We speak with sales coach and author, Jason Forrest.
When home sales are slow and buyers are timid, we salespeople often feel the need to generate a sense of urgency to get people to buy. Yet, urgency isn’t something you impose upon prospects. Instead, it stems from the customers inner desire. So, we can’t create urgency, but we can discover it. Ask the right questions; listen attentively, and the customers desires and motivation will reveal themselves.
Jason Forrest, author of the books Creating Urgency and The 40-Day Sales Dare for New Home Sales, teaches salespeople to dig deeper and focus on buyer’s true motivations, since that’s where the urgency exists. He begins with two premises that he believes define what the art of selling should be:
#1: A person’s desire to improve their life has more influence over their buying decision than any other thing.
That’s certainly true of the third most emotional decision we make in our lifetime – buying a home. The home is where life’s memories are.
#2: A salesperson has the capability to influence that desire.
Customers are going to buy a home with or without you. Regardless of whether you help them or not, eventually they will find a home and community that improves their life.
“Where does the salesperson come in? The salesperson can actually speed up that desire. They can influence it. Is it possible to take a customer who says they aren’t going to buy for another 12 months and influence them and convince them to buy from you in 6 months? If it’s happened before, it’s possible. And we know it’s been done before.”
The 3 Stages of Selling Emotionally:
Stage 1. Understand the customers mission to improve their lives ‘three whys’ down.
Most salespeople ask questions to uncover ‘what’ someone is looking for – what size kitchen, what size backyard, what price range.
Good salespeople might ask questions ‘one why’ down – ‘You’re looking for three bedrooms; do you mind if I ask why you need the extra bedroom?’ Here, you’re likely to get a somewhat superficial answer.
Great salespeople ask questions ‘two whys’ down. They end up finding out they true emotional reason why someone needs an extra bedroom. Maybe they’re tired of their kids having to share a bedroom.
World-class salespeople – the best of the best – will ask questions ‘three whys’ down and get to the real ‘pain’ – the heart of the matter. They might find that the two children sharing the bedroom are of different ages and have different sleep or nap schedules; when the younger one wakes up crying she wakes the older one up, and this causes stress to the mother. This in turn causes stress in the marriage…
The further down you go, the more information you get as to the ‘real why’ behind the purchase decision. When you know the real pain, you know how to present the solution.
Stage 2: Solve the customer’s mission to improve their life ‘three whys’ down.
Don’t just present the home; present the solutions to the specific problems your customers are experiencing that your home offers. “Get deep with them. Say:
‘Earlier you mentioned that in your current home your master bedroom is right next to the kid’s bedroom and the kid’s are getting in bed with you at night and, and that this is affecting your relationship with each other. This home not only has four bedrooms, but the master is on the opposite side of the house from the other bedrooms. So, it this enough distance between the master bedroom and the kids?’
I’m solving their real mission to improve their life on a deeper emotional level!”
Stage 3: Hold the customer accountable to achieving their mission to improving their life ‘three whys’ down.
“I know that all procrastination, excuses, and negotiation would disappear if we sold ‘three whys’ down. Think about this: If you’re sitting down with a customer and you’re closing them and handling their objections, if you only know the ‘what’ answers, then you can only close on those – ‘You said you wanted a four bedroom home and one has four bedrooms; are you ready to move forward with a purchase?’
But if you’re a ‘three why down’ salesperson and you hold customers accountable to improving their lives, then you can have conversations that address their real pains and the quality of their lives. It’s a stronger close because it’s at the height of their emotion attention. People want to buy things that improve their life.”
“Why is it that if buying a new home is the third most emotional event in a buyer’s life (behind the birth of a child and marriage,) then why is it that so many times we treat the sales process with such lack of emotional attention? I watch video shops where salespeople approach selling a home with the same lack of emotion they would have selling a phone book. Then we complain that customers are not urgent to buy in today’s market!
So many times people say ‘Buyers don’t like salespeople.’ I disagree. I believe that buyers don’t react negatively to selling or salespeople in general; buyers react negatively to dishonesty, unhelpfulness and boring behaviors that salespeople sometimes project. People don’t like bad salespeople.
This really gets down to the heart and soul of a salesperson. The questions are: Why are you in the profession of selling? What is it doing for you and your life? How do you define the role of a salesperson? When do you know when you’ve been good at selling or have achieved greatness at your craft?
When I’m in training classes I ask, So why should I choose you as a salesperson? What makes you so special? What are you going to bring to the experience that the customer is not going to get from anyone else? What are you doing to add value to the experience?
How many sales are you worth?
“I believe a salesperson what I call the ‘X-Factor’ in a company’s success. You can have an ‘A’ salesperson in a ‘C’ neighborhood competing with a ‘C’ salesperson in an ‘A’ neighborhood, and we all know who’s going to win. I believe every salesperson has an X-Factor Quotient that we can assign to them, meaning: How many sales are they worth?
By that I mean, how many sales did they make where they created or influenced the desire versus how many times they merely participated in the sale. If their presentation isn’t bringing any ‘umph’ or emotion to the buying process, they aren’t influencing the sale. Their X-Factor might be zero. On the other hand, a salesperson that has complete ‘ownership mentality’ over their career and over the experience and that speeds up the process for every person that walks in the door earns ever sale they make. “
Salespeople need to build a career and income around sales that they create – that they capture, not on the incidental market sales in which they are simply participants. Those sales are great when they come, but they can’t be counted on.
Become an Influence. Create Desire.
“The biggest competition a salesperson has is not themselves; it’s not the other neighborhood across the street or even the market. It’s the conversation that you are not present to – the conversations customer’s have when they’re in the model home without you, when they’re in their care driving home, the self-talk in their head.
Salespeople often wonder whether they should stay with customers as they look at homes. Well, they’re talking about you, so do you want to be a part of that conversation and influence it your way, or do you want to put your life in the hands of chance and hope that they choose you?
Throughout the sales process, don’t hesitate to ask the tough questions, like ‘Right now, what are you thinking?’ You can’t influence their thoughts if you don’t know what they are. Ask them, ‘What are your friends and family are saying about buying a home at this time in your life?’ You want to get on their side and be their advocate; teach them what to say to counter the arguments they hear.”
Contact Jason Forrest at www.ShoreForrest.com.