Most people hate selling. They usually believe that sales skills are an innate gift, or some combination of voodoo, hypnosis and jedi mind tricks. But, the best commercial real estate brokers know that the greatest “closer” in the world is yourself. All it takes is a genuine complaint and the right solution to be presented. With this understanding, your goal should be on getting to the point where you can present the right solution. So, we’ve narrowed the steps down to 10 sales skills that every commercial real estate broker must master.
- Understand the numbers
One of the biggest problems brokers have with selling is that they see it more as a marriage instead of like sports. If you get down on one knee and ask your beloved to marry you, you’re shooting for a 100% success rate. However, sales is like baseball; a .300 average could make you an All-Star. Study your market and calculate the number of people you need to prospect to reach your sales goals. Tracking certain metrics is essential – if you can’t measure, you can’t manage and improve your sales skills.
Learn to prospect
Prospecting is the art of sifting through mounds of people to discover your clients, so you must have the sales skills of contacting large groups of prospects in order to reach your goals. Prospecting gold is a lot more effective with a bulldozer than with a shovel, and prospecting with the right technology can be the bulldozer your business needs. Using an effective prospecting software that can multiply your deals while shrinking your workload.
Use technology to boost productivity
Technology has provided a way of maximizing your time and focusing your talents toward what you do best. If your job title is Commercial Real Estate Broker, don’t spend your time being a secretary or a personal assistant. Let an efficient system handle your menial tasks of data entry, scheduling, follow ups, and maintain notes. Remember, you’re trying to get to the promised land (providing a complaining client with a solution). Don’t let unnecessary work deviate you from your goal.
Be an expert
Product knowledge is a crucial sales skill of being able to effectively present your product to customers. Imagine a waiter that doesn’t know what dishes are available. Or if they contain ingredients that customers may be allergic to. You should be able to describe your product exactly the way Gordon Ramsay describes his entrees. Product knowledge will help you sound and feel like the leading expert in your field.
Understand that you’re probably not the first person to try to sell or lease a property to your client. Unfortunately, any previous negative experiences will be associated with you as a broker. While not you must actively work to prove your trustworthiness and integrity. Always keep your word, and honor your agreements. Don’t hesitate to turn down a client or recommend a competitor if it will ultimately benefit them.
Ask the right questions
Since you are prospecting for people with a specific complaint, you must learn to ask the right questions. Sales is usually reserved for the boisterous extroverts. But, listening may be the most powerful tool in a salesperson’s skillset. Let the client identify the pain points of their current situation, and let them brainstorm solutions. This will maintain the focus on the client’s needs instead of your product.
Understand the objections
Great brokers work to preemptively acknowledge and respond to objections before they ever come up. Yet, objections will still arise. Make sure you listen (see sales skill #6) and seek to clarify their objections. Ask for more information so that you can identify if it is a legitimate concern that can be addressed, or if they are politely telling you they don’t want your product. Objections may help highlight changes that are needed in your presentation or shortcomings in your product knowledge.
Brevity is the communication skill that is most overlooked. The ability to distill large amounts of information into a few words is an art. In sales, talking too much can be a hindrance instead of a virtue. Over-explaining or addressing unrelated issues can deviate your conversation from pain points and solutions. The best brokers speak very little and say a lot.
Demonstrate the value
Once pain points have been discovered and emphasised, your solution should look like a godsend to your clients. Asking your client to think of solutions allows you to highlight all of the ways that your product is exactly what they’re looking for. If you’re selling without demonstrating the value, you’re essentially just stating your opinion without any reference to the client’s needs.
Maintain a post-sale relationship
A broker’s ultimate dream is to no longer have to pursue clients, but to have clients come to them. Surprisingly, too few brokers maintain a relationship with their clients after the close. Maintain a connection with your clients without selling anything. Checking up on customer satisfaction, or remembering birthdays and hobbies will help transition you from a broker to a friend. This keeps you present in their minds in the event that they, or someone they know require your services.
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