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Break the complex down into the simple

From the Sawdust double audio program and book of conversations between Lee Woodward & John McGrath

When working with vendors, you have to break things down for them and steer the decision making process in a nonconfrontational way.

Speak in a caring way, frame questions for them, and include yourself as part of the solution.

For example when talking about marketing strategy you could say, ‘Lee, just running through that marketing strategy, we’ve now spent about 20 minutes looking through the variations of the plans, and it seems to be plan B that you’re really comfortable with. How do you feel about putting that plan to work for us?’

Another example of making things simple for a vendor, in a respectful way when preparing for an open home is rather than saying, ‘Well, we need to get you in by next week’, which leaves the client thinking you only care about your commission, John advises saying, ‘We’d have to have the home ready by Saturday week, for showings. Do you think you could get the home ready by Saturday week, for showings?’ This approach again conveys empathy and increases your credibility

Again, tone is very important – a caring tone. John says, “It’s got to be, ‘Is that going to work for you? If it’s not, we’ll just have to put it back a week, because I’m here to reduce or eliminate the stress for you, not increase it, but I’m also here to make sure I get the best possible price, so does that work for you?’”

With this approach most people say, ‘Well, yeah I guess. What do you think honey?’

John says, you could then say, “’Let’s tentatively book it in for Saturday week. Lee. If at the end of the day, you ring me Monday, and say, ‘Wow, it was raining all weekend. We couldn’t get them in’, I’ll be able to delay it, but we need to know by Monday. So what I’ll do at the moment, I’m going to pencil it in to start, and I’m going to touch base with you on Monday’, and all of the sudden the conversation is work in progress. What are we going to be doing? It’s turned from rapport building, questions about the property, discussion in general terms, to all of a sudden, specifics. Just gradually and gently getting into more of the specifics.”

As Lee says, “Sales is a craft.”


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