Today on the Fourandhalf blog, we’re continuing our Art of the Sale Series, which is designed to help you close more property management contracts. In our first blog on this topic, we talked about WIFM which basically translates into “What’s In It For Me?” As a sales person, when you understand the WIFM, you have the mindset required to successfully close the deal. We also introduced the structure of a successful sales process.
In Part 2, we’re talking about Discovery. This is the first part of your sales conversation. You will ask questions and allow your prospect to talk through their issues or problems. Let’s navigate through that process so you’ll be equipped to win the deal with that first phone call.
Sales Process Structure
As we said in our first blog, the Sales Process Structure looks like this:
• Discover (the problem)
• Present (the solution)
• Close the Deal
• Follow up
This is how you don’t lose a deal before you begin. It’s the most important step in your sales process and it includes asking questions and actively listening, turning “What’s your fee”-style questions, and establishing an emotional connection. Establishing an emotional connection will set you apart from other property management companies, and that difference will often be a deciding factor for people who are looking for your services.
When you’re on the phone with a prospect, you’re hearing that person’s problems, or pain points. Maybe the prospect has multiple problems. They are calling because they potentially want someone to manage their largest asset, and you need to make them comfortable with who you are. The best way to do that is by asking questions. Keep peeling until you get to the bottom of the problem.
Your opening line will be something along the lines of, “So, tell me a little about your property…” Once they begin their story, do not interrupt. Listen carefully and write notes. You have probably heard their problems before. As an expert in property management, you’re familiar with all the problems that come up and you probably know exactly what they’re going to say. But you need to let them open up and discuss their issues with you. Once the conversation begins flowing, keep peeling. Show that you are actively listening. Ask questions like: “So you mentioned that you have an addition, tell me more about that. How many square feet is it?” These things will help you to continue peeling until you get to the bottom of why they’re really calling. A good discovery process will take a minimum of 20 minutes.
Some prospects will start the conversation with questions such as: “What’s your fee?” or “How much can I rent my house for?” or “Can I handle my own repairs?”
Learn how to turn these questions. For example, when you get the fee question, you can say something like: “well we have different services and plans that start at 10 percent, but let me ask you a few questions about your property.” Give them an answer that is satisfactory at this point, and then you’ve earned the right to keep talking. Don’t ignore the question, just turn it. Another example – “How much will my house rent for?” can be turned by answering, “The homes in your neighborhood typically rent for $1000 to $2500, it really depends on a number of factors – but we’ve rented out a number of houses in your area in the past, so let’s get some details” and start asking specific questions about the house, like number of bathrooms, etc., to get them talking about the property again.
No one ever listens today. If you are the best listener, you’ll win the deal. Therefore, your emotional connection is a key step. Property management has become a commodity. There are five or 10 companies doing the same job as you. You might be the best, but in order for prospects to see that, you need to build an emotional bridge. Don’t dive into the sales presentation until you have really built a connection with that prospect. Once you do, your presentation and closing strategy will flow naturally.
Take the time to do a discovery. Be polite. Be curious. Others won’t take the time to do this, so you have a good chance at closing the deal when you pay attention to this part of the process.
Next, we’ll talk about your presentation and how to structure it to best talk about your service. If you have any questions about this Art of the Sale Series, please contact us at Fourandhalf. We’ll see you next time.