PART TWO: CLOSING WHEN YOU’RE A “CONTROLLER”
Last week I presented an overview on personality styles, and presented the idea that the way you close should vary based on the personality of the client.
Seems simple, right?
The truth is many agents are taught to close the same way – by using a formula that’s supposedly foolproof. I’m here to tell you there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all closing formula. As I said last week, if you try to convert, and “close” with the same message, and in the same style for each and every client, you’re not going to be very successful.
When you are working with clients and trying to close them, you must remember to “camouflage” your personality. Your focus shouldn’t be on a script, it should be on making sure that your message – and the way you deliver it – is attuned to the listener.
Remember last week when I talked about four personality styles – Promoter, Controller, Support, and Analytical, and how I estimated 80-85% of all agents are Promoters and Supporters? Last week we focused on how to close if you are a Promoter.
This week I want to talk about closing strategies for Controllers. Controllers are those agents who are very focused on efficiency. They work at a fast pace, and are highly results-oriented. These are not the agents who give off a warm and fuzzy vibe. In fact, Controllers are often seen as a bit rigid and prickly … and as a result they have to be very careful when closing as its possible they’ve moved too quickly for the client.
If you’re a Controller personality, it’s likely you:
- Are confident
- Don’t like to spend time with supportive information
- May fail to listen adequately
- May dominate the discussion, especially when talking to Supporters
- May try to overpower minor objections
- May get defensive and react disproportionately
- Like to sell, but don’t like the warm and fuzzy service side of the business
- Try to close too soon
Sound familiar to those of you who are Controllers? If so, here are my tips for helping you close all four personality types.
When Controllers are trying to close Promoters they should:
- Be open
- Be friendly
- Take the time for personal interaction; don’t close too quickly
- Support the Promoter’s ego
- When closing, show personal benefits to the Promoter
Promoters want personal recognition, and to be liked. They enjoy socializing as part of the sales process. They really don’t want to see lots of details, and will often buy with minimum product knowledge. They are interested in showy or status-conscious products, and in talking to them you should focus on “the dream”.
Supporters need to feel an emotional connection, and they need time to make their decision – one that’s supported with proof. They want to be your friend, and need to feel a high level of trust with a salesperson before they will move forward. Supporters are better at making a series of small decisions rather than one large decision, so keep that in mind in working with them. They’re not innovators, and like making safe decisions that don’t require them to go out on a limb.
How to close a Supporter?
- Keep the pace slow
- Provide support and assurances
- When closing, make the decision uncomplicated and provide lots of reassurance
You’ll also need to learn how to close Analytical types. These are the clients who are extremely detail-oriented. Because they require lots of time (and lots of data), closing an Analytical requires care.
- Answer questions directly
- Provide detail (not just what they’ve asked for, but also other supporting information)
- Encourage time for evaluation and validation of data
- Be patient; do not try to close quickly
- When closing be firm, polite, and decisive
When you’re working with an Analytical you may find they don’t talk much … but they may ask a lot of questions. They need a great deal of proof, and background information, to provide the correct frame of reference for their decision. More than any other type, Analyticals may seem suspicious of you and your motives. Analyticals need all their questions answered before making a decision. Analyticals won’t buy the first home they see, even if it’s perfect for them. Ditto for hiring a listing agent; an Analytical will want to interview multiple agents, then carefully analyze the best fit based on all the information provided.
Finally, you may be working with people who are also Controllers. While it seems like it would be easy to sell to someone with a personality style like yours, that’s not always the case! Controllers have high egos, and always want to deal with people they perceive are at the highest level. They are looking for quick, competent answers, and they want you to get to the point. If you’re presenting to a Controller, be sure your presentation is efficient and no-nonsense. Controllers are “cut to the chase” kind of people. Their attention span is typically short. A Controller-to-Controller listing presentation is likely to be a short one!
- Use your natural style to your advantage
- Don’t let your egos clash
- When closing, be prepared for conflict – it could become a contest of wills
If you haven’t yet taken our free proprietary Personality Assessment I encourage you to take a few minutes to complete it so you can take full advantage of the information that I’m sharing in these Zebra Reports.
And in the coming weeks I’ll be sharing strategies for those of you who are Analyticals and Supporters. Watch for that information in future Zebra Reports!