Telling is not selling.
Hands up if you have ever heard that one before?
The power of selling anything – private house sales, your car online, a lounge on a local community site – is all about asking, listening and answering.
Now some of you may not like what I am about to say, but it has to be said…
We are, in general, selfish creatures who sometimes don’t know when to shut up.
How do I know?
Fourteen years as an undercover, surveillance and investigative Detective and another twenty-two years as a business builder and owner has provided me with the equivalent of a Masters in Human Behaviour.
When the time comes for one person to influence or persuade another, the default is to almost talk someone into doing or buying that thing that may advantage the seller (influencer) or relieve them of a problem.
That is a sure fire method for failure.
Recently I visited the property of a dog carer, as I was in between selling and buying my own home and I needed somewhere for my pooches to stay.
When I arrived, the lady dog carer introduced herself and asked the names of my two fur babies. The nano-second after I told her, off she went.
She did not draw breath for the next 15-20 minutes, telling me everything from who her neighbours were, to who is about to subdivide their land, how busy she is, where she came from…on and on.
And this was after she had to postpone our meeting by an hour.
Basically, her interest in me, why my dogs needed boarding, what their needs were – was almost non-existent.
It was all about her.
Did she make me feel comfortable? No.
Did she make me feel comfortable about leaving my dogs? No.
Did she make me feel comfortable about parting with my hard earned? No.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want her to gush over me and my dogs, however a little bit of engagement would have gone a long way.
Ask, listen, answer.
“So, you have just sold, is that right?”
“I’m sure your dogs are very important to you. Is there anything I need to know or that you need from us to make them comfortable?”
Suffice to say, we made alternative arrangements for our fur babies and Mrs Have-a-chat missed out on about $1,000 in cold hard!
What is it that your buyer (client) really needs?
They are only interested in what you can do for them – solve their problem or satisfy their need.
This is THE foundation of influencing or persuading anyone.
Asking relevant questions
Listening with intent and interest
Answering questions truthfully without bloody waffling!
When you engage a potential buyer when you sell your own home, don’t just start telling them the ins and outs of a duck’s arse.
Build a little rapport and ask a relevant question.
“Hi, this is Craig, you enquired about my house at 10 Smith Street. What would you like to know about it?”
Listen – Respond to any questions.
“So, you have already sold, or…?”
Get the buyer to talk about their situation.
People love to talk about one subject more than anything else – themselves or their situation.
And by allowing them to do that, you learn far more about their intentions than if you just start telling.
My pseudo Masters in Human Behaviour came from one skill – asking, shutting up and listening; then providing the answer(s) to help my clients to make an informed decision.
Great influencers know how to listen and provide answers.
It is NOT about having the gift of the gab.
Questions are the most powerful tool in the ‘influence’ armoury.
You won’t believe what people are willing to tell you when you ask the right questions.