If you want to be successful at surfing the biggest waves in the world, you need to be able to read the signals. Likewise, learning to read signals from your prospective clients will help you to successfully deliver more sales and avoid a wipeout.
Even the world's best surfers fear Hawaii's deadly Banzai Pipeline. The surf reef break off Ehukai Beach Park is notorious for huge waves and even bigger wipeouts. What's all this got to do with real estate? To successfully 'hang ten,' you've got to be prepared, know which breaks to catch and where to jump on board the wave. It's the same when working your metaphoric sales pipeline. To be a great agent you need to read the play and know which people are going to enter the market next and when.
That sounds daunting, doesn't it? Let's break it down.
1 . Visualise
Agents who can see what's coming up take action and work towards those goals. Every time you meet someone who is a potential seller, write their details on a sticky note and pop it on a whiteboard or office wall under the month they are coming to market.
2. Stop, Collaborate and Listen
Who would have thought Vanilla Ice would have excellent sales advice? Not me. But this is the perfect approach to planning ahead and laying your pipeline with solid foundations. No cracks to be seen. Every Monday hold a 'Pipeline Review Meeting' where you assess your upcoming buyers on the whiteboard and how you can progress them through the sales process.
3. Iron First, Velvet Glove
Have you ever noticed how potential vendors shut down when you bombard them with marketing? You call with market updates and they can't get off the phone quick enough; offers of free appraisals are denied and your pamphlets end up in the recycling. What happens is agents become too forceful and say 'I'll ring you in six months' time'. Instead, turn things around and give a little control back to the client by asking smarter questions that lead them to think they've come up with the idea.
Key questions to ask could be:
- What could I do to help you from here?
- What might the next step be?
These questions are so simple, but they allow you to find out how potential clients really want you to follow up with them. Once you've done this you can take a slightly firmer approach and begin setting expectations.
It's called permission-based marketing. Ask:
-Would it be OK if I sent you a little monthly video that covers what's happening in the local market?
-What I've done for others like yourself is give them a quick call when we have a significant listing or sale in the area. Can I do that with you?
4. Don't let Time Lapse
What happens when the client does nominate a timeline that's months away, you ask? You gently reel them back in. If the client says, 'we won't be coming to market until July', you ask:
Great, so what are you hoping is going to change between now and then?
If we had a buyer for your property today and they wanted a longer settlement, what would you want us to do?
5. Find the 'Why?'
Too many agents focus on how and when a client will come to the market, when what they really need to zero in on is why the client is coming to the market - or not. It's only once you learn to hit potential vendors over the head with a feather rather than a sledgehammer that you'll understand how to ask better questions, allowing you to tap into your client's mindset and overcome their objections.
This article first appeared on Elite Agent: https://eliteagent.com.au/managing-your-pipeline-josh-phegan/