Updated: May 11
One of the key lessons for a new salesperson (whatever you’re selling!) is that sales is a linear process.
In other words, you don’t come up with a radically new pitch, and “wing it” for every single client.
Rather, you would want to hone a single, proven sales process; make it as smooth and effective as possible.
Here’s how to do it:
The concept of a linear sales process
A sales process creates a specific experience for your prospect.
It starts from the first impression that you make, carries on to the way they feel when you start proposing them solutions, showing them a property, and even beyond the point where they sign on the dotted line.
The process should be drilled until it is practically automatic, each time you meet a prospect (you’ll have to fine-tune or even remove parts of it as you gain experience, but you’re always working on perfecting the same process).
What you don’t want to do is have no fixed process, and end up improvising with each prospect you meet. If you do that, your results become much more random: how do you know what part of your pitch works or doesn’t, when you don’t apply it consistently?
The five steps to developing an effective sales process
· Have well-prepared materials ready
· Know your numbers and facts by heart
· Rehearse and Follow a pre-planned sequence
· Be ready to answer common objections
· Always follow-up
1. Have well-prepared materials ready
A slide deck or graph is more presentable than sketching things on napkins! Small details count, and show professionalism. This is the reason we have painstakingly created many Property Wealth Planning pitch decks and update it regularly for our agents.
Throughout your sales process, you will probably have pictures, charts, or other materials to show the client.
Put effort into ensuring that these are presentable, and always in your folder, on your iPad, etc.
This is particularly important for live demonstrations or charting tools, which some property sites offer. For example, some sites offer you a tool that will create instant charts to compare price movements, between projects.
Make sure you are fluent in using all your tools before a presentation.
Imagine how embarrassing it would be if you claim “Project X is the best performing project in the area”, and then turn on a live charting tool, only for it to prove you wrong (the data may have been different the week or month before, if updates are live).
This sort of situation has to be avoided at all costs. Run any such simulations or tools before your presentation.
Likewise, consider the quality of the materials you give a prospect.
Sheets of re-used A-4 paper lack professionalism; but print them on fresh paper and put them in a professional looking folder, and you may have a winning first impression.
Whether the materials are images on your tablet, or a physical handout, take the extra effort to ensure quality and familiarity in using them.
2. Know your numbers and facts by heart
You should be able to provide the key figures on a property – such as past transactions prices, rental yield over five years, time to the CBD, etc. – of the cuff without referring to notes.
It’s okay to look these up once in a while; but if you’re checking your smartphone every time a prospect asks a question, it can make them doubt your competency and preparedness.
You should be able to give details on the general neighbourhood and district, in addition to the property itself.
That means having specific names, not vague information (e.g being able to say that Sheng Siong is five minutes away while Giant is three minutes away, and not “there are some grocery places nearby”).
3. Rehearse and Follow a pre-planned sequence
Have a pre-planned sequence of things to talk about, so you don't forget any key points (and you'll never "run out" of things to say)
This applies to both viewings, and the things you talk about.
For example, you might have a sequence such as:
· Explain unique selling points of the property (e.g. Midtown Bay is one of the few CCR properties that start from $1.38 million, and so forth)
· Tell a short story (e.g. Imagine you wake up in the morning, and right away what greets you is a sea view and…)
· Present numbers, such as price comparisons and potential yield or appreciation
· Differentiate the property from surrounding competition
And so forth.
This is the reason why we record our training sessions on FaceBook Live and archive them so that all our agents are able to watch and revise scripts and presentation skills at their own time and comfort.
The exact sequence will change as you refine it, and work out what does or doesn’t work. But you will follow more or less the same steps, for each prospect you meet.
The same principle applies to viewings. Plan and organise which rooms you intend to show first, how long to spend in each room, what sequence of selling points you will bring up in each one, etc.
Once again, the last thing you want to do is to "wing it" by attending a viewing/presentation unprepared.
4. Be ready to answer common objections
I’ll let you in on a little secret: objections seldom change. The objections you hear from one prospect are going to be – more or less – the same objections you hear from the next prospect.
They’re mostly predictable, such as:
· I don’t know if the price is right
· The condo next door seems cheaper and about the same
· This condo is only leasehold
Because objections are so predictable, it’s easy to prepare ready answers to them.
But we understand that new agents seldom are able to cover all the angles and hence designed all our presentation decks to flow as a story (With lots of humour, engaging content & scripts) that pre-empts and overcomes objections at the same time.
So create a list for every property you market and think through and script your responses, then commit them to memory.
Don’t try to come up with a new response every time you hear them.
After awhile, it gets easier and you will realise that you can come up with effective responses unconsciously.
5. Always follow-up
Don't just "fire and forget". Follow-up phone calls, messages, and other conversations are needed to keep your prospects engaged.
One of the easiest to do yet greatest failures of most salespeople is following up.
Your follow-up should be done in a non-pestering way; such as a quick text afterward to thank a prospect for a viewing. Prospects do wander off and forget about you sometimes, and one quick text can fix that.
You can also do follow-ups long after the sale; such as checking how things are going, a year or so after they buy (this keeps you in their memory, the next time they recommend an agent, decide to rent out, buy a second house, etc.)
A good way to remember all this is to use simple tools like Google Calendar or Google Sheets, to track the follow-up messages you need to send.
People generally appreciate those who bother to check in with them. Whether or not you receive a reply, do not take it personally and overthink about it. Just do your part to make those who cross your path know that you are interested in them.
Practice your sales process
You can do this with friends, fellow agents, or even just in front of a mirror.
The more you practice it, the less demanding it will be (it takes a lot of stamina to follow an unrehearsed process; you might be exhausted after the first two appointments).
One of the best ways is to constantly self-talk whether you are driving or on public transport (Do it in your head of course!).
This is akin to sparring with a "client" and you will be able to come up with good ways to lead conversations, verbalise well the thoughts in your mind and close meetings smoothly like a professional.
Overtime, you will be able to think many steps ahead and pre-empt well any situations that arises.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg
There are a lot to learn in being an effective real estate salesperson.
At Navis Living Group, we provide experienced RES mentors to new real estate agents; who can train you up on your sales pitches, critique and guide you in your presentations and viewings, and help you reach your fullest potential.
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Stuart Chng, Senior Associate Executive Director of OrangeTee & Tie, is a renowned leader and personality in the real estate industry.
He adores music and can play a few instruments decently without upsetting his neighbours. When not doing so, he enjoys pillow fighting with his son and coming up with silly puns which barely amuses his wife.
Professionally, he is a licensed real estate agent, investor, team leader, speaker and columnist for several property newsletters and blogs and is often quoted in media interviews on 938FM, Channel 8, PropertyReport, PropertyGuru and other publications.
Throughout his career, he has helped many clients grow their wealth through selecting great property investments and managing their portfolios actively.
Stuart has also coached many top million dollar producing agents from different real estate agencies in Singapore.
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