If I gave up every time I heard the word NO, I would be defeated and I would simply assume that NO meant that the conversation was at its end. However, I believe that NO means so much more than NO. The word NO may be a respectful way for a potential client to tell you that the timing is bad, or the offer isn’t good enough, or they have changed their mind. Believe it or not, NO is a word that is truly a gift, something to be respectful of and something to encourage.
The word NO is often the beginning of getting to know what the barriers are for your clients. When someone says NO I always respect their boundary (NO is a boundary to be respected) and I then work hard to try to understand why and how they came to the NO decision.
NO can be the best part of a potential client, current client or past client relationship because you build trust with a client when they feel safe enough to say NO and they see they can trust that you respect their decisions. People also change over time and what was once a NO can easily turn into a maybe or even a yes over time. But you need to keep the relationship strong over time so that you are there for your clients when that NO turns into a YES.
Timing is one of the most important elements of a successful real estate agent’s business. Smart agents know that the most important job they have is to cultivate relationships and to build strong connections with all their potential and past clients. That is why it is so critical to have your connection plan in place.
The next time a client says NO to you, don’t look at it as a sign of defeat. Instead look at it as an opportunity to get to know what your client is experiencing. Is the process moving too fast for them? Does your client need more data or information? Does your client feel rushed? Are you being too pushy, and they are using NO to stop you? You must analyze what is going on for your client and ask your clients honest questions. If they say NO, simply say “Tell me what is causing you to feel that this is a NO?” You will often be shocked at what the client tells you.
I will never forget the day I was working with a lovely lady who wanted to buy a townhome. I had shown her a home that she fell madly in love with. She called me and told me she wanted to make an offer on the townhome and somehow between the time I got off that phone call and the time I arrived at her home she told me she just couldn’t move forward. That is a very strong NO… I could have simply said okay and walked away but instead I took the time to simply say “Mary, what is going on for you? What happened? You were just so excited about buying this home, what made you change from a yes to a NO?”
She looked right at me and said that she had just gotten off the phone with her son who told her that there was no way she was ever going to be able to do the upkeep on the yard of the townhouse and that it would be too much of an additional expense to hire someone and that would put her over her monthly budget. While her son was correct that hiring someone would cost extra, what she didn’t realize was that the townhome came with lawn care included. I had told her this when we were out looking but she had seen so many townhomes that she had forgotten. When I reminded her, she looked at me and began to cry and asked me if I could call her son. I called her son and explained that the lawncare was included. He was thrilled and then was on board. Everyone was happy and Mary moved into the townhome of her dreams.
I could have simply accepted the NO without any explanation but instead I took the time to communicate gently with Mary and I was able to help her change the NO into an enthusiastic YES!
You never know what is behind a NO unless you take the time to ask.