Agents should stop “telling and selling” and start asking deep-diving questions to meet clients’ values, list more properties and make more sales.
Speaking during one of this year’s Transform lessons, expert coach Caroline Bolderston says the key to doing this is to learn the art of having powerful direct conversations (PDCs).
The trouble is, there are three main elements that prevent agents having direct conversations, including wanting to keep clients happy, the desire to be well thought of, and associating the C in PDC with conflict and confrontation.
“We all want to be liked and the fact that we want to be liked often gets in the way of having the strength, the guts or the ability to have a PDC,” Caroline says.
But Caroline says harmonious, productive PDCs are definitely achievable if agents can stop taking on the role of “convincing” their clients by “telling and selling” them the typical real estate spiel.
“We are all leaders and we must be leading our clients, buyers and vendors, and influencing them, not convincing them, to get the outcomes that they truly want,” she says.
Agents can do this by engaging with their client’s dream throughout the sale process, discovering what their clients value most, matching their strategies and solutions to those values and creating a clear picture, with defined expectations, of what should happen next.
“If we get below the surface we have a much stronger chance of influencing the client,” Caroline says.
“If we don’t, often we get confused, there are misunderstandings in the conversations and this is when things get a little bit heated.”
To deep dive into what a client truly values, Caroline urges agents to use the Unconscious Questioning Technique.
Rather than simply running through a set list of pre-prepared questions in a listing presentation, Caroline says agents need to use ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘how’ questions to extract further information based on the client’s previous answer.
For example, if a seller says they want to sell in the new financial year, Caroline says agents should not skip along to what method of sale they prefer but instead ask why that particular time to sell is important.
“Most agents have a similarity in the questions they ask and therefore, what happens is, you all sound the same and look the same,” she says.
“A powerful direct conversation can only happen when you start with understanding what their dream is really about.”
Caroline’s lesson also explains Kim Scott’s Radical Candor model, which covers the importance of caring personally and challenging directly at the right levels to achieve direct conversations.
“It’s about being kind and about being clear,” she says.
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