How to Close a Client
Closing is often the hardest part for real estate agents. Whether it is closing the sale of a house, or closing a listing – both are often difficult. Too often I see agents turn uncertain when it comes to getting a client to sign an agreement. It is that moment of indecision that causes agents to lose sales and listings. Here are a few thoughts that can take you over the threshold to more listings and sales.
You have to assume success. The Champion agents who assume that they are going to get a contract signed have much greater success. Don't go in asking for the business first. Assume you are going to get it, and make all your comments sound as if you already have the deal signed. The paperwork is just a part of the process. Don’t make a big deal about it.
Once you assume, then you must decide that you are going to get it done. Don't let anyone take you off the track towards your goal. I had a coaching session recently with a Champion agent. She was working with a problem buyer. The buyer was getting on her nerves. She had an appointment later that day to show the buyer a house that really fit her needs. I asked her a series of questions about the buyer. She concluded she needed to sell her this house tonight or cut her loose. I counseled her to assume and decide that she was going to get this lady sold. That evening she did exactly that. Her mental decision to take action with this client made the sale.
The next step is to keep asking. Don't be stopped by the first no. If you ever watch a four-year-old, no doesn't bother him. He will continue to ask until he gets a yes. Did you know that the average sale is made after five no’s? Do you stop before or after the fifth no?
One strategy to make it easier for the client to say yes is to use “trial closes” along the way. Trial closes are the little yeses of agreement to the little things. These are also the kind of things that can be handled with an “assuming the sale” attitude.
For a seller it could be:
Do you have a key ready tonight?
Where in the yard would you like the sign to be put?
Is this Tuesday all right for the Broker's open house?
For a buyer it could be:
I noticed you both like the swing set. Should we ask for it in the offer?
Do you want possession the end of this month or next?
What is a convenient day for a home inspection for you both?
Trial closes build momentum. Momentum is crucial in any sales process. Most buyers and sellers would not jump in front of a train. That is what you are doing when you build momentum through trial closes. They may try to slow you down with a little objection. Just handle it and throw in another trial close question to get them going in the right direction again.
Another good tactic is to keep writing and filling out the purchase or listing agreement. If they don't stop you, keep going. They have every opportunity to stop you or slow you down. If they don't jump on this opportunity, keep writing. In my experience, almost all prospects signed with me once I had finished the paperwork. They will sign with you, too, if you follow my instructions.
Closing a client is a step-by-step process. Practice these steps and your sales volume will increase dramatically. There is no need to resort to phrases of manipulation. Honest and direct communication works fine.
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