As you probably have read by now, both my business partner and co-author, Christy Crouch, and I have been recommending that agents come in on January 2nd and 3rd and go after all the expired listings from Dec 31st, Jan 1 and Jan 2 (and there will be tons of them) before most agents start coming in on Monday the 5th.
Christy has gone so far as to publish her expired script in one of her recent blog posts just in case you don’t really know what to say when calling or door knocking an expired (and since she averages 100 homes a year and does 70% of it by listing and selling Expired’s and FSBO’s, I’d recommend you go check it out if you haven’t already).
So now you know what to do (call and/or door knock expired listings on Jan 2nd and 3rd), and now you know what to say (Christy’s script, or one of your choosing). It’s just that simple, right?
In theory, yes, and at the same time, maybe not. What happens if a seller has a question or objection that’s not on your script? What if they want you to cut your commission, or they tell you their going to re-list with the same agent? What if you’re on an appointment and they just want to think about it? Or, what if they say or ask any number of questions that you’re not prepared for?
Good questions. And below, I’m going to give you the secrets to handling objections, and not just for talking to expireds. These secrets are for both buyers and sellers.
1. Realize where objections come from – This is the biggest secret and the most simplest thing to get. Objections only come from people who are considering doing business with you. You should be happy when getting an objection. If you don’t care about something, are you going to bother talking about it?
For example, let’s say you’re in the clothing store and you want to a business outfit in blue, black or gray. Let’s say you told the salesperson you only want to spend up to $200. So, if the salesperson comes back with an orange outfit for $215 dollars, are you going to ask them to discount it to $199?
NO!!! You’re not considering buying that orange eyesore, so what the heck do you care about the price??
Same goes with a buyer or seller – if they have questions and/or objections, they’re interested. If they’re not interested, they won’t object. They’ll disappear.
2. Get some objection handlers – I don’t care how or where you get them, just get them. At the end of this blog post is a link to our book, Now What Do I Say?, with over 425 handlers, but you can come up with your own if you’d like. The point is that you need to have standard answers that you can go to anytime something comes up.
Clients aren’t coming up wtih new objection handlers to fool agents. Objections are pretty much the same. And, since one client doesn’t know what you’re saying to another client, it shouldn’t matter to you if you think you say the same thing over and over again. Listen to a flight attendant…do they make up their in-flight safety speech as they go along, or have they rehearsed it hundreds of times? For that matter, check out the pilot. Are you upset when you find out the pilot does the same exact pre-flight checklist for you as he/she did for the 25 other flights he’s flown this month? Heck, no! You want him/her to do the same things. He/she’s a professional.
Well, so are you. So stop being surprised when a seller says they want you to cut your commission, or only wants to list for 90 days. Have your answer ready.
3. Practice, practice, practice – I already alluded to this with my flight attendant analogy. You must practice objection handlers to the point of memorization. The phenomenon that occurs once you practice is that you are so confident, and ready to get objections, you rarely ever get them anymore. That’s the joke. The more you look forward to them, the less you get them.
As I stated in point number one, you only get objections from people who are considering using you. However, you get those objections when they sense you’re not as confident a salesperson as they want/need. If you walked in and they just thought, “Wow! That person’s gonna sell my home!” they wouldn’t ever bring up an objection. That’s because you give off a confident and authoritative quality. Please don’t confuse that with ego or arrogance…they won’t be thinking, “Wow,” they’ll be thinking, “How,” as in, “How can I get this jerk out of my house in less than 15 seconds?”
Make a daily habit of practicing objection handlers. Schedule it. Do it with other agents if you can. It’ll pay off hundreds of times over.
4. Agree with the client, understand the client’s point of view, don’t fight – Since you now know the reasons you get objections you can understand the buyer or seller’s point of view when they raise the objection. That means you can acknowledge and agree with what they say. 99% of the time, you want to agree with them before handling the objection (there are one or two objection handling language patterns that don’t call for agreement).
The client wants to know they’ve been heard, so when you agree with them and/or repeat what they said, they feel heard.
I’ve seen agents berate, argue, debate and otherwise fight with a client, telling the client how wrong the client is and how right the agent is.
How do you like being told how wrong you are? How do you being told what to do? How do you like it when people don’t treat you nicely?
So, why on earth do we think that we can just be that way with a client and things will be just fine?
5. Don’t take it personally – That piggy backs off the previous point. For some reason, agents take objections personally. Nothing could be further from the truth. If it was personal, the person wouldn’t be working with you anymore. They’d yell at you, they’d hang up on you, they’d never return your calls. They wouldn’t object.
“Bob, I just don’t like you. You’re a jerk, and I’m pretty sure you hit on my wife during your presentation. So, if you cut your commission, I’ll be okay with all of that.”
Do you really think Bob would be getting that objection? He’d be lucky if he got out the house without being punched.
So, just get that people object for many reasons that have nothing to do with you. Heck, the media is always talking about how a client should ask for this or that, etc. People are just doing what they think they should.
One time, when I was still selling real estate, I sold an expired listing in 10 days for 99% of asking, and got them a great house at a great deal to move into. Literally as he was signing the buying contract for the new home, Mr. Client, pen in hand, looked up and asked if I would now cut my commission. I looked at him as a parent might look at a child who’s trying to pull one over on the parent and said, “Good question, but AS you’re signing the contract?” He laughed and said, “I had to ask,” and signed the contract.
I had every right to take it personally, too. I just did what their last agent couldn’t do, and did it 5 months and 20 days faster, and they wanted me to cut my commission??? How dare they??? Really, I just realized he was doing what he thought he had to, and I didn’t take it personally.
6. Don’t handle objections on the phone – If it’s at all possible do NOT handle objections over the phone. You need to pick your battles, so to speak. If a seller asks you to cut your commission over the phone, no matter how good you are at handling it, you won’t be listing their house. They’ll likely not agree to an appointment with you and won’t answer your follow up calls. Handling objections over the phone gives the power to the person on the phone. They can simply hang up, and if they don’t like your answer, never take your calls again.
As a rule, only handle objections that help you set an appointment. If a seller says they’re going to re-list with the same agent, by all means, handle that objection to get them to agree to an appointment with you. If they say they only want to list for 90 days, that’s not something you deal with until you’re on the appointment.
7. CLOSE!!! – Never, never, never handle an objection if you aren’t going to close for whatever you need to close for, be it appointment or contract. Spouting off all your newly memorized wonderful handlers won’t do diddly if you don’t end it by asking for the business. Always close at the end of objection handlers.
*Now you have the secrets to handling objections. If you’d like to get 425 objection handlers for 70+ different objections, written and used by top agents, click here to check out Now What Do I Say? on Amazon.com
Also, if you want to Make 2009 YOUR Year, please join Christy and me for our free conference call with tons of valuable tips and information to use in your business right away. The call is Thursday, January 8th at 1pm PST / 4pm EST. All you have to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll be sent the conference line and code.