We’ve all been there.
That moment of panic right before you’re about to make a presentation. It’s like a lead weight in the pit of your stomach. It makes you want to run and hide or to be magically transported somewhere else.
One of the main reasons that many agents are so afraid of presentations is fear of a bad outcome. There’s nothing worse than making a presentation only to be challenged with tough questions.
Tough questions are the true source of stress for an agent making a listing presentation. A buyer challenges the way you do things. Or worse, perhaps they’ll ask you to cut your commission.
So how do you get beyond presentation fear? How do you turn fear into dollars? How do you take weak presentation skills and make them strong? Here’s how:
1. Practice in front of a friend, mentor, or coach.
You cannot practice your listing presentation enough. I know this sounds basic, but I’m constantly telling seasoned agents that they need to practice more.
Some of these agents have been in the business twenty years or more. That’s a lot of listing presentations they’ve madebut I still sit them down and make them practice.
First, I present to them. Then, I make them present. Then, I critique their presentation. I always find something that needs improvement. Always.
You cannot expect to learn just by hearing somebody else make a presentation. You can watch a DVD of the “World’s Greatest Presenter”, but doing so will not magically transform you.
You need live feedback. You need to be comfortable enough with somebody who is going to be honest with you — somebody from whom you can take criticism.
Find a mentor, a close friend, or give us a call at The Lones Group. But whatever you do, don’t practice your listing presentation without critical feedback.
2. Practice the tough stuff.
It’s easy to practice the beginning of your listing presentation. You just start talking about how wonderful your marketing is. You tell the buyer about your plans for selling their home. You talk about how well-connected your company is.
All that is the easy part.
But that’s not the part that you should practice the most. Remember those tough questions I mentioned above? The questions that make you squirm and shrink away? These are what you should be practicing the most.
When somebody gives you a hard objection, know what you’re going to say. Rehearse it out loud. Get your tonality right. Smiling and pleasant, but firm and controlled.
Imagine that there’s conflict at the presentation. How are you going to handle that conflict? Practice ways to defuse tense situations.
Figure out a respectful way to say no when clients want you to say yes. Articulate why you don’t cut your commission. When you have that answer all rehearsed ahead of time, it’s not so stressful when they ask.
3. Ask people why they didn’t hire you.
This is tough, but it will make you grow as an agent. If you’ve ever made a perfect presentation and then lost the sale, you’ve probably sat and scratched your head for a while, asking yourself, What did I do wrong?
You should be asking them instead. Contact them and find out why they didn’t hire you.
Look at it as gathering feedback. You want to become a better agent, but the only way to do so is to face your mistakes and learn from them. If you don’t contact people who didn’t hire you, then you may never even know what your biggest mistakes are.
You will be shocked at why people don’t hire you. Sometimes it doesn’t even have anything to do with you at all — but those circumstances are rare.
Most of the time the reason you didn’t get a listing is because you did not earn it. There’s something you did not articulate well enough.
Then, once you find out what it is, it’s back to practicing your presentation skills. You need to fix whatever it was that was missing with more practice. And then some more practice. And then some more.
Never stop practicing your presentation skills. When I work with my students in the EVOLVE program, I make them present over and over again. We practice some form of communication skills at every meeting.
Over the course of the year, I see some amazing transformations. Some agents go from being shy wallflowers to supernovas of energy when making presentations. That’s the power of practice.
The proof is in the results. Practice more to make more. The agents who make the best presentations list more property, sell more property, and they make more money.
By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI