Coaches Corner Newsletter - Issue #903
October 18th, 2018
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Words of a Champion...

One small nicety is to tell your clients thank you.  When was the last time your insurance agent, attorney, drycleaner, or even the gas station attendant said thank you for using their services?  In all those cases (as well as with real estate agents), we, like our client, have lots of people to choose from to perform the service required.  I am not saying the quality of service would be the same, but there is far from a monopoly situation in the marketplace.   Extend verbal thanks at every opportunity.

Bob and Mary, I wanted to say thank you for the opportunity to serve you.  I don’t take you selecting me to represent your interests lightly.  Everyone knows there are real estate agents at every street corner.  Thanks for giving me the pleasure and honor of working with you and your family.”

Put your thanks in handwritten thank you notes.  These clients are the people who put gas in your car, shoes on your kids’ feet, dollars in your retirement account, and provide memorable vacations with your family.  Because of our hurry, instant world of e-mail, mailboxes stuffed with junk, and the no-call list, the power of handwritten thank you notes carries more power than ever before.  Don’t neglect to use one of the most powerful marketing techniques available . . . the handwritten thank you note.

Dirk Zeller

Accepting Overpriced Listings

I don't advocate taking over-priced listings. Sometimes, it is inevitable, but before you take a listing that is overpriced, see that the sellers meet the follow three criteria:

  1. The sellers must have strong motive to sell.

    Your client's motivation to sell is the key indicator of whether or not you will earn a fee for your service. You'll be paid only when your client's property sells and closes, so evaluate and re-evaluate the interest and determination of the seller to complete the transaction.

    If a client absolutely has to sell – because of a job transfer, divorce, financial difficulty, a home too small for the family, or a new home purchase for which sales proceeds are required – the odds of a successful closing swing strongly in your favor. The pressure of the pending circumstances will push the seller to complete the deal even if it involves a necessary price adjustment.

    A client who has already purchased another home will become increasingly motivated to sell as the pressure of making two house payments comes to bear. I've seen clients undergo complete attitude adjustments regarding the price of their property around the first of the month when they had to write two mortgage checks.  The pain of that second check becomes greater than the pain of the price reduction.

  2. The sellers must have the financial capacity to sell at "true" market value.

    If sellers owe more on their mortgage than their home is currently worth, they'll need to come up with the difference between the sale proceeds and the loan balance at the time of closing. If they don't have the necessary resources, don't take on the listing at any price.

    Previously, many homeowners have pulled cash out of their homes and taken new mortgages based on appreciated home values, which have already stagnated or declined. When sellers in this situation get ready to sell, they owe more on their mortgage balance than they'll reap from the equity they've accumulated – and the real estate agent's fee becomes an out-of-pocket expense, rather than a deduction from sale proceeds.

    Set this rule in stone: Take on listings only for owners with sufficient equity to sell at real market value or sufficient other assets to make up the shortfall.

  3. Accept over-priced listings only for clients who make a long-term commitment to allow you to represent them.

    If you agree to list a property at a price that is over the home's current market value, insist on a listing term of at least six months. This will give you enough time to market the property, reduce the price if necessary, or even put a second transaction together if the first one doesn't close.

          Too often, sellers who want to stretch beyond top dollar value also want to give you a short timeframe in which to prove yourself. Follow this rule instead: Insist that the term of your listing needs to align with the price of the listing. Take a 30-day listing only if it's backed by a 30-day price – with a 30-day price defined as a price that is 5% to 10% below fair market value. Most sellers want a 30-day listing at a price that is 10% to 15% above market value. No deal! Use the following script to align the listing period with the sale price:

    "Mr. Seller, based on the price you want for your home, I am going to need a 12-month listing agreement. You're asking a 12- month price, so I will need 12 months to accomplish a sale. Now, if you want to set a 90-day price of x dollars, then I would be able to take a 90- day listing.  What is your desire? Which of these options do you prefer?"

    If a seller wants to list their homes at a price that exceeds current market value, be sure they meet the above criteria. Otherwise, you're gambling with your time, effort, money, and energy, with the odds of a payoff approaching the chances of a Powerball win.

