Many agents don’t like cold calling because it always seems to come with objections and rejections. But every good salesperson knows that a few objections is completely normal. Here are a few ideas for you to be able to get past some of the common hurdles and move your relationships forward.
1. YOUR FEES ARE TOO HIGH; I’M GOING TO SELL IT MYSELF
Response: ‘It’s fair to say that it’s possible for anyone to sell a house. Where an agent earns their commission is when it comes time to negotiate. What if I were able to show you that by using the services of an agent your property could sell for considerably more? And furthermore, I’ll gladly share with you the best process to follow if you still want to go it alone.’
Price is only an issue in the absence of value.
If someone is telling you you’re too expensive, it’s because you haven’t shown enough value for them to get past it.
In real estate, the consumer has the perception that you don’t bring any value to the transaction, so it’s important to show evidence to the contrary.
2. THE MARKET IS NOT RIGHT TO SELL
Response: ‘There’s a lot of talk in the media right now about the property market. But remember: their job is to sell papers, my job is to sell property. And I can tell you, last week at my open homes, we had X buyers, so the market is very active.’
Consumers believe they have all the information they need to make the decisions. But whilst there is a lot of information available to them, there’s also a lot of conflicting information. So putting their mind at ease with current, real-world statistics is very powerful.
3. I’M NOT READY TO SELL RIGHT NOW
Response: ‘OK, but we know situations change all the time. I’d love the opportunity to keep you up to date with the market, and to be there should your needs change.’
There is no point in trying to push a vendor where they aren’t ready to go. This is a great time to start building some rapport and adding to your database.
4. I’M GOING TO USE COMPETITOR X
Response: ‘OK, do you mind if I ask what made you choose x? Of course, I respect your decision and sincerely hope you have a quick and successful sale. Can I ask, have you already signed up with x? If not, I’d love to show you how I am different, and how I will work even harder to get you the best result.’
Never talk over the phone about your competition, or why you are better than them. Make sure you maintain your professionalism, but at the same time try to understand the reasoning behind their decision. Most agents don’t ask questions at this stage and miss the opportunity to get a deeper understanding of the seller’s needs and desires. And of course, if they haven’t already signed Form 6, don’t be afraid to ask for the opportunity to present.
5. JUST SEND ME SOME INFO
Response: ‘Mr/Mrs Vendor, just so I can ensure I get the right sort of information to you, are you buying, selling or just researching at this stage?’
Usually, this objection is designed to simply get you off the phone quickly. The key is to try and keep the conversation moving and get them to open up. The above question is likely to throw them off, but also provide the opportunity to engage with them a bit more, to understand where they are in their property cycle.
6. I’M NOT INTERESTED IN MOVING
Response: ‘I understand that most people don’t think about moving until they are ready to move. As the <suburb> area specialist, my job is to help you when that time comes. So that we can keep in touch, would you prefer for me to send a quarterly market report to you by mail or email?’
Again, there is no point trying to force something that is not on the vendor’s mind at the time. Statistics show that people move on average every seven years, so you need to position yourself as the agent of choice when that time comes. The best way to do this is to build rapport and show value when they are not looking to sell.
7. I’M TOO BUSY TO TALK
Response: ‘Let me be brief. We’re going to be in your street on Tuesday and Thursday next week between 3 and 6pm. We are providing property market assessments to give an up-to date-value of your home in the current market. Is this something you might be interested in?’
Many agents will try and arrange a time to call back when the vendor has more time to chat. In truth, if you can keep them on the phone for another 15 seconds, you can get an answer there and then and save yourself the hassle of having to make one or more follow-up calls. It may not be quite as polished, but it gets you an answer today.
8. CALL ME BACK IN SIX MONTHS
Response: ‘It’s much better to start planning well in advance if you were thinking about doing something. What about I put information together and email this to you, so that you have the most current facts at hand for when you’re ready. What is your timeline? What’s your best email address?’
Firstly, you want to get a definitive answer on their timeline, so you know how serious they are. And secondly, you need a solid reason for them to share their details, so that you can continue to build the relationship prior to them selling.
9. HAVEN’T HEARD OF YOU/WANT TO USE A MORE WELL-KNOWN AGENCY
Response: ‘It’s important to understand that the buyers will not find your property based on the agency it’s listed with. Where your decision on which agency to use is important is who can negotiate with those buyers best to get you the greatest result. How we get you the greatest result is…’ (and then you should explain some of your successes, sales above ask., marketing approach and so on).
Vendors feel that going with a ‘high street’ or well-known name is the safe option – in the same way as people stick with the big banks. Your goal is to show them that the brand is not as important as the agent when it comes to the pointy end of the transaction.
WHEN NO REALLY MEANS NO
Sometimes you can’t handle the objection and no really means no. Sometimes it’s a bad day, week, month for the person you are calling, and absolutely any attempt to handle objections is going to lead to a negative outcome. Whilst this is not a get-out-of-objection-handling free card, you do need to pay close attention to the pitch and the tone of the person at the other end of the phone. Are they simply uninterested and need you to wow them, or are they genuinely angry right now and you need to end the conversation quickly?