Kick off the fall with Marketing and Branding Month at Inman. We’re going deep on agent branding and best practices for spending with Zillow, realtor.com and more. Top marketing executives drop by to share their newest tactics, too. It’s all you need to take your branding and marketing game to the next level.
Best-selling author Chris Smith and Jimmy Mackin, the co-founders of Curaytor, joined forces with legendary sales trainer Phil M. Jones to create a book packed with the “magic words” that can help real estate agents be more effective and close more transactions than ever before.
In Exactly What to Say for Real Estate Agents, they provide “30 Magic Words” to help real estate agents with the most common critical and difficult conversations they face today.
Smith and Mackin are well-known in the real estate business, but most real estate professionals don’t know Jones. As Mackin puts it, “He’s a modern day Zig Ziglar.” Jones says that he has trained more than 2 million salespeople.
Don’t tell and sell. Ask questions
Top producers know what to say, how to say it and when to say it. In the book, Jones explains how certain “magic words talk straight to the subconscious brain.”
Because these words circumvent maybe answers by creating yes and no answers, they enable your clients to make decisions without over-analyzing them.
“Change your words, change your world,” the authors say.
Most scripts and strategies are based on the old sales strategy known as “Hunt ’em, tell ’em, and sell ’em.”
However, for the 35-plus years I’ve been in the business, there’s one negotiation maxim that I have always found to be true: The person asking the questions is the person who is control of the conversation.
And despite their focus on messaging, the authors agree. Questions are important because:
- They start conversations.
- Conversations build relationships.
- Relationships create opportunities.
- Opportunities lead to decisions.
Below are just a few of the many powerful takeaways from Exactly What to Say for Real Estate Agents.
Getting past rejection
Unless you’re part of that very small percentage of people who are immune to rejection, you are constantly missing opportunities to introduce yourself, your services or a property to someone who could benefit from that introduction.
According to Jones:
It was for this reason that I figured the best place to start is with a set of Magic Words you can use to introduce just about anything to just about anybody, at just about any point in time, that is completely rejection free. The words in the questions are:
“I’m not sure if it’s for you, but … ”
Here’s why this works:
- The clients don’t feel pressure.
- Suggesting that “it” might not be right for them intrigues them because their curiosity is spiked, and they’ll want to know what it is.
- This approach, “fires an internal driver that tells them a decision needs to be made and it is their decision to make.”
- The effect on your client’s brain is, “You might want to take a look at this.”
Jones goes on to explain that the real magic word here is “but.”
In most cases, you want to avoid using the word “but” because it negates everything that comes before it.
For example, if your client says, “We really like what you’ve told us about listing our home, but … ,” you can already tell you’re not getting the listing. Here are two examples from the book:
- I’m not sure if it’s for you, but there is a new listing coming up next week that could be a good fit.
- I’m not sure if it’s for you, but there is an open house on Saturday, and you’re welcome to join us.
At this point the listener will either ask for more information or give it some thought and peg the conversation to recall at a later date.
Why word choice matters
Mackin and Smith have created an invaluable field guide that takes Jones’ 30 “Magic Words” and applies them to prospecting, working with buyers and sellers, closing and overcoming common objections. Here are some additional examples from their field guide, plus a bonus of seven words you should never say during negotiations:
‘Help me understand the benefits of selling without an agent’
Instead of telling someone you don’t understand them, make your lack of understanding your fault. This removes their defensiveness because you’re creating a situation where you are allowing them to teach you something.
The authors ask, “Did you know that every decision any human makes is made at least twice? The decision is first made in your mind hypothetically before it is ever made in reality.”
The power of this phrase comes from creating a story. “Just imagine” causes the subconscious brain to kick in and the person pictures the scenario that you’re creating.
- Just imagine your kids’ faces when they see this backyard.
- Just imagine the memories you will make in this home.
Jones explains that these two words “most people” are probably responsible for more of his negotiating success than any other strategy he has ever used. People draw confidence from the fact that others have made the same decision, and it worked out well.
Second, people don’t like being told what to do. Using the phrase “most people” allows you to share advice without bumping into this issue.
This approach also triggers a response in their subconscious brain that, “I’m like most people, so if this is what most people would do, then perhaps it is what I should do too.”
Two examples include:
- Most people who list with me sell over asking price.
- Most people find the first offer they receive is typically the best one.
If you’re ready to upgrade your negotiation skills and to make more money this year, Exactly What to Say for Real Estate Agents is definitely the one guide you need today to achieve that goal.
For more of these kinds of useful insights, you can also watch an interview I conducted with Jimmy Mackin here.
Most people do, and just imagine what could happen to your sales if you did.
Bonus: 7 words you should avoid during negotiations
Have you ever been in a negotiation where everything seemed to be going well, and it fell apart for no apparent reason? Although there are thousands of reasons deals go wrong, there are seven seemingly innocuous words that often cause negotiations to fall apart. Eliminating these words from your negotiation vocabulary will help you be stronger and more confident at the negotiation table.
- No / not
For more on why these words are no-fly territory during negotiations, check out this post.
Bernice Ross, President and CEO of BrokerageUP and RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles. Learn about her broker/manager training programs designed for women, by women, at BrokerageUp.com and her new agent sales training at RealEstateCoach.com/newagent.