By Vanessa Sibley, REALTOR® Magazine
Whether you’re new to real estate and hoping to sidestep the school of hard-knocks or you’re a veteran longing to polish your sales techniques, you’ll find some words of wisdom in Terry Weaver’s new Making Big Bucks Selling Real Estate (Oregon: BookPartners, 2000, $19.95).
The founder of the Master Sales Institute and a real estate practitioner himself, Weaver details the successful methods of improving relationships with prospects to increase your sales volume. Among his motivational sales tips:
- Educate yourself and your customer. “Winning is 90 percent knowledge,” he writes. By learning as much as you can about your buyers’ lifestyles, you’ll be able to find the ideal location to suit their needs.
- Set the standard for your professional relationship at the initial interview. During the first meeting, “entice buyers with an aura of activity. For example, show prospects a twelve-month list of owners. Include their names, states, the property purchased, and the prices. This creates a sense of your professional success. It’s a bandwagon that everyone wants to hop on and ride.”
- Practice the art of active listening. “Listen clients into a decision through strategically placed questions and thoughtful, undivided attentiveness to the answers.” Use “directional” questions to get at information, such as: ‘Let’s go back and review your feelings about the property location.’
- Use third-party testimonials and stories as a persuasive presentation. “I’d have to say the third-party testimonial is the most important part of the sales process that I do,” he says. “It’s a very subtle way of selling. People don’t feel like they’re being sold. They’re just listening to what everybody else likes about it.”
- Create the perception of value–not too hard in today’s economy. Show how scarce inventory is and talk up marketing incentives, such as low-interest rates or club memberships, with a limited-time offer.
Weaver turns a well-worn phrase on its head by reminding that “only applied knowledge is power.” Then he provides a step-by-step approach to applying what’s known about successful salesmanship.
For example, the chapter, “Calling in the Artillery to Obliterate Objections,” deals with effectively handling buyers’ procrastinations or objections to making a decision. “Keep them moving forward. The best thing to do is simplify the whole process: Help them take a glance into the future at all of the fun and enjoyment they’re going to have by owning.”
Weaver dubs this technique the Crystal Ball close, one of the twelve scenarios in helping a hesitant buyer reach a comfortable decision.
The value of this book is the simplicity of applying Weaver’s sales techniques to practice. “By using baby steps and taking on small challenges, you’ll develop a pattern of success and the ability to move on to larger challenges.”
Weaver emphasizes dedication to improving your rapport with clients and achieving self-assigned goals: Analyze, organize, and visualize your way to success in selling real estate.