By Sherri Johnson, CEO & Founder, Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting
Your Hairdresser Does—So Can You
Having a difficult time converting new leads into clients?
Agents tell me all the time they can't keep a new buyer engaged and lose the opportunity. You show them a house, and then what? They start emailing you, and it's hard to get another live conversation going, let alone another property showing.
Before you end the call or showing, it is so important to schedule the next appointment, call or event with a potential new client. You have to keep them interested and engaged by offering something of value that no one else has offered (or, if they have, it's not as good as your offering). It is at this time that you have to differentiate your value and communicate your services. When you do this, you will get hired.
The goal is to secure the next appointment before the current conversation or appointment is over. Here are some easy-to-implement, but often not-so-obvious ways to add value and keep a new client interested and engaged in you:
Offer an Exclusive Homebuyer Guide.
Offer added value to attract new clients to work with you. Your own exclusive Homebuyer Guide or Packet has everything needed to buy a home, and will help you convert a lead into a client. This "value prop" gives you a way to talk about other steps in the process, and that they need your help and guidance. Offering this free resource makes you not only awesome and different than any other agent, but also, it gets you hired. The agent who adds the most value gets hired.
Ask leading questions.
In order to keep someone interested in your service offerings, you need to keep them engaged in conversation with you. Asking leading questions helps you find out what they want to do (buy or sell) and when they want to do it. By asking questions, you can figure out the next step in their process that you will help guide them through. For example, offer a new buyer access to a free preapproval and great service from either your in-house lender or a great lender you refer your clients to. This will keep the dialogue and process going. Setting up the appointment with the loan officer keeps the conversation and process going forward.
You also want to ask a new buyer if they will be selling their current home. This way, you can offer your free market analysis and get yourself an appointment to see their home, not list it—yet. You want to secure the next appointment before you end the current one. Remember: The person who asks the most questions controls the conversation. By asking questions, your new client hears themselves give you their answers. If you add enough value, you will be showing them houses and writing offers and negotiating sales. New prospects will hire you, and you effortlessly convert leads into new client relationships.
Ask even more questions—even obvious ones.
Literally ask more questions, even the ones that seem really obvious. You cannot assume anything. Ask a new buyer, "Where do you want to live and when would you like to be moved in?" Then add, "What is going on in the next 45-60 days in your life?" If they mention they are changing jobs or getting married or traveling for 2-3 weeks, these are all things that you need to know that will affect their real estate objectives, and help you determine your next course of action servicing this client.
Tie down the next appointment.
Before ending any call or appointment, determine with your new client the next step. Do you owe them a phone call with answers to questions they had on a particular property, or are you securing a time to look at their home to help them get it ready to list? You need to tie down the next appointment, preferably in-person. At the end of the showing appointment, say, "What's a good day for you to look at houses again?" or "I am happy to arrange a second showing on these two houses you liked—what's better for you? Thursday at 5 or Saturday at 10?" You want to give them options to choose. It's not a question of whether or not you are meeting; it's just figuring out the time and day. Remember, your hairdresser will secure their next highlight appointment or haircut with you before you leave their salon. It is on purpose, and it is to ensure their calendar of business is booked for months. This is imperative for you to do, as well.
Securing your next appointment is a crucial way to keep a new client engaged and, ultimately, hire you. This is a strategy that you need to master so that you can offer added value. Ask really good (and obvious) questions to start the process with your new client, then tie down the next appointment or phone conversation to help keep the process moving.
For a free copy of my exclusive "How I Work Best for You" homebuyer scripts, click here.
Sherri Johnson is CEO and founder of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting. With 20 years of experience in real estate, Johnson offers coaching, consulting and keynotes, and is a national speaker for the Homes.com Secrets of Top Selling Agents tour and the Official Real Estate Coach for McKissock Learning and Real Estate Express. Sign up for a free 30-minute coaching strategy session or visit www.sherrijohnson.com for more information.