• Forget rapport, and don't be needy. You are the key to making this deal.
  • Keep your listing presentation under 20 minutes.
  • Maintain situational power -- don't just give it over to the homeowner because he or she is selling a home.

So you’ve made the calls, knocked on the doors and finally got that listing presentation. You know the neighborhood, the house is gorgeous, and the owners have a reasonable price in mind.

The only thing standing between you and this listing is that the owners want to interview two other agents. You’ve convinced the owners to let you present last. You’re up to bat. Are you going to knock it out of the park or strike out?

I recently interviewed bestselling author Oren Klaff, who wrote “Pitch Anything.” In this episode, we cover the specific methods he has used to raise over half a billion dollars.

We cover the mistakes most people make when pitching and the essentials you need in your pitch. You can listen to the full episode here.

Forget rapport

Klaff said the mistakes that most agents make are surprising and easily fixed. The first mistake that Klaff said most sales professionals are making is the simple act of trying to build rapport.

“Just because you went to the same school or vacation at the same spots as your prospect has no influence on them hiring you — trying to build rapport is a waste of time,” he said.

Over the last 50 years, sales training has taught us to build rapport. Get them to know, like and trust you — but it’s so commonplace in today’s world that people see it coming from a mile away.

Your prospect has been sold in this manner a million times. The stock broker, the car salesman and even your local paper boy have tried to build rapport to make the sale.

Your prospects know what’s coming. They know you’re headed for a close, and they instinctively begin to put up a wall unconsciously — at a reflex level.

According to Klaff, building rapport is not only a waste of time, but it begins to put you and your prospect at odds. Try to key in on how you’re feeling next time someone begins to pitch you and says “Wow — you went to Yellowstone last summer — so did I.”

Did this help you decide to do business with the person, or did it turn you off?

Don’t be needy

The second mistake that most agents make during their pitch is projecting neediness. Projecting neediness can kill a deal faster than Mr. Creepy will blow the first date by showing up in a dirty tank top and sporting a mullet.

This is an acute problem, and you can project neediness completely by accident. Klaff said if you show up to a meeting and say “Thanks for meeting with me,” you could be projecting neediness.

When you thank someone for taking the time to meet with you, you tip the scales of power and positioning. You are devaluing your time and placing a higher value on their time.

If you are constantly telling your prospect you will work hard for them or that you’re available 24/7 during the sales process — you’re projecting neediness. This puts you at a disadvantage at the negotiating table, and it puts you at greater risk of losing the deal right then.

Now that we know what we shouldn’t be doing during our pitch, let’s find out what we should be doing.

Keep it short and sweet

As you begin to work on your pitch, you need to consider the ideal length of a pitch. Klaff said the maximum length of a person’s attention span is 20 minutes.

The meeting can go longer than 20 minutes, but your pitch should not be any longer than that. If you can’t hold your prospects full attention for 20 minutes and need to reduce your pitch length, that’s OK.

If your pitch is only four minutes, that’s completely fine. I implemented Klaff’s structure and cut down my pitch from around 32 minutes to 8 minutes, and my closing rate has increased by double digits.

In today’s fast-paced, on-demand world, everything has been reduced to bite-sized snippets. Everything including news segments as well as newspaper and magazine articles have been cut down for fast consumption.

Advertising companies and media are looking for ways to deliver information and even condense it to 140 characters. You need to adapt, or you’re doomed. Design your pitch with a maximum length of 20 minutes.

Remember: You have the situational power

The next thing I’m going to tell you might be shocking. It doesn’t matter what you say in your listing presentation if you can get and maintain situational power. Let me give you an illustration.

Let’s say that at Scripps Hospital, the most important person is the head brain surgeon. Everyone listens to this person, and everyone defers to her. What happens when that surgeon goes and gets lessons on her golf swing? The golf pro who instructs her now has situational power.

Most agents mistakenly give this situational power to the homeowner. They come into the meeting with a scarcity mindset and let the homeowner set the pace, direction and tone.

Those agents do not realize that there are a million houses that need to be listed this week, month and year. They treat the homeowner as royalty on high, and they go through a dog-and-pony show.

They view the listing as a prize and themselves as performers hoping to impress the king enough to work with them.

That frame needs to be flipped, and reversing the frame will yield outsized rewards. You need to realize and believe at your core that you have an amazing system.

You have an amazing plan, and only you can get them amazing results. There are lots of deals, but there is only one of you. They need to act accordingly, and only then, will you consider working with them.

This concept and methodology is called prizing, and when used in combination with the push-pull technique can yield massive results. Your closing rate will increase by double digits.

Subscribe to Super Agents Live podcast on iTunes.

Toby Salgado is the host and managing director of Super Agents Live (podcast) and Real Estate Radio Experts (radio agency). Follow him on Twitter.

Email Toby Solgado.

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription