“Buyers are liars” probably you have heard that same expression from one or more of your sales people in the last few days. Sales agents are complaining about the quality of the buyers, what a waste of time they are, the lack of loyalty and mainly the low offers these buyers are making.
Whenever I hear an agents complaining about their buyers, I ask them: Did you qualify your buyers? Experienced Realtors are still putting contracts together, because they spend more time disqualifying buyer leads than qualifying them. “The top 10 percent recognize there are only a certain number of hours in the day. And they know they can only close qualified prospects. So they spend time asking tough questions to find real buyers and the ‘lookie-lous’ never make it into their funnel.”
Top performers are so guarded about who goes into their prospects lists that their pipelines look more like cylinders: fewer opportunities going in one end and a higher percentage of them closing on the other. Contrast that with the other 90 percent of the agents. Typically this group aims to prop up every lead that comes their way, stuff them into their pipeline, and hope some will buy a house.
To radically boost the performance of your bottom 90 percent, you need to get them to shift from a mindset of qualifying buyers to one of disqualifying them. And the way to do that is by giving them a qualifying checklist with six questions. When an agent gets on the phone with a lead, he/she must know the answers to these six questions:
1. What was it about the ad (sign, house, etc) that caught your eye?
2. How long have you been looking for a house with a ______?
3. How many houses with a ________ have you seen?
4. Why didn’t you buy one of those?
5. What is your time frame for the purchase?
6. What are some reasons they wouldn’t buy?
Agents are afraid to ask these questions because they think their prospect won’t answer them or because they’re afraid of the answer. These questions are key to the disqualifying process because if the lead is vague or evasive about any of them, it means he or she is not a serious buyer and agents shouldn’t waste their time. Thinking they can turn it around is a bottom 80 percent strategy; spotting the red flag and discarding the lead is a top 20 percent strategy.
When top agents don’t get the answers they want or need, they ask the tough questions, and they’re not afraid to say, “You know, Mr. Prospect, it sounds like you’re interested in waiting for the prices to come down further. So keep my number on file and when you feel the bottom price is here, give me a call.”
I understand that shifting from a mindset of qualifying your leads to disqualifying your leads can be a bit scary. Sales people worry that if they start tossing out leads; there won’t be any more coming in to fill their pipeline. But here’s the gem: These techniques will never disqualify a true buyer; they will reveal the true buyers.
If you’re think your agents are still nervous, ask them the following question: “Do you want to spend it with “lookie-lous” who aren’t serious about buying? Or do you want to spend it with prospects that are qualified and genuinely interested?” If it’s the latter, you need to do a good job of weeding out the former. “Once you get confident with these techniques and see you are closing more sales, you’ll never go back.”