November 1st, 2017

Is the customer always right?

Maybe, and maybe not. But even if they’re not right there are ways to keep them happy, ensure you make the sale, and make certain they come back.

In other words, there are ways to avoid conflict. There are ways to avoid an argument.

There are ways to keep the lines of communication working and bring your customer around to your way of thinking. (Click to Tweet)

And that’s what you want, isn’t it? You’re the professional, and you know how to market a property to maximise returns.

So, you often need to bring the customer around to your way of thinking. Here’s how to do just that!

Parrot-Phrase Them

You’ve probably heard of paraphrasing. That’s when you listen to someone and rephrase what they’ve said to check you understand.

You basically re-state what they told you in your own words. But Parrot-Phrasing is more powerful.

This is when you use the exact phrases that the customer used. You adopt their terminology and phraseology.

This makes the customer believe you heard and understand them. But you must be careful when you use this technique. You don’t want to sound sarcastic or like you’re trying to impersonate them.

Pretend You Like Them

Pretend you like the person AND that you like the idea they just presented. Don’t shoot them down in flames, but don’t agree with them.

Instead, stop and consider the idea. Explore it. Follow it through to any natural conclusion, even if you know what the outcome is likely to be.

Let’s say they suggest saving time and resources by taking photographs of the property themselves. You could ask questions like,

“When you’re looking for a new house, how do you go about your search? What attracts you to one property over another?”

Chances are they’ll say they look online and the images of one property are more appealing than another. So, they’ve effectively solved the problem for you.

Take a moment now to think of some of the common issues clients throw your way, and prepare some ways you can bring them around.

Avoid Jargon

Try to avoid slipping into jargon and trendy phrases. It may sound like cool industry speak to you, but it could come off as confusing, cliché, or even offensive to the customer.

The phrases “customer-focused”, “value-added” and “full-service” are overused, ambiguous and meaningless. Instead of using these phrases try to be specific.

When you say, “We add value to the buying process by …” or “We focus on exceeding our customer expectations by …” you provide clarity. These are specific statements that lay out exactly what you do and what customers can expect.

Avoid Culture Clashes

As realtors we often deal with locals who understand the buying process, are familiar with local terms and are culturally similar to us. We have similar ways of communicating.

However, with increased globalisation, we’re dealing with international customers more frequently and that’s where communication can get tricky. Things may be left unsaid, or worse still misunderstood.

It’s easy to forget that what is understood in one cultural context might be interpreted far differently in another.

The story of General Motors’ inability to sell the Chevrolet Nova in Latin America (because Nova in Spanish means “it doesn’t go”) is apocryphal, but the moral of the story still fits. Always stay aware of potential language and culture communication barriers in order to build trust and respect.\

Be Open and Hones

Miscommunication can happen when a customer brings a limited perspective to the sales situation. They bring limited understanding or a popular, but inaccurate perception to your service.

Here’s an example. In a recent reality television show, one person said something like, “I’ve had so much surgery I’m the next best thing to a doctor.”

Seriously? They think being a long-term patient provides similar knowledge and experience as a medical degree?

That’s just as crazy as a self-taught amateur believing they’ve mastered the art of professional photography.

It often takes patience along with honest communication to convince this person that your service is valuable, even if it uses a different approach.

Communication may not seal the sale, or even solve the issue, but it greatly improves your chances of accomplishing both. As a result, your customer doesn’t feel the need to start an argument with you about who is right and who is wrong.

Ensure You Are Well-Informed

If you want to communicate more professionally and effectively, make sure that you are well-informed. Know your company. Know your products.

More importantly, research and know your customers. Learn communication skills and strategies for dealing with challenging situations. (Click to Tweet)

Doing this gives you the edge. It enhances your credibility, authority and authenticity. People will trust you, and your business will grow and flourish.

Rather than just agreeing to their every whim or demand, you’ll be able to use your skills and knowledge to show your clients how your approach will bring better results.

To discover more about how to conquer the challenges of helping your clients get the best price possible for their listing, contact Pixilink today.