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How to win listings by Lee Woodward and John McGrath

By Lee Woodward & John McGrath

An Excerpt from Sawdust

 

Take it seriously

Take this thing called listing extremely seriously, and review it like a surgeon that’s looking at a new procedure. Make sure that you are the damn best you can be. I think that a lot of people don’t train enough in developing skills in the listing area.

 

Invest in learning how to do it

Shadow great people, listen to tapes and CDs, go to more seminars, speak to coaches, have a trainer, but recognise that you need to put hours, and maybe even thousands of dollars of investment into this thing. If you get three or four extra listings a year, it’s paid for the entire years worth of self development.

 

See yourself as always able to improve

The reason why most people don’t improve is because a lot of people think once they’ve got it, they’ve got it. After 20 years, I still looked at ways to improve my listing presentation every single time. Don’t think you’ve got it because you’ve been in the business for five or ten years.

 

Command your business

Your time is precious. You need to prepare for a listing presentation. There are times when someone says, “Wow, can you come out at 3:00 o’clock this afternoon?” and you think well I’ve got so much happening, I’ll just go out there and I’ll just get it now. The problem is, you arrive and you don’t have the answers to the questions, you appear rushed, you aren’t structured in your agenda, you don’t give them the right time and you rush out. You must give yourself the right time-frame to be there, to actually nail the business and answer all their concerns.

Rushing out there because the owner said, “Can you see me today?” puts your guard down. You don’t get to send a pre-listing kit or letter of confirmation. Really, you’ve lost control, because they are calling the shots because you weren’t available to be yourself, and you’re just adding to their wishes. It’s amazing, so many people I speak to in coaching, they’ll say, “Ah, but I don’t want to miss it.” You’ve got to have the right dialogue. It’s not, “Well I’m sorry, Mr Woodward, I just can’t get out there today, take it or leave it tomorrow”. Rather it’s, “Mr Woodward, I’d love to pop out there. Unfortunately today I’ve got a back-to-back diary appointments showing buyers through properties.” It’s professional, indicates you are busy and allows you to pre-frame and show you’re an active agent on the buyer’s side. You didn’t say you were busy - meaning too busy for the client. You demonstrated you were active, and that is what a client wants, without coming across as arrogant.

 

Convey that you are a professional

There’s nothing scarier when dealing with a professional, and you say, “Well, what time tomorrow could I come and see you?” and they say, “Well anytime, I’m free all day.” Imagine if you rang up a barrister because you had an important court case to get to, and he or she said, “Well just come in any time. John will be sitting here in the office all day with no appointments.” Now that’s an exaggeration but the lesson remains - busy, professional people want to deal with busy, professional people.

 

Conversation between agent and vendor

John: Look Lee, tomorrow if you get there at 10:00 in the morning, or I’ve got another available appointment at 3:00 in the afternoon, so which one of those is going to work for you? I’d love to just put that in now.

Vendor: Great, 10:00 o'clock in the morning.

John says, “Then I’d get a pre-listing kit out that afternoon, I’d get all my council research done, and a lot of people say, “Well it’s okay if you’ve got a company, and lots of assistance,” I used to do all of this, certainly in the initial stages, myself. Just get straight into it. You put the phone down, you send out the pre-listing kit, you send out the letter, you do your research, you do your comparable styles, what’s on the market, what’s off the market, what sold recently. Drive past the property later that day, so mentally I’ve got a picture of it, and you do all of the sort of things that are important."

 

Structure wins every time

We don’t want a listing presentation to seem robotic, but the presentation must have a direction and a flow, starting at A and finishing at Z and to go through a fairly logical and methodical process. If I had my mind in the right space, if I had my preparation in advance and I went through the process I knew was important, typically I would get nine out of ten listings, certainly those that I wanted.

 

Designate days for listing

Tuesdays and Thursdays were typically John’s listing days, so from 8:00 in the morning ‘til 8:00 at night on those days was about listing and closing.

John says, “I had certain goals on the number of listings I wanted to take on those days. The other side of that of course was Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays were selling days, so I’d just be totally in buyer mode. If you walk out of two or three appointments, rushing to a listing appointment, then you’ve got another open-home to go to, it’s hard to get your head around it. I used to allow myself a certain period of time for each listing presentation, so I would never be rushed, on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 90% of the time. Now, again, you need to have some flexibility. There will be some times someone says, “Look, I’m on a plane to London tonight. The only time I can see you is 4:00 this afternoon, I’ve got a million-dollar property I’m gonna sign with someone today.

"Obviously you’ve got to make some changes there. Typically, nine out of ten were done on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so that allowed me the time on a Wednesday and a Friday, to follow up, and on a Monday and a Wednesday to prepare for these."

 

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