By Maya Bailey

In the past 14 years of coaching entrepreneurs to market themselves, I’ve noticed some simple mistakes that can cost you a transaction.

Imagine you’re working with a prospective client. What is the first thing you make sure to do? Follow these simple steps that can save you thousands.

Step 1: Establish a professional relationship.

You need to establish a working relationship with this client. They need to know that this is a business relationship (not a friendship) and how you work.

Step 2: Ask them detailed and specific questions about what they need.

Take notes and don’t be afraid to delve. You need to know their specifics, their motivations and their time lines. Do active listening with them and repeat back some of their key phrases and words. It will inspire confidence in them when they feel heard.

Then be sure to actively show them that you understood what they are looking for. If they are buyers, showing them homes that do not fit their criteria will only frustrate them and encourage them to go with a different service provider. Managing your clients’ expectations is the key to a good working relationship.

Step 3: Tell them all the wonderful things you are going to do for them.

For example, tell them that you’ll be showing them options, you’ll be advertising, you’ll be holding open houses, you’ll be exposing their listing to social media and so on.

Step 4: Tell them what you expect from them.

After you have told them what you’ll be doing for them, a simple way to phrase this is, “All I need from you is an agreement that we’ll work exclusively together.” They probably won’t know what that means, so get specific. “This means that you won’t work with another sales rep. I’m the one who is handling the transaction.”

Step 5: Clarify what you just said.

They will probably have a questioning look on their face. Say, “It looks like you might have a few questions about what I just said, what can I clarify for you?” Keep pursuing and discussing it with them until you are sure they are in agreement with your policy. Their body language is probably the best way to tell if they really mean “yes”.

Step 6: Reassure them that they are not “locked in”.

After all that, be sure to tell them they are not “locked in”. In other words, if they don’t like working with you or you don’t like working with them, then there needs to be a discussion. If the issues can’t be resolved and you’re not a good match, let them know they can be released from the agreement providing there is a discussion and mutual agreement.

If you’ve followed all the steps above, you’ll save yourself a lot of grief later.

I can’t tell you the number of business people I’ve coached who have come to the session extremely angry because a client they were helping decided to go with another sales rep.

Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen to you.



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