I learned the art of customer service from my father who was a small business owner his entire life. He instilled in his boys from a very young age that if you treat your clients as if they feed,house and clothe you…they will. Today, I see so many salespeople confused about what good customer service actually is. Often I see salespeople try to roll out the red carpet for their buyers only to get used as floor mats, leaving them bruised and skittish, cautious and suspicious of the next opportunity.
It is very important that you start by working with the RIGHT buyers:
1. Qualify buyers as to their emotional readiness to make the purchase.
2. Have buyers demonstrate a willingness to go out of their way to meet with you.
3. Before taking them out, ask “if we see the right house today, are you ready to buy today?”
4. Have them pre-qualified as to their financial viability.
5. Have them sign buyer representation to establish an exclusive relationship.
All of the above takes finesse on your part (and each point could be a topic all on its own), but it is important to get it right from the beginning so you don’t set yourself up for failure. All too often salespeople don’t put the right steps in place to ensure a favorable outcome and in the end, they are disappointed when the buyer does not buy from them, even if they offered exceptional service. I’ve seen salespeople get so relentless in pursuing an opportunity that they don’t put the right ingredients in place, and then they are upset when the outcome is not what they anticipated.
Great customer service starts with finding the right clients, ones who are willing to meet you at the office for your first appointment and sit through your buyer presentation so you can get a clear picture of what they are looking for, they understand why it is in their best interest to get a second opinion from your mortgage professional, they are willing to drive in your car when viewing houses and they are willing to sign buyer representation because they understand the value of having an exclusive relationship with you to purchase their new home. When a buyer won’t commit to you, if you continue to pursue the opportunity you are setting yourself up to be taken advantage of. I’ve seen salespeople repeat the same simple mistakes time and time again with different buyers and expect different results, then when the wheels fall off they become upset. No-one can take advantage of you unless you first give them permission to.
Exceptional customer service should be reserved for your “real” buyers and if they won’t work your way, find others who will. Remember, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. The solution is to find a thirsty horse! Find buyers who are willing, ready and able to buy and who want to work with you, then you roll out the red carpet and offer a level of service that you would expect if the roles were reversed. If the buyer makes a commitment to you, they will expect the same in return. The home-buying process can be confusing for buyers and they will expect you to be there every step of the way to help them handle all of the details, keep them informed, answer their questions and offer solutions to their problems. These clients, the ones who are truly committed to you from the beginning, will become your strongest referral sources by telling all of their friends about your exceptional service and attention to detail. To maximize your future referrals, ensure you add all clients to your database and continue a relationship with them through marketing campaigns and periodic phone calls to stay in touch.
I wish you great success this month.
President, Leader’s Edge Training