There’s nothing worse than investing your time and money in advertising (or whatever prospecting method you use), following up on your leads, scoring an appointment … only to strike out once you get your foot in the door. What went wrong? Were your credentials not impressive enough? Did your competitors offer a lower commission or convince the seller they should list their home at a higher (and unrealistic) price? Did you fumble your presentation? Lose the listing to a friend or relative of the sellers? Not present enough benefits?
The truth is that most agents can’t really put their finger on why they lost the listing – they have no way of diagnosing what went wrong and thus what they should be doing differently next time.
Your listing presentation is the most important contact you will have with a seller prospect. In most cases, it’s the first face-to-face contact you will have with this prospect, and the only chance you’ll have to help them understand how you can benefit them in a way that other agents can't. In many cases, you will be in competition with other agents who will also be trying to sell their services. How well you do in this presentation will determine whether this prospect becomes your client, or someone else's.
Every good presentation should have a beginning, a middle and an end. One should follow the other, and each should be compelling enough that your prospect is emotionally linked to points you are explaining each step along the way.
While every listing presentation you do should be tailored specifically to the individual prospect you are trying to convert (i.e. you should have a good understanding of his/her home and neighborhood via comparables, and you should try to identify their personality type in order to know how best to explain your benefits), the nuts and bolts of each presentation will be the same. You should create a physical presentation (on PowerPoint or in a binder) to use as a visual aid with your prospects. This will serve to keep both you and your prospect on track. While you are telling them, your words will be reinforced visually to ensure they understand each point you are making. Even when you are completely comfortable with the information you are communicating, you should still use your presentation visuals for your prospect’s benefit.
4 Tips to a Successful Presentation
I tend to avoid the word "selling" because it has come to have such a negative connotation over the last couple of decades. Whether you like it or not, a "sales person" is perceived by the public to be dishonest and fast-talking; a pusher of products and services on unsuspecting customers, doing anything and everything to "get the sale". Selling is hard work and it's distasteful to both you and the prospect(s) you are presenting to. I believe that selling is what you do when your "words" have to take the place of any real and meaningful customer benefits. I do NO selling when I present to a prospect because I don't have to sell. And neither should you.
The objective of all your communication with your prospects is to get them to say “Yes, I would like you to help me and represent me." What you say to them is a large part of obtaining this “yes”, but your phrasing and body language are also critically important. What follows are 4 tips that I have found to be highly effective in the way I present to my prospects.
- Always Focus on Your Prospects Needs as The Basis of All Your Discussion -- Remember why you are making your presentation in the first place. You are there to demonstrate to your prospect that you can help him or her better than anyone else can. Before you can effectively make a link between their needs and your service, you must show them that you truly identify with and understand what their needs really are. This must always be your starting point. State what you know their problem is, and then show them specifically how you are going to solve this problem.
- Ask Them Questions They Cannot Give You a “Brush Off” Answer To -- Remember that your goal is to get your prospect nodding their head in your favour - you want them to answer “yes”. Instead of saying: “Would you like to make an appointment to meet so we can discuss the listing of your home?”, say “I’d like to show you what we can do to sell your home. Would Tuesday or Wednesday evening be better for you?”
- Get Your Prospects to Say Key Points For You -- You have a lot to tell your prospect. Getting them involved in the delivery of key points is a highly effective way to get them, and keep them, on board with the presentation you are giving. If part of it is told in their own words and out of their own mouths, if you get them to draw the right conclusions as you go along, you’ll have a much better chance of securing the final and most important “yes” at the end of your presentation. Here’s an example of phrasing which will help your customers understand, and say, the points you want to make: “A very common problem for home sellers is trying to juggle the sale of their old home and the purchase of their new home. Timing can work against you. You could be put into the situation of owning two homes or none at all. How would you feel if I told you that we will eliminate this problem for you by guaranteeing the sale of your present home before you purchase your new home?” (Let your prospect respond) As always, use your judgement as to how often you will use this technique. You don’t want to harass your prospect into doing all the work, but effective use of this tool can give your prospects a much deeper understanding of the points you want to make.
