• Sometimes shutting up is the most simple selling tactic.
  • Concise communication is most effective.
  • Study the ideal length of everything online and use what you learn.

Whether you’re posting on Facebook, tweeting, emailing, negotiating or communicating with potential customers, the new rule for effective communication is “Less is more.”

Have you ever had the following experience? Your buyers fall in love with the open house you just showed them and are ready to write an offer.

The listing agent senses their interest and then says, “You can do so much with this house. Imagine how great it would be with hardwood floors throughout and with updated cabinetry and granite countertops in the kitchen.”

You stand there helpless as your clients’ excitement disappears and your potential deal dies.

Shut up, and sell

The scenario above is a classic example of why less is more. A guiding principle for every real estate agent should be “Shut up and sell.” Your opinions don’t matter — the only opinion that matters is your client’s opinion.

A slightly different way of saying this is with the acronym WAIT — “Why am I talking?” The more you talk, the more likely you will be to kill the sale.

The third example is an age-old negotiation strategy, “The first one who speaks loses.” For example, rather than trying to persuade your seller to accept what you believe to be a low offer, merely review the terms of the offer and then shut up.

If you comment before the seller speaks, you might be creating an objection to a term where there was no objection before.

Set appointments like a man

In a recent article, Margaret Wente makes a compelling argument that when women communicate, they need to keep it simple by getting directly to the point.

“Here’s how I arrange a lunch date with another woman,” Wente said. “It usually takes six emails, maybe eight or 10. No one wants to be pushy. Do you have time for lunch? What day works for you? Where would you like to go? How about Il Bistro or La Tourette?

“Once we’ve settled on the details, we have a hard time with closing off. ‘Great, can’t wait to see you again!’ ‘Me neither! It’s been so long!’

“Like chimpanzees picking the nits from each other’s fur, we express goodwill by stroking each other with exclamation marks.

“Men do not consider such grooming necessary. Here’s how men arrange lunch. ‘Hey, Fred, let’s have lunch. Next Tuesday at 1 at Il Bistro if that works for you.’ ‘Good.’ The end.”

Digital communication: KISS is more important than ever

The old sales acronym, KISS, or “Keep it simple stupid,” is more important than ever when it comes to digital communications, especially on mobile devices.

For example, the “Law of Three” has been a guiding principle for retailers for decades. When you give consumers more than three choices, you lose them. On a mobile device, you have room for about three slots on a single screen view.

Six-word headlines work best

According to Kissmetrics, people skim and scan headlines, not just the body of posts. Their research shows that users read the first and the last three words of a headline.

Furthermore, shorter headlines garner more opens and a click-thru rates.

According to a study by MailerMailer, headlines of four to 15 characters had the highest open rates at 15.2 percent. The highest click-thru rate (4 percent) occurred with headlines of 28-39 characters.

The ideal length of everything online

Kevan Lee shared some surprising research illustrating that fewer characters and words typically result in higher engagement.

Two of the most striking findings had to do with the optimal number of characters for a Twitter post as opposed to a Facebook post. Given the 140 maximum character count for Twitter, one would expect that the optimal length for Twitter posts would be less than the optimal length for Facebook posts. That was not the case.

According to research by Buddy Media, tweets shorter than 100 characters (71-100 characters) had a 17 percent higher engagement rate as compared to longer tweets. According to Track Social, the perfect length of a tweet is about 100 characters.

In contrast, Facebook allows for much longer posts than Twitter does. Nevertheless, Facebook posts with 40 characters had 86 percent more engagement as compared to longer posts.

Jeff Bullas found that to achieve maximum user engagement on Facebook, posting one to four times per week achieves 71 percent higher user engagement than five or more posts per week.

Bullas also advocates the power of keeping it simple. “The two most effective types of retail brand posts contain a single photo attachment or use only words. Status-only posts — posts containing only words — receive 94 percent higher engagement than average.”

So here’s the bottom line — less is more than ever before.

Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Learn about her training programs at www.RealEstateCoach.com/AgentTraining and www.RealEstateCoach.com/newagent

Email Bernice Ross.

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