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Overcoming Call Reluctance

We are all faced with call reluctance at one time or another in our sales careers.  We all know that we need to prospect and make calls daily to generate new business.  However, knowing and doing can be two entirely different things.  The fear of calling can be a career ender for many sales people.

Let’s take a look at what most Agents do when call reluctance hits.  Most Agents take the worst possible action…they avoid the calls.  Are you avoiding the calls when call reluctance hits?  The problem with that plan of action is that avoiding something out of fear only teaches you to fear it more.

Taking this plan of action only makes the challenge larger and harder.  Your call avoidance only intensifies your anxiety, which leads to greater reluctance and greater avoidance.  We have all lived this pattern, leading us farther down the slippery slope of call reluctance.  How do you break this pattern of destruction?  There is a five-step strategy to overcome call reluctance:

Strategy #1:  Take Stock of Yourself and Your Skills

Most people who are chronic call reluctance sufferers are their own worst enemies.  They are experts in all of their own faults and shortcomings.  They see only their weaknesses, not their strengths.  To be successful at prospecting over the phone, we have to have a clear sense of what we can provide to the prospect.  Until we have a clear understanding of our value, we will never achieve comfort in prospecting over the phone.

The overcoming step is to evaluate what you have to offer the prospect. Take inventory of your skills and abilities.  Understand your track record of results. Review your list of satisfied clients and the reasons why they’re satisfied.

  1. List the things you can do for the prospects.
  2. List the qualities that make you the person they should work with.
  3. List the specific benefits of your services.

Always have these lists ready by the phone. This way you can easily review them before you begin to call.  You will also be able to use them during your call to convince the prospect to work with you.

Many of us are challenged because we see making a call to a prospect or even a cold opportunity as an unwanted interruption.  By using this list, you can change your mindset to see that you are giving the prospect a valuable opportunity to be served by you.  We need a new perspective of opportunity.

Strategy #2: Set Realistic, Achievable Daily Goals

We can easily get ahead of ourselves.  By setting a daily goal that is realistic, we can create momentum.  People who are challenged with call reluctance often believe that they need to make 20, 50, or even 100 calls a day to make a difference.  Since they can’t do that, they avoid even starting.  Start with a small number you can commit to daily.  We have seen Agents double their businesses in a year by making 5-10 contacts a day.  A little goes a long way.  Prospecting is like Brill Cream: a little dab will do you.  It just has to be used every day.

Set manageable goals for each week, and then break them down into goals for each day.  If you are struggling to hit the daily goal, break it down to each part of the day or even each hour if necessary. 

Make it into a game.  How many calls can I make before lunch or before my next appointment at 10:00 am?  Make the target achievable.  You want to achieve the feeling of accomplishment.  When you achieve the goal, reward yourself.  We call it celebrating the victory.  Part of being effective in calling is learning to reward yourself along the way.  The mouse wouldn’t work as hard to get to the end of the maze if the cheese wasn’t there.  The reality is that we are no different.  You have to create small rewards along the way.

Strategy #3:  Control Negative Self-Talk

We all have an internal voice.  Sometimes, that voice is our biggest fan and encourager.  Other times, it feels like that little voice is chaining us to a cement block and pushing us into a deep river.  That internal voice can challenge us for good or bad; it can criticize and chastise us, as well.

For those of you who are challenged by call reluctance regularly, this negative self-talk can be particularly aggressive.  It can become almost hyperactive when you are preparing for a sales call.  When you go to pick up the phone, the negative self-talk turns up the volume and intensity.

“They are going to reject you.”
“Why would they use you instead of these other Agents?”
“Maybe there is another way to do this.”
“I should really be handling the problem transaction.”
“I need to do more research before I make this call.”

Meet the challenge of the negative self-talk head on.  If you do, the voice will get quieter, and after a few dials, it will go away completely.

If you are really struggling, write down what the negative self-talk is saying.  By having it down on paper, you can refute what is being said in your mind.  The only way to repel the voice is to create the responses that defuse the arguments.  It’s the difference between your thoughts controlling you, or you controlling your thoughts.  You are in charge here.

The difference between you and the mouse is that you can change.  The mouse will go back forever and look for the cheese.  You know better than that.  Take the steps to go a different direction for a newer, better opportunity.

