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October 12, 2020

The Magic of Metaphors and Analogies

Powerfact:  Metaphors, stories, and analogies are the secret sauce to effective communication.

By Darryl Davis, CSP

When I teach agents how to do listing appointments, we always cover topics like handling objections, negotiating offers, but I really want to dive into why using metaphors and analogies is so important when talking to clients, and why you should use them as often as possible.

In fact, this is homework for everyone! Try using them at the store, when you are talking on the phone, or ordering something…it doesn’t have to be real estate related, but the goal is to use them as much as possible, and here’s why…

Flexing the Creative Muscle

One of my favorite shows is “Who’s Line Is It Anyways?”. For those of you who don’t know what the show is about, it’s a group of actors who are given a scenario and they would have to improvise a script right there on the stage.

You might think “I could never come up with something so creative on the spot!” but the creative muscle is one that can be worked and built, and the more it is worked, the stronger it gets. These actors would come up with these funny things on the spot because they have worked the creative muscle to think quickly and creatively on their feet.

The Example

My son is 24 and he lives down in Florida now, and he sent me a text about how much he missed his girlfriend. I said, “Yeah, that feeling never really goes away for the people you really care about.” It was a life lesson — I have girlfriends from 30 years ago that I still think about, and the memories we made together.

He didn’t like the idea of remembering this challenging time, and even wished that if she was gone, she could be 100% gone so he wouldn’t have the pain, even if he knew she missed him too. This situation was obviously a challenge for my son.

Now, before I tell you what I told him, I want you to understand the purpose of metaphors and analogies.

When we use a metaphor or analogy, we’re going into a person’s world. We are using their experiences to make a point that they can relate to. When you do this, people don’t just HEAR your message, but they also FEEL it.

So, this is what I told my son:

“I’m sure she feels the same way you do, and only people who are not empathetic can get rid of those feelings 100%. You are going to have those feelings, but you just have to work through them.”

(Here comes the analogy, folks)

“It’s just like you work through the feelings of physical pain at the gym. You’ll just have to mentally work through those feelings of missing her like you keep working though the soreness and pain when you are working out. If you give up and let yourself sit in the emotional or physical pain, you never get through it and the pain will stay with you.”

The Takeaway

I had to think to myself, “What analogy could my son relate to most right now?” I knew the gym was something that was really important to him, so I could parallel the physical pain from working out to the emotional pain of missing his girlfriend, and how to keep working through it.

The more you use metaphors and analogies, the more creative you will become.

I know a lot of agents are trying to use canned scripts and are worried about it sounding like a canned script, but when you’re using metaphors and analogies, you are tapping into your client’s experiences and who they are and what they do. You are relating to them, and it makes your conversation more present and natural.

Ready, Set, Go!

Get comfortable using metaphors and analogies and your success will soar. One of best times to use them is when you are handling objections.

Power agents, head to the Objection Handling tab in your classroom for powerful visuals that help support your analogies – like the “Two ways to catch a fish” slide.

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