In a sales training session recently, we were discussing "what does it mean to go the extra mile" for a customer? A delegate who is a real estate agent gave us the perfect example and its effect.
The agent was in their third week of an open inspection for this particular property. A man came through in week one and chatted and showed genuine interest. During the second week he brought his wife along and they spent quite some time looking over the property.
The agent was doing all the right things, in building good rapport with the couple, asking all the right questions and getting the answers they needed to head in the decision making direction. Things were going well and the agent had that selling feeling. You know the one that just give you the right vibes (actually it is the sub-conscious mind at giving you clues and answers, but that discussion is for another time).
So the agent was confident the couple was not far away from a purchasing decision. There were no influences to inhibit the sale, no conditions like selling their home first, or gaining financial approval; this was going to be a straight forward and easy sale for the agent. They had done everything right and any possible objection had been dealt with … or had it?
During this third week open inspection the couple came back for what the agent was sure for the last time before putting pen to paper. The agent was chatting to another interested party at the time and of course was filled with delight when the couple showed up. But quick as a flash they had gone gain. Now what was the agent to do?
Many salespeople would have thought it a bit unusual but done nothing about it, and kept doing whatever it was they were doing. Probably their own process and routine!
This smart agent did something brilliant.
The agent knew they had done everything right, so they politely excused themselves from the current conversation and chased after the couple. Fortunately they had not yet pulled away from the kerb.
Wanting to know if there was a problem or a "hidden objection" the agent went straight in to digging mode and asked all the right questions. This was the response from the wife:
"I don't want a house with a large garden to maintain. It has to be landscaped with lots of paving, so this is turning us off buying the house."
Delighted to know the objection (because the agent could now deal with it) the agent took a deep breath, thought quickly on their feet and replied:
"If I could go back to the owners and convince them to drop he price to cover the landscaping and paving costs, would that solve your issue?"
Many sales and customer service people would have let them go and just moved on to the next interested party. But this sales professional was on the ball and "customer focused" looking to customers' needs and wants, and giving them all the good feelings they could get.
An objection is simply the customer wanting more information, and sometimes even the customer does not know what it is they want. So by being solution focused, and a problem solver the agent found the issue, dealt with it and guess what... they did the business.
So next time you are faced with an objection, or a customer that is not making a buying decision, realise it is because you have left unanswered questions, or unsatisfied needs. Ask more questions and dig out what it is that need to be answered and win the business.
And please remember, an objection is not personal, it is not a rejection towards you, it's simply saying you have not answered all the customer's questions yet. So be bold, go for it, enjoy the interaction with your customer and win more business.