Subtle Cues in Selling by Denise Lones | The Zebra Blog

Subtle Cues in Selling by Denise Lones

By Denise Lones M.I.R.M., CSP

One of the biggest challenges facing salespeople is picking up on the cues your clients give you.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been working with an agent and he or she hasn’t noticed some obvious signals I’ve given them when we’re rehearsing sales presentations.

Sales is all about the ability to read your client—to know when to push and when to pull, when to start talking and when to stop talking, when to back off and when to close in.  The great thing about all this is that clients will often give you BIG signals. 

For example, let’s say you’ve been e-mailing a client for a few weeks and they haven’t been responding.

That’s a message.

But what is it?  Perhaps it’s “You’re sending me too many emails.  Please stop!”  But don’t jump to conclusions.  Maybe it’s, “I don’t check my e-mail that often.”

There’s a cue here somewhere that you’re not picking up on.  So how do you find out what it is?

Simple.  Pick up the phone and call them.

Ask them, “Have you been finding my e-mails informative?  Is there anything in particular I haven’t addressed that would help you?  How do you prefer to be contacted?”

Here’s another example:

An agent recently complained about a client who had been extremely excited to go look at some houses.  After seeing them, the client hadn’t gotten back to the agent with an offer.

I said, “Well, she’s probably just not interested in the homes you showed to her.”

“No, Denise”, said the agent.  “She said she loved the homes.”

“Well, people may say they love ten homes you show them, but nobody will buy ten homes.  No, they’re looking for THE ONE.  And all the features and benefits won’t matter if it’s just not THE ONE.  You just haven’t hit it for them yet.”

This was the cue the agent didn’t pick up on—it’s that wide-eyed, starry expression that people get when they realize they’ve found the home of their dreams.

It usually happens in an instant.  Their pupils dilate a little.  They laugh uncontrollably.  Their cheeks blush.  It’s a lot like falling in love.

I began to notice it years ago.  I trained my senses to pick up on the instant a client “fell in love” with a home.

It didn’t happen overnight, but time and again I saw the same glassy expression and in that moment I knew I had a sale.

So how do you learn to see the subtle cues that often lie hidden before you?

Experience, plain and simple.

But in the meantime, learn to ask some deeper questions such as “What did you like about this house?”  “What didn’t you like?”

When you narrow down exactly what they’re looking for, it becomes easier to find that one property that’s going to make them swoon.

As for communication, often people don’t like to be contacted a certain way.  Some prefer phone calls.  Others prefer emails only every two weeks.  Others prefer regular mail.

The best thing you can do to uncover the cue they’re signaling to you is—again—to ASK!  Ask, “How would you like me to communicate with you?  Phone?  E-mail?  Postal mail?”

This is a sure sign of a real estate professional—somebody who understands that people like to be treated in different ways.  There is no “one size fits all” solution.

Too many agents miss out on so many opportunities to build stronger relationships with clients because we serve it up only one way—our way.

But when we learn to pick up on cues from our clients on how they like to be served, our communication is much more likely to be received.

Once you start picking up on these cues, you’ll begin to see them everywhere.

And don’t forget—people don’t buy houses they like.  They buy houses they LOVE.

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