We in the business of real estate sales often feel the need to prove ourselves.
We like to prove how smart we are. How much experience we have. How we are the "local expert".
And we usually do that by talking. Blah, blah, blah...
I used to be that way, too. I thought I was the smartest agent around, and wanted to prove it. But somewhere along the line, I learned that it was OK to say, "I don't know, but I can find the answer for you."
What a relief! I no longer needed all the answers. That being said...
I would rather ask a good question than have a great answer.
When I meet with a client for the first time, I no longer feel the need to prove myself. They have, after all, contacted me, and they did so for a reason. The last thing I want to do is talk myself out of a deal. So I want my clients do most of the talking...
When we ask questions of our clients, we are showing them that we care about them. We are interested in their thoughts, dreams, opinions, and ideas.
Good questions will get the clients talking. When the client is talking, I am listening, not thinking of what I need to say next. Listening is an easy skill once you master it...
There are a few questions I often ask when meeting with clients:
- So what's going on?
My first question when sitting with a client (buyer or seller). It breaks the ice, and gets the conversation started. Open ended, the client will usually give you a brief summary of their history and the direction they are hoping to go.
- When are you hoping to move?
This question tells me the level of motivation of my client. I love when they answer, "As soon as possible." or "Right away". Let's go!
- What would you be happy selling your home for today?
I think this is the ultimate question. It gives me an idea of how realistic a client is, and offers me a great opportunity to lead the conversation toward my comparative market analysis (CMA).
- When will you be ready to put your home on the market?
Again, a good determinant of motivation. I want to make it clear I am ready to go when they are.
I am sure these questions won't work for everyone, but I do believe in the premise that less is more...
The less I talk, the better.