February 2017

Who Do You Trust? was a TV game show in the early 60’s where three couples competed on each show. Married pairs of contestants were asked to answer questions with the husband deciding whether the husband or wife would answer. No wonder the show did not continue beyond 1963. Am I right ladies?

Trust is an important part of our daily lives. We make decisions based on trust for just about every decision we make from which weather source we rely on to which contractor to hire for repair work. The essential message that every person must convey for the buyers of their goods or services is simply ‘I can be trusted’.  Sometimes we make the decision to trust based on our intuition or gut feeling. Other times we rely on referrals and rating sites. In the end the trust level usually determines if the provider of the product or service is the right match for us.

Some studies that have been conducted on the trust factor show that people decide within seconds of meeting someone whether they’re trustworthy or not. One study by Amy Cuddy (social psychologist, author and lecturer) focused on first impressions and found that people immediately ask themselves two questions: (1) Can I trust this person?  and (2) Can I respect this person?

Both of these questions are based on an emotional connection and not necessarily the person’s abilities or intellect. You may have expert knowledge about what you are selling, but if you don’t convey the right emotional message, it is all for nothing. If trust is not quickly established, you might come across as trying to manipulate the prospective buyer’s decision.

So for those of us in sales, we must always work on establishing our trust factor. Do we establish that personal connection to allow us to utilize our sales skills? Have we perfected our sales presentation to the point where we don’t come across as manipulative?  Most agents tend to start their sales presentations with their product. They begin with their litany of product information and recite or point to a features list, price sheet, and floor plans before trust is established. The agent immediately begins discussing what they have vs. what their prospect needs or wants. This is a backwards approach. Agents need to match a buyer’s needs and preferences to what the agent has to sell. It is not necessarily every plan you have. You only need one to create a happy camper.

Every agent should personalize the process to their own experiences to understand the prospective buyer. If you went to an auto dealership needing a minivan or SUV to haul your kids and sports gear around, but the sales agent primarily wants to direct you to a sports convertible, do you trust that agent? Did that agent ever ask what you needed or did the agent just need to make a sale that day…any sale. While your emotional button would love that sports convertible, reality dictates you need a minivan or SUV to pile your kids into. Say goodbye to trust when the agent conveys the message their needs are more important than your needs.

While possible, it is not usually probable that you will create a firm sale without first creating the trust connection with your buyer. Particularly when it comes to the housing market (homes, senior living, or leasing). Housing gets very personal and emotional. If the buyer does not feel or believe it is right, the sale is not going to happen. The sales agent’s job is to create a product and community match that the buyer feels and believes meets most of their needs.

To create the trust connection, think about what is important in a sales presentation:

·  An agent must always convey a sense of knowledge and self-assurance. If the agent stumbles when answering questions or provides insufficient or vague information, the buyer starts doubting the agent’s credibility. If you went to a doctor with an ailment requiring surgery and that doctor came across as unsure with no definitive answers, would you proceed with that doctor?

·  Listening to your prospect is critical in establishing that trust connection. As every agent has heard time and again, sales is not about you. It is always about your buyer. Learn as much as you can to create a comfortable and open sales environment.

·  Honesty:    Buyers will pick up on the evasive answer. So be direct in responding to their questions and concerns. If the buyer brings up a concern such as being under the flight path from a nearby airport, don’t deny it. Chances are while you are negating the noise level a plane will fly over while you are talking. It is there and for some people they would never purchase no matter what you say. For others it is not a deal breaker.

My question to management is, when the time comes to evaluate your sales team via the mystery shop process, ‘Who do you trust’? LeBlanc & Associates has a long history of knowing their clients’ needs and preferences. When you need to achieve an honest assessment of agents’ sales skills, our credibility gives you peace of mind. Since housing is our only focus, we have the industry knowledge. Our extensive experience makes us confident in our ability to be an effective partner. We will always listen to your needs. Honest! Call, email or submit your request online. It’s easy!

Top 10 Travel Destinations To Visit And Not Visit In 2017
Fodor's has put together 2 lists of destinations to visit and not visit in 2017. Check out the full lists to see all of the destinations and learn how they decided on the destinations.
To Visit:
1. Antigua and Barbuda
2. Cape Town, South Africa
3. Bordeaux, France
4. Washington, D.C.
5. Yorkshire, England
6. Minho Region, Portugal
7. Denver, Colorado
8. Laos
9. Kiev, Ukraine
10. Marfa, Texas
Not to Visit:
1. Dubai
2. Great Barrier Reef - Australia
3. Miami, Florida
4.Times Square - New York City
5. New Delhi, India
6. London, England
7. Pisa, Italy
8. Ibiza
9. Iceland
10. Outer space!?