The Language of Sales: What to Say (and Not Say)
We are all being sold to...constantly. Unwanted ads, calls, and marketing e-blasts bombard us everyday. Here's how to be part of the solution and stand out from the noise
Many times it feels as if “permission” marketing has been thrown to the wind, but occasionally, we experience the better side of sales. The side where someone is presenting us with a valuable service in a helpful way.
Successful agents know how to do this in their businesses. They deliver effective messages that persuade prospects and elevate their offering.
The way an agent delivers their messages and converses with prospects can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of a conversation. Using the wrong phrase or tactic might cast a negative shadow on your pitch, while tweaking your approach can build rapport and incite action.
The underlying message is certainly critical, but the way you deliver it is equally so.
Few people in real estate understand this better than Anna Krueger, with The Haro Group of Keller William Realty. A self-professed “terrible” salesperson, she studied the pattern of sales language, implemented her findings into her calls and follow-ups, and became the #1 producer on the team for the next 10 years.
Anna is now a full time MAPS coach and consultant, and she shared some of her strategies in her session, “The Secret Language of Selling: How to Master Language Patterns” during BoomTown’s annual user conference, Unite.
Here are some of the takeaways for better follow-up, heightened engagement, and creating effective conversations that still feel personal.
Sales Call Openers that Combat Hang-ups
The dreaded intro. Cold calls aren’t enjoyable for most people, but Anna knows some tactics that drastically reduce the dreaded “click” and tee up much more productive conversations. Here’s the pattern she recommends:
Introduce yourself quickly
If you don’t know their name, simply say: “I’m hoping you can help me.
Don’t ask “how are you?” this is vague and just invites them to tell you that they are too busy. Instead, show you appreciate their time and say “Thank you for taking my call.”
Reference your source and explain why you’re reaching out
Ask an open question about their motivation
Number 5. The game-changer. Instead of the usual sales process, railing through qualifying questions and logistics, asking an open-ended question about their “why” throws them back to the impetus of what they’re doing. The emotions behind their actions. This question can be something as simple as “I’m curious what has you thinking about moving?,” but it’s even more important than the logical, yet interrogative LPMAMA rigmarole (there is space for this later).
Logic makes people think, but emotion makes them act.
Stalls Vs. Objections (and How to Handle Them)
We’re all familiar with common objections and the best practices around overcoming them, but there is a difference between “stalls” and their harsher objection counterparts. Stalls tend to start at the beginning of the conversation and are typically one of three things:
- It’s a bad time, I can’t talk right now
- Can you email me instead?
- I am no longer interested in XYZ
Objections on the other hand are more prohibitive to action. They revolve around things like financial issues, working with other agents, etc.
So How Do You Work with a Stall?
- Welcome it! This informs you about their current status and gives you some intel to build on. Start by saying “I am so glad you told me” and never talk over them.
- Ask a question about their issues.
If it’s a bad time, ask “When is better?”
If they request an email, ask “What type of information would you like me to include” This gives you more details to work with.
If they say they are no longer interested, ask something to gauge what was driving their initial action, like “When you were interested, what made you want to move?”
- Ask about their motivation
This is the goal of your conversation and you want to try and get to this point as quickly as possible. or “I know there are endless activities you could be doing online, I’m curious, what had you looking at houses?” ‘What prompted you to look into your home’s value?”
Following this approach will build better relationships, garner more important information about a prospect’s search or situation, and help you determine clear next steps for action.
Timeline of a Lead: Playing the Long Game to Win
These language patterns will reduce your follow up efforts for sure, but remember, most leads needs frequent and consistent follow-up!
70% of all appointments come from following up 6 or 7 times!
Just try to gain a little “yardage” with each call and contact, and follow the basic order for a productive conversation:
- Dig for motivation
- Give yourself next steps
- Assign a deadline ( this can be something like an appointment time, pre-approval letter status, or even a time when your prospect will call you back.)\
Want to get more info? Learn more about Anna Krueger and her proven strategies for successful follow-up in our Driven podcast!