Lesson 6: Adapting for Success

“Something needs to change around here! Someone needs to change or this is not going to work…” Sound familiar?

In professional sales, in spite of you being the expert, YOU need to be the one to change. This is going to sound to some like I am talking about manipulation, or being a phony, but it is not; I am talking again about being a servant to your client and doing what is best for the client.

YOU AND YOUR PERSONALITY

Good sales people often have vibrant, extraverted, and exuberant personalities. They can dazzle people, be the life of the party, and bring laughter and inspire confidence. They are filled to the brim with knowledge and are efficiency experts, therefore are directive and decisive people. These agents also are superior at making friends and are in their element at networking events where socializing is a skill and an art.
Of course these agents win friends and become successful easier than the rest of us. However, as is often the case, one’s strength can also be one’s weakness. Surprising to some agents, not everyone is attracted to these personalities. Agents can turn-off and offend many clients inadvertently just by being themselves. To assume everyone will love you as you are is not even close to reality!

We work with every conceivable type of people. Remember, much human conflict is everywhere and often is attributable to personality conflicts! You might win many people by your charisma but I guarantee you will also lose many people by the same charisma. Unfortunately, none of us can please everyone, and some people just can’t be pleased by anyone. We have to recognize that. You will become much more successful in sales when you learn to adapt to a broader scope of human beings and learn to work with any and all types of personalities. It takes patience, humility, listening and learning, and then adapting your manners and methods to your clients.

Most people take the real estate sales process very seriously because so much is at stake for them and their future. The complexities of transactions are sobering to the most optimistic personality. The bottom line for most clients is that they want serious and expert agents to work hard for them. They want expertise not friendship. They want to be protected and informed and for you to make the process as smooth as possible. They want to be comfortable working with you.

FROM THE FIRST CONTACT

A wise sales professional learns to adapt to the client from the first contact. You can’t go wrong if you begin your relationship with a professional and business-like manner. Ask questions and listen to what they say, but pay attention also to how they say it. Watch how clients interact together for clues. In many cases you have to fit with two personalities which are quite different. After the relationship is built, the conversation comfortable, and trust is established, then you will find liberty to be more of yourself. However, overwhelm them with you and about you and they may dismiss you early and once you offend and lose them, you will never get them back.

LISTEN AND LEARN

The primary method is to listen to and learn about your client. Ask thoughtful questions and initially listen more than you talk. Unfortunately, the occupational hazard of sales people is that they talk incessantly and have few listening skills. We have so much to say, so much information to contribute, and yes we want to impress the prospective client to win them. Before we run off at the mouth, it serves the client best, to learn about them and hear what is important to them.

Professional sales people are trained to read their clients and adapt to them and their style:

  • If your client is assertive, driven, and time conscious… then you need to be efficient and direct yourself. This person wants you to get to the point and work quickly.
  • If your client is mellow and a story-teller… then your aggressive efficiency will make them crazy and they will find someone else. You must relax and match the style of your client. Be conversational and relaxed.
  • If your client is nervous and worried and needs assurances and signals from you… then you need to be methodical, thoughtful, careful, and detail-oriented while you address risk issues more prominently. Show wisdom and caution in your manners.
  • If one spouse does all the talking and is driving the sales process… then you need to focus on that person without making the other feel ignored. He/she likely wants you to satisfy the other’s issues. Of course it can be the opposite. Know who the final decision-maker is.
  • If the client is introverted… then understand you might bowl them over with your exuberance. Look before you leap!
  • If you answer the phone and the caller is a slow talker… adjust your pace to match your client.
  • If the client is fun-loving and jocular… then you can be free to be likewise but always pace yourself according to your client and it is better to err on the side of moderation.

This is about being all things to all people that you might win some. Is it a bad thing for you to make your client feel at home with you and more comfortable to work with? Is this being fake? No, I have found that if I build a solid foundation of adapting to my clients then doors opens the door for more opportunities and the story has a happier ending.