One of the most difficult realizations for a new Investing Realtor® or Wholesaler to recognize is that objections are a normal part of the sales process.
I clearly remember as a newer agent, and then again as a newer investor, the utter frustration with being unable to get a signed contract despite my best efforts. I didn’t know what it was. If it was my price, my technique, my words, my look, WHAT?! For the life of me, I could not understand why, after a “rational, reasoned, logical” presentation, a homeowner would NOT agree with me.
I simply chalked it up as their “lack of motivation.” For if they were truly motivated (so I reasoned), they would be at least willing to consider my offer. While in some cases this is true, many times; it isn’t. We perceive their objections, questions, or refusals to sign contracts as examples of their lack of motivation. Truthfully however, many times they are very motivated, just have questions.
Which leads us to the maddening question. “If they are so motivated then, why not just sign the damn contract!” We certainly don’t know what leads a person to have doubts or second thoughts. We do have a pretty good idea however, as to what leads a person to have questions, or objections. More importantly, we have very specific answers to the most common questions.
So How Do We Increase Sales?
If we begin with the baseline agreement that if you go on ten appointments, and I go on ten appointments, we spend equal energy right? I mean we both have to talk to the customer, we both pull comparables, we both have to drive out and back. Essentially, it is the same energy spent on the ten appointments right? Good.
Now, suppose you take 7 out of those 10 appointments and turn them into signed A-B contracts. A 70% efficiency ratio on your presentation skills! Very good! Suppose I get only 5 out of my 10. Now I have a 50% efficiency ratio on my presentation skills. (Not bad, but could stand some improvement.)
Here’s the lesson, for no more energy expended, you have a 20% greater efficiency than I do. If your properties all sell, and mine all sell, if all things are equal, you make (theoretically) 20% more money than I do. Not because you worked harder, but because you worked more efficiently.
So what is the difference that allowed you to get 20% more money, business, prestige, clients, and respect?
By learning how to handle objections!
The better you learn how to handle objections in a sales environment the more money you will make. Your ability to handle objections has a direct correlation on your income. When you know how to handle the most common questions and problems a Seller or Buyer has in a sales situation, the better you will be able to identify potential problems early in the cycle.
An objection is simply a question that your prospect has. Nothing more. An objection is simply a question that is masked. For example. If your prospect said “We are thinking about just rehabbing the property ourselves!” then you have to take it in context.
If that statement was made as an objection to your offered price, then the customer has a question that needs answering. Think about it. They have you there for a reason right? It’s to sell the home! If they wanted to rehab it themselves, you wouldn’t be here. Therefore it’s not 100% that they want to do that. Use that to your advantage!
Since Objections are simply questions that are unanswered in your customers mind; then you must know how to handle them, when to handle them, and IF to handle them! Before we talk about objection handlers however, let’s talk about what’s NOT an objection.
Conditions On The Sale
Sometimes, a customer has a situation or condition that makes it literally impossible to sell (or at the very least, extremely unlikely); These situations aren’t always permanent. Sometimes, something as simple as a broken leg and an operation that makes it impossible for a homeowner to move for the next six months makes a condition on the sale.
When a customer has a condition, (again, something that prevents them from selling), then there is no sense in attempting to “handle” their condition. A practical example of this would be using aggressive closing techniques on a person who is unable to legally sign a contract. A waste of everyones time, not to mention incurring the wrath of the person subjected to the repeated closes!
Once you have identified that you have indeed got an objection (a question in the mind of your customer) and NOT a condition (something that physically prevents them from doing what you want them to do); time to handle them!
The first thing to remember about objection handling is to never argue. Always find areas where you can agree. As a rule, a logical and systematic approach towards objection handling will help eliminate the guesswork. If you are looking for a systematic way to handle objections, then look no further!
- Cushion It-
- In this step, you take their objection (I’ll just rehab it myself) and “cushion it” by accepting their critique. They have objected to something you said (the price) and now you must gracefully hear their objection.
- Isolate It.-
- In this step, you want to isolate whatever it was that caused the objection in the first place, unless it is immediately apparent.
- For example “Mr. Seller, I apologize, was it because of the price I offered?, is that why you would just rather rehab it yourself?”
- Question it-
- In this step, you want to briefly question the reasons or rationale behind why they say that. Many times this will give you the information you need to handle their objection.
- Ask meaningful questions to get meaningful answers… “Oh, I see, so you thought that you had to pay me a commission? Oh I see!”
- Tie It Down-
- Here, now that you know how you are going to handle the question you must prepare to tell your customer how you intend to solve the problem. However, it is critical to get agreement from them that they will consider doing business with you.
- “Mr. Seller, I think I know how to solve this… If I can fix this issue (X issue) is that the ONLY thing stopping us from working together today?”
- Handle it.-
- The simplest part of all. Explain the answer to their question!
- Close it.-
- You’ve earned it! Ask for the business! You have told them exactly what you were going to do, and have answered all their questions!
By effectively learning how to handle each of the objections that your customer has in a systematic way, you will be able to answer every question relentlessly until they are satisfied that you are indeed the right person for the job!