The psychology of objection handling

Many real estate agents dread the thought of any kind of objection. It can mean a confrontation with the buyer or seller. It can mean a confrontation with your knowledge of the property that you are selling, and ultimately it confronts your ability as a salesperson. Dave Eller has a technique to help you handle the curliest of objections with ease.

I have seen and heard some agents handle objections in a very salesman like manner. You know the response; beat around the bush without really answering the question, similar to when a politician gets asked a question in the media. Another typical tactic is to just brush off the objection. Even worse still is to make up an answer or fumble around trying to make up an answer!

You are in the business of dealing with people. Think for a moment how you would like your agent to respond.

Objections should not be feared. In fact, they should be welcomed. If you know your stuff, you should be able to answer anything that is thrown at you. Questions and objections indicate some sort of interest; otherwise buyers would just turn around and walk out of the open home inspection. Start thinking of objections as stepping-stones to success. An objection means that the buyer is thinking about the property: it means that the potential vendor is thinking about using you as their agent. Objections should be considered signposts leading towards a close. This is what you get paid for!

Objections at the listing presentation

I see five main objections that a potential seller will bring up at a listing presentation. You will at least get one if not all of these when you are trying to get their business. The way you answer them WILL decide whether or not you succeed.

The five main objections revolve around advertising, auctions, commission, exclusively listing and conducting open home inspections.

Here is a great technique for looking at an objection in another way: try turning their statement into a request.

If they say “I don’t want to pay for advertising”

Think of it as “Please show me why I should pay for advertising

When you do this, your dialogue to handle the objection will focus on ‘their’ request. You will find that by thinking of their objection in this way, it will allow you to more calmly engage in negotiation around the objection. Other statements can be turned into requests as follows:

“I don’t want to pay full commission”
“Please show me why I should pay full commission”
“I don’t want to do open homes”
“Please show me why I should do open homes”
“I don’t want to list exclusively”
“Please show me why I should list exclusively”
“I don’t want to go to auction.”
“Please show me why I should consider an auction.”

Remember, we do not know why they are making the objection. Maybe they have had a bad experience with open home inspections. They may have no money for advertising and feel embarrassed. They may have been told by their best friend’s dad to only do open listings with three different agents to make sure the property is seen by more buyers. Maybe they are just having a bad day!

Keys to handling objections

  1. Make sure you do not interrupt their objection: listen completely.
  2. Treat their objection as important and valid. People want to feel as though they were heard.
  3. “Mr Seller, that is a very good question / valid query, and I am glad you brought it up.”
  4. Determine whether it’s a condition or an objection. A condition is something you cannot assist them with, such as, they do not have a deposit.
  5. Use the feel, felt, found method. (I gave an example of this in the May 15th article ‘Rule #1; Do not talk about…”. However, be aware not to use it for each objection they bring up!
  6. Lastly, it sounds simple, but ask them if you answered their question.

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Dave Eller

Dave Eller is Australia’s leading Connection Coach for real estate sales professionals - connecting them with passion, success and work / life balance. He is a Licensed Agent, Auctioneer and nationally qualified industry trainer, for more information visit www.daveeller.com.