Serving really means fighting for your clients’ best interest, and that means they need to hire you!
It can be easy to sometimes feel like it’s “ALL serving, no selling”. One of my Power Agents® came to me this week feeling a frustrated. She had been talking with a FSBO, who seemed open to the idea of using an agent, and they spent some time talking about marketing his home. She even recommended a new insurance agent to help bring his costs down, and after all that, he finally announced that he was going to sell through Facebook instead. This agent asked me, “What can I do differently if I’m supposed to serve, not go there to sell?”
This is such a powerful question, because sometimes it can feel like a very fine line. When I say “Serve, don’t sell, coach, not close”, that doesn’t equal pushing a homeowner to hire you, which is the opposite of serving.
It’s All About Your Intentions
If your intention is to get a listing so you can make money because you want that commission, and you are essentially only thinking of yourself — that’s selling. If you believe in your heart that no homeowner should sell as a FSBO, and certainly not using Facebook, then you are serving, but you need to be passionate in that communication.
It may feel like you are being aggressive, but isn’t not aggressive for the sake of being aggressive to be self-serving. It’s aggressive because you are desperate to keep that homeowner from making a monumental mistake.
The Muddy Waters of Misinformation
There was a commercial many years ago, and I apologize up front if this offends anyone, because that isn’t my intention. This was a national drug commercial that showed a person flailing in a lake with a friend standing on a dock, their back turned to their drowning friend, and the narrator says, “Would you turn your back on a friend if they were in trouble? No. You would jump in the lake to pull them to shore.” There isn’t anything delicate or hesitant about pulling your friend in, no matter how much they struggled. This is the same concept in a listing appointment. The FSBO is drowning in the waters of misinformation, and they need you to pull them ashore.
TIP: This article by Upnest dives into some of this misinformation and outlines why FSBO’s should never try to sell on their own.
If you believe that a homeowner is losing money, and that this is going to hurt them, and they put themselves in a situation where they are opening their home to strangers who could pose a danger — if you truly believe all that, then you don’t ask once, you don’t ask twice, you ask as many times as it takes on that listing appointment to hire you now. You don’t go, leave a pamphlet behind and HOPE they change their mind, you say, “Listen, you cannot be a FSBO. It’s bad for you, period, end of story.”
Communication is KEY
You may not say it exactly like that, of course. There is a concept in communication that what you say and how you say it depends on you, your style depends on them and the way they listen. Obviously, you need to put things in your own words, but tailoring the conversation to the type of person they are plus the passion you have for helping them and keeping them from making this mistake is what serving means. You should never be OK with them not hiring you when you leave that appointment when you have their best interests in mind.
TIP: For further reading on communicating effectively, read this article by Relavate.
They want to try it on their own for two weeks? That’s two weeks they are putting themselves at risk with strangers coming and going from their home. That’s two weeks of them possibly selling their home for way less than they could get with you. It’s two weeks of impending legal troubles because they don’t have representation and may inadvertently sell their home twice, or land in hot water for some other legal issue. The stress of those two weeks could be non-existent…all they need to do is hire you.
Bring The Passion to the Conversation
If you are a parent, you know the stress of watching your kids make mistakes. The last thing you want is to have them learn the hard way because they didn’t listen to you, so you may have to be firm with them. It isn’t because you are angry, or throwing your weight around as the parent, it comes from a place of love and because you want to protect your kids.
For Power Agents®, I strongly recommend that you go into Webinars On Demand and watch the training sessions on FSBOs and Expireds. That will help you feel that passion, and arm you with metaphors and analogies that you can use in that conversation. Also, we have the document on the 26 reasons why a FSBO shouldn’t be a FSBO.
When you bring that passion to that conversation and you say, “Mr. Seller, you shouldn’t be a FSBO because this is what it’s going to cost you. Does this help you? Because as a licensed professional with experience, I have the ability to help you.”
If you leave that listing appointment with the homeowner saying they want to think about it, don’t accept that.
“What is there to think about? You’re telling me that you want to think about it, Mr. Seller, which means that I didn’t communicate something properly. My job here, in this conversation, is to help answer your questions, and to help you get clear on what’s the best path for you. Are you concerned about the price? No? Alright. Are you concerned about the commission?”
Work through those objections and dive deeper to find out what they are concerned about. If they finally say, “we just don’t like you, we want to list with another agent. We understand being a FSBO isn’t a good choice, but we’re going to go with someone else.” That is something you can accept, because even if they don’t hire you, you have already managed to sell them on hiring an agent.
Are you ready to start taking things to the Next Level®? If you don’t already know what you need to do to get to your next level, we can help!
Power Agents®, for more useful tools on communicating your value to buyers and sellers, check out the Farming, Self Promotion, and Mailings tab in the Classroom.. Whether you need fun flyers, a boost of confidence, or empowering dialogues, we are here to help you get the skills you need.
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