Building Trust From the Beginning
The old way of selling is dead. No longer will clients sit through the Feature–Advantage–Benefit (F-A-B) approach where you begin by telling clients everything you and your company has to offer, then tell them the advantages of working with you, and then explain the benefit they would get by doing that. This long-winded, one-way monologue will turn off even the most patient person.
The selling formula for today’s clients is Needs–Answers–Resources (N-A-R). You must start by discussing the clients’ needs and then offer the high-level answers that will fulfill their needs. Only then have you earned the right to discuss how you and your company are uniquely qualified to help them reach their goals.
Getting clients to identify what “success” looks like in their minds and in their words, educating them as to what it will take to meet these objectives, and then explaining why you are the person for the job, is crucial. Here is a step-by-step action plan to build instant trust and strategically listen to the seller. To help, we’ve created this quick video to walk you through the process.
Step 1: Ask clients to identify what their NEEDS are in selling their house
Take out a piece of paper and actually write down what your clients say their needs are. The good news is that all clients’ needs fit into one of five categories:
- Get the house sold.
- Get the house sold for the most money.
- Get the house sold within a certain timetable.
- Remove the hassles associated with the home selling process, such as screening buyers or negotiating the sales price.
- Help them coordinate relocation to their next home.
These core needs haven’t changed in over 30 years. When articulating their needs, your clients may not use these exact words, but if you really listen to what they say you’ll find that their needs always fall into one of these five themes. You simply want them to identify which one item is most important for them. Doing this shows them that you care and that you are a person they can trust.
Step 2: Be prepared with the high-level ANSWERS for each of your clients’ needs.
that you know their needs, you must provide them with high-level answers that address their needs. This ultimately shows them that you are an expert agent who can help them.
Here are a few examples of high-level answers you might discuss.
You must explain that to fulfill their needs, they must have:
- A marketing plan to ensure the house is seen by the most number of people
- Qualified buyers to tour the home
- An agent with negotiation skills
- An agent who knows how to take control
- (Any other answers that would address your clients’ needs)
Notice that you have not talked about you or your company yet. What you have done is established rapport, learned what’s important to your clients, and educated them on what will help them meet their needs. You’ve positioned yourself as an agent who cares, who is knowledgeable, and who is trustworthy. Only now can you let them know how you and your company are uniquely qualified to help them meet and surpass their goals.
Step 3: Identify the unique RESOURCES that set you apart from the competition.
This is the time to communicate what separates you and your company from the other agents and companies. What you communicate during this step will be unique to each agent and company but could include:
- Industry designations you have to denote a specialization
- Special resources you subscribe to in order to keep up with market conditions (e.g., KCM, Inman News, Real Trends)
- Classes you have taken that better prepare you to control the process (e.g., negotiation)
- Core services available (e.g. relocation company)
- Website (e.g., internet marketing for the listing)
- Size (e.g., number of agents, strong boutique brand)
A New Approach for Optimal Results
When you implement the Needs-Answers-Resources sales approach during every listing appointment, you’ll be making a powerful change to your selling style. As a result, you will close more listing appointments and get the listings at the right price & under your terms. Most important, you will build immediate trust with your clients, which leads to more referrals and even greater success.