property matches because they are receiving the same property from every Agent they come in contact with.
4. Pray that you eventually get an appointment.
There was a huge difference in results when my couple from Atlanta went after the business by scheduling an appointment. They stopped waiting for the prospect to call when they were interested in a home. They went after the prospect other Agents knew about but were waiting for the call, just as they used to.
When I say appointment, I am not talking about an appointment to show property. I am talking about an appointment to conduct a Buyer interview; to determine the desire, need, ability, and authority of the prospect; to assess the odds of you servicing this client and earning a commission. Pretend for a moment, you were a personal injury Attorney. As a personal injury Attorney, you offer a free consultation. The reason you want the consultation is to determine the probability or odds of winning the case. A Champion Agent’s focus is the same. We are evaluating the prospect based on the odds of achieving the client’s goals and serving them well. We also are evaluating how much we will earn, how soon we will earn it, and what it will cost us in time, effort, energy, emotion, and dollars invested.
A Champion Agent knows the primary objective of a sales call, either inbound or outbound, is an appointment. The truth is that Champion Agents have more appointments than other Agents. They make more money because they have more appointments. Lower performing Agents look at the Champion Agents in awe. They think there must be something magical about the way they operate. The truth is they are more fundamentally sound in their philosophy, skills, and focus. They know clearly the objective is a greater number of appointments.
Lower performing Agents are too much in need of “The Deal”.
They often show need, even desperation to secure a new client.
Champion’s Rule: “When you need it more than the prospect, you lose control.”
If you need the deal more than the client needs you… you have lost. It’s hard to take the risk, create a little tension, close assertively if you need the deal to cover your mortgage or other bills. To be effective and successful in sales, you have to be willing to risk losing the prospect or client. This willingness is first in the form of asking people for an appointment to meet. It is followed with the conviction that you ask the prospect to work with you using the service system that you have laid out for them. You are the expert, so why not use your system for service? It’s hard to guarantee successful results if you use someone else’s system or approach to home purchasing, especially the Buyer’s.
A Champion Agent is an Agent in command. They are in command of the prospect, their client, the service they provide, and how they provide it. They are also in command of their time and knowledge. Most other Agents are on demand. They are at the beck and call of the prospect, client, other Agent, or other people in the transaction like the Lender, Inspector, and Appraiser. The need of the deal can cause an Agent to lose all control. Being willing and able to walk away from a prospect if they don’t follow your procedures in doing business increases the odds of you earning your value. As an Agent trying to reach the Champion Agent level, you need to act as if you are a Champion now… already.