One of the most stressful parts of a property agent’s role is overcoming objections. Problems needing resolution can come in a variety of ways. For example
- Our commission fee is too high for a seller
- The asking price suggested by us is too low for a seller
- A buyer or seller is refusing to exchange contracts for a particular reason
Objection handling when done incorrectly could at best lead to a lost sale and at worst lead to a lost client. This is why effective handling of objections through to an agreed resolution is one of the most critical and skilful tasks we need to master as property agents. Here is a 5 step plan to help:
1. Listen. This means ‘listen’ don’t just ‘hear’. There is a difference. The first requires you to remove everything from your thoughts except the words being used. They are the centre of your attention and nothing else distracts you from their meaning. ‘Hearing’ is where your concentration is divided between the objection being articulated and your many other thoughts. This greatly increases the chance of missing a word or two and losing the thread of what is being said.
2. Clarify. Even if you have listened to every word, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you’re uncertain about something. Better that than make an incorrect assumption that will lead to problems later on.
3. Review. This is the most important of all of these 5 steps (and one often missed). It’s an opportunity to confirm you have correctly listened to what has been said and genuinely understated the objection. “If I have heard correctly, Mr X what you are saying is [insert objection here exactly as the customer explained it].
4. Resolve. As the name suggests, this is where you offer resolution to the objection. You might have dealt with something similar in the past and have an immediate remedy. If not then you might have to ask for a recess and consider a way forward.
5. Confirm. Once a solution has been offered don’t just leave it there. You need to know that the matter has been resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. If there are still any outstanding matters then these too need to be considered. First, though agree the initial problem has indeed been resolved before moving on to the next.