Next to a signed contract to do business, objections are a salesperson’s best friend.
The reason I say this is because an objection still leaves the door open to do business. Many agents think that an objection is a deal killer, but it’s really not.
In fact, if anything, objections can fall under any and all of these categories during a sales call or presentation:
- Bound to happen
- Human nature
- Defense mechanism
- Something everyone gets
- Not a no
- A learning experience
- Not something to give up over
- Always just an objection
What’s important isn’t so much that you get objections, but rather that you’re able to handle them and turn them into legitimate selling opportunities with a decent amount of regularity.
It’s not hard to overcome the toughest of objections, you just need to know how to do it.
Here’s how to do it.
Over the phone is different than face to face
When you get objections, you handle them differently when you get them over the phone versus when you get them in a presentation.
Over the phone, you speak the language of possibility...the language of “I’m open to discussing it.”
As part of that strategy, it’s great to get into “If I could, would you?” mode.
For example, if your prospect tells you that they don’t have time to meet you and look for homes, you can say: “If I could get you access to all the homes that met your criteria and save a lot of time trying to find the right one, would you be open to meeting with me to find out how I can help you with that?”.
You’re not saying you can save them time, you’re simply asking: “If I could, would you?”. Doing this opens your prospect’s mind and keeps the conversation moving.
The same approach works with sellers.
If a seller tells you that they want to list their home and they ask you if you’ll list your home at X% - which is lower than the fee you normally charge - you can say: “I’m open to listing your home for that fee, when would be a good time for us to get together to discuss that?”
Again, you’re not saying you will list it at the fee they want, just that you’re open to discussing it.
If you try to negotiate price or fee over the phone, it almost never works. Speaking in terms of everything being possible gives you the chance to get face to face with the seller and show them what they need to see in order to justify your fee.
There are some things you can’t do effectively over the phone, they just need to be handled face to face.
Make sure that you remain open to all possibilities when talking over the phone and work to solve problems face to face.
Sitting belly to belly requires something different
Once you’ve built rapport with your prospect and demonstrated a level of expertise and authority that earns their respect, you can and should take a different tact when handling objections.
Here’s a proven, six-step strategy to effectively handle objections when you’re sitting across the table from them:
- Let them get it out: Nobody likes to get interrupted. Nobody likes it when they say something and the other person doesn’t listen. If your seller prospect has an objection, let them get it out. Very important that they feel they are being heard. Plus, you want to make sure you understand the exact objection so you handle properly. That’s why you’ll then…
- Repeat the objection: Be sure you understand what the issue is. Your goal is to handle this bad boy once and knock it out of the park: :So what I’m hearing is that you don’t want to pay the fee I’m asking, is that correct?”
- Isolate the objection: You want to find out if this is the only objection or if there are other objections as well. If there are more, then handle them individually. Trying to tie them altogether will ultimately be ineffective: “Other than the commission, are you okay with everything else that we do to get your home sold? [Listen] Great, so if we can resolve this matter, then you’re okay with letting us help you get your home sold?”. Saying that should help you isolate the objection and ferret out any other objections, if there are any at all.
- Cushion the objection: There’s tremendous power in acknowledging that your prospect has a concern. It shows you’re listening and it’s a sign of respect that you legitimize their feelings about an issue they have: “Mr. Seller, I appreciate you sharing your concern with me. It’s reasonable to feel that way about paying my fee as it’s a large number. Other sellers with whom I’ve spoken have felt the same way. After seeing how much value they’re getting in hiring me, this is what they’ve found.”
- Handle the objection: At this point, it’s time to deal with the objection based upon the reason they gave you. Don’t just throw a canned line at them. Attach your handling of the objection to the real issue for them. If they say another agent will do it for less, show them how cutting commission can cost them thousands in the end due to poor marketing, poor negotiation skills and lack of resources. Take the time to handle the commission properly so you get great results.
- Close the objection: You’ve made it this far, it’s time to wrap it up: “Based upon what I’ve shared with you, can you see how my fee is reasonable based upon everything we’re going to do to ensure you get top dollar for your home?”. Whatever you do, just don’t leave it hanging. You want to make sure the objection handled properly and no longer an impediment to moving forward with the listing.
It’s pretty much a given that you’re going to get questions and objections about your commission when you’re a real estate agent.
Be sure not to shy away from handling them.
If you take them head on and deal with them professionally and appropriately, you’ll easily outsell your competition.