Strategy #4:  Visualize the “Perfect Call”

We often begin each call by envisioning rejection.  We begin each call with the thought process, “I hope they’re not home.”  Mentally, we are poorly prepared.  Even if they are present, we may not be.  Do you visualize them hanging up the phone in disgust, or is there a voice telling you they are happy to hear from you?  We often have a horrible movie playing in our head.  Those negative images are making the calls more difficult to execute.

We can create the outcome before we ever pick up the phone.  Those negative visions create self-fulfilling prophecies.  We get caught going through the motions without the results we desire.  There are two key reasons we end up short of the outcome we planned for:

  1. The “negative visions” generate stress, and the mental stress blocks performance.  We are preoccupied with the stress.  We are waiting for the other shoe to drop, so we can be right.  Henry Ford said, “If you think you can or think you can’t, either way you are right.”  You will create the outcome you visualize.

  2. The “negative visions” are a rehearsal.  The more you run the negative through mentally, the greater the probability of reproducing it in reality.  Remember, practice doesn’t make perfect…only perfect practice makes perfect.  All practice does is make it permanent.  The mouse practiced going for the cheese even when the cheese was taken away.

We must visualize ourselves talking on the phone with confidence.  We must have a “bring it on” attitude.  We must visualize ourselves handling the objections efficiently and effectively, and we must visualize ourselves setting an appointment.

Strategy #5:  The One-Call or Ten-Minute Strategy

It’s really easy when you are in call reluctance to envision hours of calling and toiling on the phone.  You believe that you are going to have to bear hours of rejection to generate one measly lead.  Then you figure you might as well give yourself the day off, and you can make it up tomorrow.

Resolve, before you give up for the day, to make 10 minutes worth of calls.  The truth is any of us can make the calls for just 10 minutes.  When you have completed 10 minutes or a certain number of contacts, like two or three, you are free to quit guilt-free.  You have “bought” your freedom for the day. 

You have taken a big step to breaking through call reluctance.  Do the 10 minutes and know you are progressing out of call reluctance.

The other thing you will discover is that the hardest part is behind you.  You can tap into the momentum you have just created.  I guarantee that the next dial will be easier and not feel or look so intimidating.  You have started to control the negative self-talk.  You can choose to continue on.  This is the best commitment you could make and keep for yourself.

Call reluctance is real for every salesperson.  There is no one who doesn’t suffer from some form of call reluctance.  If some claim they don’t ever have it, just realize they must have deeper psychological problems to deal with.  Apply the five steps today and work to overcome call reluctance.

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Recognizing a Common Falsehood of Time Management

There are a number of falsehoods in time management. “If I only had more time”, “I just need to catch up and it will get better” to name a few. The most common falsehood I call the myth of multi-tasking, specifically “Efficient people multi-task well”.

We tend to ask questions in job interviews about someone’s multi-tasking skills. When we are the job applicant we try to demonstrate our multi-tasking skills. We might even solidly declare that we have them. The truth is, efficient people don’t multi-task, they single task. The most efficient method for production and time usage is single tasking.
Single tasking is staying focused on one problem, challenge, project, task or responsibility until it is completed. To work with singular focus until it can be crossed off your prioritization list for the day.

Truth: Multi-tasking leads to lost productivity.  Starting and stopping numerous times with numerous interruptions; are you kidding me? This is more productivity? Trying to re-entrench in one’s focus on a different subject or project instantly or with limited effort is nearly impossible. If humans could actually accomplish that task with regularity and ease, multi-tasking might be more productive, but we aren’t wired that way.

Our minds can only grasp a single thought or focus at a time. That means that we are unable to hold captive multiple thoughts, which makes multi-tasking physiologically and neurologically impossible.

Truth: Multi-tasking increases frustration. Because we hold ourselves to an unrealistic standard we increase frustration. We are unable to accomplish and complete our daily projects or tasks, so we lower our self esteem. This whole cycle increases the frustration we have with our job, our company, and our boss, which, for the company, leads to eventual turnover of the employee. Employee turnover is one of the costliest problems in business today.

Truth: Multi-tasking wastes time. For most people, whether at home or work, we lose little chunks of time in five to even fifteen minute increments repeatedly over the day. It’s the death of a thousand little events rather than one traumatic event. Since it’s minor we don’t call in the trauma surgeon; we either don’t recognize it or ignore it.

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