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How To Separate Genuine Prospects From Usual Suspects
You need to be strong mentally in order to become an exceptional sales professional because you are going to encounter many setbacks before getting consistent at successful closing.
This is especially true in real estate as most agents don’t close more than 2 deals a month.
And one of the most deflating experiences is to find out that a prospect you have spent days and weeks on follow ups will never buy.
It’s not totally your fault because:
- The prospect could be doing market research and making you a tool
- You wanted to embrace the positive attitude of making every prospect a potential buyer
These things happen. And the only thing you are left with is another story to tell your colleagues.
Rookies especially, like to grab onto every prospects like a bulldog on a drumstick. Because they have yet to build a strong sales pipeline, they value every little prospect that they can get their hands on.
It is a shame that sales managers actively promote this kind of behavior. They feel that newbies will learn best by going out and stepping on the common pitfalls of the profession. And secretly, they wish that a miracle occurs whereby a newbie turns out to be someone who can close 100% of prospects.
That’s impossible to happen.
Yet managers continue to hold this faith that a miracle worker will someday arrive and completely turn the tables on how things are done.
Real estate salespeople, especially those who are fresh in the trade, should actually make the qualification of prospects a key subject to understand on the first day of training.
How to qualify a prospect with 5 simple questions
1) Does he have a genuine need for your service?
Your product or service is supposed to solve a problem that a customer is facing. That’s pretty straight forward.
The question now is whether the customer is actually experiencing that problem.
You can go on and on about how attractive your property listing is and how much marketing expertise you bring to the table. But it will mean for nothing if the prospect does not have any desire or need for what you sell.
You can also go all day about how much you have helped home sellers sell at high prices. But it will sound like an alien language to the prospect he already knows that his property is highly valued and there is no lack of bidders for it.
You get what I mean?
There must be something in the prospect’s life that your service can help with. Insisting that a problem exist when it does not in the mind of the prospect will usually lead you nowhere.
2) Is he able to use the product or service?
The gist of this question is to find out whether the potential client can… use the product.
You might be shocked to find out that not everybody is as tech-savvy or quick-witted as you.
For example, even in this day and age where computers and software is found in every home and office, there are still a lot of people, business owners included, who are as clueless as you can imagine when it comes to software.
Even if using your property research software is as easy as clicking a few buttons, there are many people who will have a natural resistance to using it.
In this case, maybe your product is too high tech for the average person to use.
Or if you are selling a timeshare travel package, you will be barking at the wrong tree if your prospect is someone who sees no pleasure in traveling and hasn’t done so for the last 6 years..
3) Can he afford it?
This has nothing to do with how much money he has in the bank or how bloated his net worth is.
It is about his budget and how much he is willing to spend to solve that problem you are undoubtedly magnifying.
I’ve seen families with less than $5,000 in monthly household income buy properties at over $750,000. I’ve seen millionaires hesitate at cashiers when a T-shirt turns out as a non-sale item. I’ve even seen young adults living off negative credit card balances buy smart phones for $600… IN CASH.
It is not about how much money a prospect has. It is about how much he is willing to spend to solve a problem.
This is actually a topic that I have a lot to say about. Particularly on value. But I will not go off track and run my mouth in this discussion.
4) Does he want the product?
If you have done your homework on prospecting and found a potential customer who is already in the process of researching what to buy in order to solve his problem, he must already know whether what you are selling is something that appeals to him.
Don’t get ahead of yourself.
Just because you have the exact solution does not mean that there is no competition. And even if you are to give your product away for free does not mean that he will take it.
In fact… that is a good question to ask yourself to find out whether a prospect wants your product.
Ask “If you were to give the prospect 50% off on the item, will he buy it?”
If your answer is not a clear yes, you are obviously working on the wrong person here.
And if you can clearly answer “YES”, then you can genuinely assume that the prospect wants what you have. The question now is the price. He might be willing to buy at full price. Just that the decision has not been made yet.
You can feel out a prospect on his position during conversation.
Say something like we had a 40% discount for the first time in history to celebrate our 10 year anniversary 14 months ago. Would you have bought it at that price?
5) Did he call you or you call him?
This will tell you whether the prospect is currently actively seeking a solution.
Be mindful though.
Just because you were the one to initiate contact does not mean that he is not currently active. But being the one to contact you definitely means that he is currently active.
It might even be that you have a reputation in the industry as more than a salesperson that triggered his active approach.
Surely you already know whether an active or inactive customer is a warmer lead?
What makes a sales superstar
The hallmark of a great salesperson is not how good he is at closing or how well he builds rapport with people. There are many remarkable salespeople in the world who stutters at closing or can’t even hold a conversation for a minute.
The key to being a great salesperson that consistently delivers the numbers is how well he prospects for new clients. And this includes how well he qualifies them. This helps him to focus his efforts on the ones with hot buying temperature.
This could be what will help you stand out from the crowd in your sales career.