Nonverbal communication is how agents really win listing presentations

Ditch the scripts and instead match your prospects' body language and vocal tone to earn their trust

This post by Shannon Shimabukuro was originally published on ActiveRain. Shannon is a senior trainer for Trulia, focusing on technology and innovation in the real estate space.

There’s a million and one ideas out there on how to win more listing presentations …

We are told we need the “must-have” materials to give to our clients. We’re told we have to memorize and internalize numerous scripts on how to get the appointment, ask questions and close to ensure you get them to sign on that dotted line or we don’t have a chance. But when was the last time someone told us that nonverbal communication was the key to making powerful connections and winning the trust and business of our future sellers?

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Taped mouth image via Shutterstock.

How important is nonverbal communication according to the research? 

A 1970 study conducted by Ray Birdwhistle at the University of Pennsylvania concluded that 93 percent of our communication transpires nonverbally and unconsciously. Fifty-five percent of our communication is our physiology or body language; 38 percent is tonality or how we say our words; and only 7 percent is the content or words we choose to speak.

So, how do we improve our nonverbal communication style and make it actionable?

According to Cindy Stockhaus, an innovative and very successful listing agent from Jarvis Realty Group in Indiana, there are four keys to creating a personal connection.

The art of creating a personal connection

Cindy explains the following points in this quick video clip, as well as how she adapts this during a listing presentation.

  1. Mirror and match: Match your voice, your cadence of speech and your body language to your client. This will put them at ease and make them feel more connected to you.
  2. Listen: Hear what your client is truly saying and respond accordingly, rather than thinking about what you’re going to say next.
  3. Build commonality: As you have them give you a tour of their home, try to create a common bond by finding shared interests based on decorating style, pictures and passions. (Think sports, travel, kids, fashion, etc.)
  4. Be genuine: Bring yourself to the table. People can tell if you’re faking it … and they want to do business with YOU, not who you think they want to do business with.

This is just a small portion of our webinar where we highlighted Cindy Stockhaus and her winning listing presentations. To watch the entire webinar and see how she prepares for listing presentations, what she brings on her appointments, how she handles objections and how she sets herself apart from the competition (or even just skim the class notes), click here.


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