SmarterSelling

How man communicates with each other is an interesting study. Merriam-Webster defines communication as the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, and feelings, to someone else. 

When you factor in all the different languages of the world, cultural influences in those languages, nuances within one language, etc., it is amazing how we all communicate with each other. Some words have different meaning depending on the context of their use. For example the word ‘dwelling’ historically means a place to reside. However by adding the word ‘on’ after dwelling, it has also taken on the meaning of thinking about past things that could have been good or bad. 

Bringing it closer to home, I have noticed the same type of subtle language differences in the housing industry. In Canada, they demonstrate Show Homes. Most of the U.S. agents demonstrate model homes. Sometimes you hear model homes referred to as Concept Homes. They all refer to the same thing except how they are described. How the different names affect prospective buyers I do not know. I leave that to experts in those fields. What I do know is how a sales agent delivers their message is critical. Success in sales is highly dependent on establishing trust and credibility- both of which are established by both our verbal and nonverbal communication skills. 

The late comedienne Joan Rivers used to say ‘Can we talk’? Of course her ‘talk’ was complete with zingers and she proudly promoted any offense was indeed intended. We all know the sales profession is not in the joke or insulting business but all sales agents should learn to ask permission before starting their inquiries. This sets the tone for the rest of your verbal communication process.

So how do sales agents verbally communicate? Sounding scripted and using industry jargon is a sales killer. Some companies require the use of scripts and that script must be delivered as if it were a natural flow of conversation. Sometimes the agents have some leeway and the script is basically used as ‘talking points’ to cover. In this situation the agent can deliver information and ask their questions using their own conversational style. Regardless the situation, the agent has to create that one on one connection with their buyer in a relaxed manner and come across as focused and informed.

Nonverbal signals many times override what is being said. Many of us could not express ourselves without the use of our hands. I think the Italians have the corner of that market. While watching sales agent video shops I see all kinds of nonverbal communication. Some agents exude a welcoming demeanor. Others, while saying the right thing, convey the message that the prospect is interrupting their busy schedule. I believe these agents are not aware that they are sending a negative message, but seeing that visual should be their ‘ah ha’ moment to work on their non-verbal communication skills.

In sales, efficiency in how we communicate is essential. In a busy sales office, an agent can find themselves working with numerous prospects during the course of the day. The challenge is how the agent manages their time to make each prospect feel like a valued customer. The agent must also develop different ways they deliver their sales presentation to each individual that they engage. Quite the challenge! Over the years there have been many sales training methodologies offered to agents.  One of the older styles was matching your sales presentation to your buyer’s personality type. The most prominent in its time was Bulls/Owls/Lambs/Tigers and then came numerous variations of those 4 personality types. In short you do not sell to a Bull the same way you sell to a Lamb. The Bull wants to be take control and be in charge. The Lamb wants you to guide them. 

Listening skills are also part of the communication process. Today’s buyer arrives at your sales centers with a lot of information from the internet. They have created their ‘short list’ and now want to decide which community is the best match for them. The sales agent must determine if the buyer’s information is correct and/or fully understood. During this process, the agent must never talk over their prospective buyer. Listening is learning. When you learn about your buyer, you can then communicate targeted information that is important to them. This all contributes to the validation process that each buyer needs when making their purchase decision.

So can we talk? When the time comes for you to assess and evaluate how your sales team communicates your company’s message, give us a call. By specializing in the housing industry, LeBlanc & Associates speaks your language. Our Video Profiles provide you with more than just the spoken word. You will also observe the non-verbal message so essential in a sales environment. We will listen to your concerns and then validate your sales team’s effectiveness

Top 10 Priciest U.S. Cities to Rent

ApartmentList.com did a study of America's 50 largest cities to see where it's the most expensive to rent an apartment. The median U.S. rent as of this summer was $1,231 per month, but some places are much higher. California cities took half the list, including San Francisco's astounding median rent of nearly $3,400. Here's the median apartment rent for each, plus (for the thrifty) the median for a studio apartment::

SCORE MED. Price STUDIO APT. CITY
1. $3,396 $2,295 San Fransico, CA
2. $3,344 $2,300 New York, NY
3. $3,120 $2000 Boston, MA
4. $2,699 $1675 Washington, DC
5. $2,177 $1.405 Los Angeles, CA
6. $2,165 $1,455 San Jose, CA
7. $1,812 $1,700 Oakland, CA
8. $1,742 $1,319 Miami, FL
9. $1,718 $1,210 Seattle, WA
10. $1,670 $1,095 San Diego, CA
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