By Ross Wilson
In this last in the series on the subject of ethical closing techniques, I address two final techniques that I usually employed successfully during my career.
When you present an offer or counter and your client refuses to accept it, they may be feeling overwhelmed. Try to narrow things down by asking them to specify the particular issue of concern. Then ask if that’s their only concern.
If there’s another, ask if these are their only two concerns, and so on. Get them to focus their objections. At some point, they’ll say they have no other objections. Then confirm that all the remaining terms are acceptable. Normally by that point, they’ll say yes. If those few issues can be resolved satisfactorily, ask if they’d accept the offer.
Now deal with their concerns one at a time, beginning with the least important. Discuss it thoroughly to determine if it’s really an objection and not just a stall tactic. Dig into it to see if it can be eliminated; issues can sometimes vanish into thin air. Repeat for the other objections. If unable to clear them, perhaps a counter-offer is necessary, in which case you’ve now established its terms. Conversely, if you gain their agreement to these previously objectionable terms, as I said earlier, they can’t logically raise them again, nor any other objections since they already admitted everything else was fine.
If they had previously declared that they’d proceed if a resolution was found, their rational minds understand they have a deal. If they continue to procrastinate, they’re just fearful, and that’s a different kettle of fish. It may be time to move on to another property or for you to accept that your seller isn’t truly committed to moving. Try taking it away (see earlier column) from them.
When communicating with a potential seller, use the objective term of house or property instead of home. For buyers, it’s the opposite. Home has an emotional connotation, a warm, fuzzy feeling. For a seller who needs to emotionally detach themselves from their home, the use of a more dispassionate term will consciously or subconsciously help them separate from those sticks and bricks.
Practice makes perfect. Regular exercise of these effective communication techniques – for that is essentially what they are – will bring you a step closer to being a great closer. Practice with a colleague. You’ll both develop that muscle and reap the seemingly magical benefit of ethical and honourable influence over others. Be a gentle persuader.
I hope you have found the ethical closing techniques offered in this series of columns both informative and rewarding. If you wish to explore more concepts and philosophies under which I lived and worked throughout my 4+ decade real estate career, I invite you to check out my book, The Happy Agent.
“Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity and the emotions to affect other people.” – Jim Rohn