- Never Call Down Your Competition by Name -- Clearly, the purpose of your listing presentation is to show how and why your prospect should list with you versus any other agent. Therefore, the tone of your presentation must be competitively focused. You want them to walk away with the conviction that you are the best person for the job. Which strategy do you think would most effectively win your prospect to your way of thinking?
- Tell them that you are the greatest and that you sell more houses than any other agent
- Tell them what a poor job other specific agents are doing and make the point that you will do a much better job than these other agents
- Show them how you have built a system designed around their needs which is something no other agent has done and explain to them how each of these programs will uniquely benefit them
The answer, of course, is “c” because you’re starting with your prospect's needs and giving them detailed and specific information that they can intellectualize and understand. Very simply:
“a” talks about you,
“b” talks about other agents , and
“c” talks about your prospect and how you can help them
Which do you think your prospect will most want to hear about? Of course they will want to hear about themselves. Following strategy “a” is like asking your prospect to take an exam without teaching them the course. You’ve given them the answer, but you haven’t given them any reason to believe that the answer is correct. The fact that you sell more houses than any other agent may sound impressive to you but, without further explanation, it is not necessarily a consumer benefit - it raises too many unanswered questions and issues (such as low-ball pricing and skimpy service) that you must address first. Furthermore, every other agent you are competing with is using this strategy. Open up the real estate section and read what the others are saying. They’re all claiming to be #1, or to have the best service or lowest commission or promise the highest price. Because everyone is shouting the same thing at the same time, with no substance to back up their claim, the prospect is confused. Worse, s/he is skeptical.
If you take strategy “b” -- i.e. bad-mouthing other specific agents -- this actually has the opposite effect to the one you desire. Instead of adopting your view that this other agent is ineffective, your prospect is more likely to view this agent as a poor underdog who probably doesn’t deserve this criticism. You’ll be doing this agent a favor by highlighting them. If your most compelling argument is that you’re better than Agent X or Y, you can’t have very much to say about yourself. From your prospect’s standpoint, you’re in business to help them, not put other agents out of business.
Of course, to effectively use strategy “C”, make sure you have tested, proven and specific systems that will get your clients consistent and successful results. The agents who use my system are able to offer truly compelling and innovative systems such as the Guaranteed Sale Program, Tour of Homes, Team System and so on. Figure out what systems you can use to put you head and shoulders above your competitors. Remember, price is only a factor in the absence of value.
On Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. EST, I’ll be conducting a free live training call to teach agents exactly what they should be saying and doing in their listing presentations. With literally thousands of listing presentations under my belt, I have this critical part of the process down to a science. Not only can I help you identify what mistakes you’re making, but – more importantly – I can detail for you what elements your listing presentation must have if you want to consistently and predictably win your listings.
“Before being introduced to Craig Proctor’s system, I was trained to take listings with a yellow pad and a company brochure. I was introduced to Craig’s listing presentation on PowerPoint and decided to give it a try. The results were amazing and I was able to show every listing prospect all of the benefits I had to offer and was able to demonstrate all of the unique consumer programs I had to offer. This listing presentation allowed me to keep my presentation on track with my captive audience. I usually get my full commission without hassle because the Seller understands all of the value they are getting with me and my team. Cost is only an issue in the absence of value, and listing prospects want value when listing their homes. – Willie Miranda, Clifton Park, NY
P.S. You can test drive my ideas and systems absolutely free by signing up for Free Weekly Training which includes live weekly webinars, a monthly newsletter and priority invitations to free half day training events. This Free Weekly training will expose you to inexpensive and highly effective methods of lead generation (with no cold calling) -- what I call “Reverse Prospecting”, where qualified prospects actually hunt you down rather than the other way around, and then how to follow these leads through to maximum GCI via proprietary lead conversion and prospect presentation systems. This is the easiest way for you to find out with no risk or obligation what my system is all about and how it can help you profitably grow your real estate business and vastly improve your quality of life. JOIN MY FREE WEEKLY TRAINING PROGRAM HERE