Mind over Matter: How To Get What You’re Worth

IS SOMEONE TRYING TO NEGOTIATE you down on your fees? Not making the right offer on a listing? NLP expert and sales coach Charmaine Keegan says your private thoughts may be subconsciously influencing you – something you need to be mindful of every time.

REGARDLESS OF the context, be it the price set on a home or a commission, if you think you should be charging less then you will project that. If you think the price should be more, then you project that. It all starts in your head.

There’s only one person who sets the value of your offering. It’s not your company, or what other real estate agents are charging or what your clients are demanding – it’s you.

The most important language you need to be speaking is that language to yourself. Ask yourself: are you happy with what you charge? What if you think the percentage you are charging is too high? Well, luckily there are simple steps to take here.

  1. Immerse yourself in positivity about what you are offering. Think about what the vendor is getting out of this: the time and effort you are saving them and what this service means to them.
  2. Read thank-you emails from vendors and re-run in your head all those conversations where your clients said how grateful they were, what a great job you did and how wonderful it was.
  3. Ask colleagues who consistently get better commission why that is. What are they thinking and doing? Get them to share with you why your service is the price it is.

Put simply, it all starts with you; so anchor yourself in a positive state of mind about your value.

Ha! So actually now it’s not about me at all, but about the client!

Well, yes. If you are now securely anchored in your value, we can take a step back and look at the whole picture.

Negotiation has nothing to do with your wants and everything to do with what your client wants.

What a good salesperson would do is find out all the reasons why the price should be x amount of dollars. They then turn it into colourful language which they interweave delicately in the conversation so that the client sees the value. Good salespeople excel at persuasion.

What a master salesperson would do is to realise you know nothing about the client at all. Go in with a blank canvas ready to create a masterpiece based solely on what that individual client has said or not said, how they behaved, how they communicated and, of course, what they need and value.

So, when you were doing your discovery of their needs, how much were you being guided by them and how much were you directing? How much listening went on and how much assuming? What information did you elicit? Do you know why they are selling or buying, their timing, reason, location, situation? Did you find out what’s of value to that client? And did you end up with a list for each client and how each of them value different things?

I notice with an open house people get asked the same two questions. It’s so ‘default’ I’m not even sure the real estate agent is concentrating on the answer.

Reminding yourself that each and every person has a completely different set of needs, wants, beliefs and values puts you in the right place. Your focus needs to be outward, not inward.

So ‘it’s all about them and not about you’. Polish up your awareness antennae.

I’m a huge believer in the fact that if you did a great uncovery and you have put your solution forward, tailored to their needs, then the need to negotiate is reduced.

Allow me to take this to a deeper level.

If you are to be a great negotiator then you need to have a bespoke strategy for each and every client based solely on how that person operates. For example, this is what I discovered today in less than one minute.

I chatted to Ben as he waited for an appointment with a colleague. He was relaying his car purchase (he didn’t sign until he’d had a second opinion from his friend). My colleague arrived and as they walked off Ben pointed to my colleague’s watch and made a comment. His attire, briefcase, watch, appearance in general was polished. Twenty seconds observing Ben and I’ve got a lot of information.

Sarah came into the office and mentioned something to the office manager about her holiday being exactly as the TripAdvisor reviews had said. Thirty seconds in with Sarah and I’ve also gained a lot of information about her, just by observing.

So what information did I get? Well, Ben’s pride is tied up with how much of a good negotiator he is, regardless of the value; it’s the ‘dance’ over the deal he gets a kick out of. He also runs a high care factor over what others think. He is a ‘two-time convincer’ – that is, after he has seen what he wants he runs his buying strategy which includes somebody else and seeing the options. He has to see two other similar products before he comes back to part with his money. He is also impressed by the finer things and values quality products.

What to do with this information? Well, if Ben were a buyer, I would be grabbing the details about the quality fittings in a kitchen and inviting his partner/friend/parents to take a look at the property with him!

Sarah’s remarks about her holiday resort getting the highest reviews on TripAdvisor told me that she has an outward frame of reference: she is influenced by other people’s opinions. What action would I take here if I were trying to list her property? I would reach for testimonials from other clients.

We are barely scratching the surface here on how just much information we can elicit from people just by observing them and how they operate, so make sure next time you meet someone you watch and listen closely.

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Charmaine Keegan

Charmaine Keegan has spent 24 years immersed in the world of selling, and has a reputation for outstanding results. A trainer of NLP, she loves learning and embracing all new ideas. For more information visit