Effective Sales Progression in a Covid-19 World
Context: Today is not like yesterday, get used to the 'new-normal'
Life for your prospects and clients has changed, and will continue to change, in ways that we are all trying to understand, every day. Although we can’t predict the future, your approach in understanding your clients changing needs is key to you making a sale. Your own burning need to earn a commission now, after such a period of inactivity, must be secondary to the needs of your clients, but how do you best do that?
The answer: it’s all about asking great questions of your clients because, the clearer picture you have of what is happening in their own world now, the better you can help them and yourselves. Sounds simple, right? Well maybe, but it can be hard to do, in practice, and perhaps we got a little rusty in the last few months or maybe fell into some bad sales habits over the last few years?
Psychology: get inside your clients head and have them thank you for it
Buyers may be shifting their goals, budgets and timings so you need to be so much more than just the retailer of property they perhaps found on the internet. Properties come and go, but if you can make your prospect feel you care enough to take time and really listen to their answers to your questions, that you completely understand them so you can really help them, you will become their trusted guide to the property they want, when they want it.
Beware of doing too much of the talking on calls, there is a right time and wrong to pitch a ‘new, bargain property’. We are all ‘in sales’ which means persuading people to do something we suggest, right? Maybe….but when we listen to people, rather than talking at them, it changes how people feel about you and that gives you the ability to, later, fairly influence them. By asking questions you make people feel important, we all like to be listened-to and feel important, don’t we?
Strategy: have only productive sales conversations
Many of you will have kept in touch via email and phone with your prospective clients over the last couple of months, but events are moving quickly, how do you keep your sales pipeline alive and moving forwards?
An effective strategy is to be asking questions that help you find the gap that exists between where your client is now (emotionally and financially) and where they want to be. Once you can gauge the size and shape of the gap between these two points, you can attempt to fill it with your relevant knowledge and support to help them.
Top 5 Tips
1.You can’t fake warmth and sincerity for long, people usually realise, feel hurt and foolish then drop you. Your tone of voice with your clients should be unhesitatingly authoritative and yet genuinely warm, why not subtly refer to an aspect of your AIPP membership in conversation with your clients and the time you have taken to fully understand your local market, as evidence of your authority?
2. Failure to prepare – you might have 20 phone calls on your to-do list today but not taking time to prepare individually to bring some value to each call you make, rather than just ask ‘how are you?’, ‘have you decided on that property yet?’ will leave you looking insincere.
3. Base your questions upon what you already know, or would like to know, about your client so you can best find them what they are looking for. Either on the call, or in a follow-up call, present information on eg. property, finance, taxes, purchase costs, living costs etc in an informed way and get them to a (series) of YES or NO (possibly micro) decisions that clearly take you both forwards to a mutually agreed next step and a clear reason to re-contact them with more information, possibly clarifying questions.
4. Your questions to clients should allow you to learn their own particular type of ‘language’, not English, German etc but their style of communication and the kind of words they use. Note these in your CRM, subtly play them back to your clients in your conversations with them. This aids communication and positively changes how people feel about you.
5. At the start of each new conversation with your client, establish your commitment and understanding to their needs by briefly re-iterating the key points of their ongoing lifestyle and property search. This will also save you from wasted time and effort (possibly also losing the client), if you continue to benchmark their requirements against the original brief when this may have changed