Here’s the scenario: You’re at a large gathering of potential clients – let’s say a couple hundred people at a local PTA meeting. Three other agents are there, too, so you want to outshine them for sure. How do you do that? How do you walk away from the event not only with some serious potential new clients, but also having left a memorable impression on those you met there?
Certainly you have to be willing and able to smoothly weave in talk about real estate. But, even more importantly, you have to establish yourself as an expert, an authority on real estate.
Here’s an example outside the real estate industry: You see your new neighbor outside piddling around. You start chatting and he starts talking about his yard, which, by the way, is looking pretty lush. He starts telling you all about this new product he’s using that’s easy, inexpensive and of course, works marvelously.
Eventually, he tells you he’s actually in the lawn care business. How likely do you think you might tap his services the next time you’re looking to spruce up your own lawn? Chances, I bet, are pretty good.
Why is this? Because he established himself as an expert. He proved to you he knew his stuff. And who doesn’t want to work with an expert?
In fact, Robert Cialdini, a professor of marketing at Arizona State University, says expertise, or authority, is one of the most important factors in persuading people to act in a sales situation.
He writes in his book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,” that people believe they will be better off if they follow the lead of legitimate experts because they have greater knowledge and expertise in a certain domain than we do. “The pace of modern life is such that we can’t possibly be an expert in all of the domains that we encounter every day, even those that are vitally important to us — health, business issues, legal issues, technology issues,” says Cialdini. “The world is rapidly accelerating in terms of the amount of information that is available in each of these areas, and so it’s hopeless to attempt to be an expert in all of them. That’s why we need experts.”
As a real estate coach, one of the ways I like to assist the agents and brokers I work with is to help them establish themselves as experts in their marketplaces. It pays off many times over because it’s so true: people gravitate toward – and buy from – experts.
So, how do you demonstrate your expertise and skills to prospects before a listing presentation or even before they’re in the market of buying or selling? Easy, through networking intelligently.
Any agent can land a deal in a listing presentation when the client is in the market for that service and is ready to make a decision. But the truly successful agents start the process long before that. They start by clearly demonstrating their skills, professionalism and expertise with everyone they meet.
I often run my clients through role playing exercises so they can hone their skills and make themselves ready to show their authority and expertise in any kind of setting, whether it’s a large gathering or just bumping into someone on a quick elevator ride. You never know where your next sale may come from, but I guarantee you’ll have a lot more sales when you start demonstrating your expertise to everyone you meet – just like your neighbor did with his lawn.
Give yourself a deadline and then make a commitment to become the expert in your marketplace. Good luck to you!
Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker and author who is founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc. (CorcoranCoaching.com, 800.957.8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into a broker or agent’s existing practice. Visit CorcoranCoaching.com/bpw.php for a complimentary consultation.
Copyright 2009 Agent Publishing LLC