The sales, marketing, and advertising world is far different today than it was even 10 years ago. Between the near constant use of the internet, smart phones, video streaming services, social media ads, digital sales funnels—we are being inundated and constantly bombarded with advertising.
What does this mean for real estate sales people like you and me?
It means that consumers—especially younger consumers—are growing more and more sensitive to anything that comes off as being overtly “salesy”. It means that people are suspicious of the same old slogans, taglines, and sales scripts.
Think about this for a second. If you weren’t as savvy as you probably are at being able to differentiate between quality ads or sales tactics versus ones that are just looking for clicks and views with crappy, clickbait copy, how would you even get through your day? You would be clicking on every Facebook or YouTube ad that shows some guy walking through a garage full of fancy cars.
You would be endlessly reading blog posts with provocative titles that say the same stuff over and over without getting any value out of it. You would have so many free PDF downloads of sales scripts, how-to guides, and “industry secrets” that you would never have to buy a book or read a magazine again in your entire life.
In other words, even you are most likely a tough sell for marketers, advertisers, and salespeople today. Being around advertising and sales tactics nearly every single hour we’re awake means that most people are becoming less and less susceptible to the typical, outdated salesy tactics.
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What do these developments mean for real estate ISAs and agents who conduct a lot of their business and lead generation over the phone? It means the heavy handed sales tactics of the past are no longer viable. Because all of this fits together. Our hypersensitivity to good and bad ads bleeds over into hypersensitivity and aversion to overt sales methods.
In today’s world you are extremely lucky if a lead picks up the call if your number is not already in their phone. The prevalence of telemarketers and endless salesy calls has pushed people to answer their phones less and less when they see a number they don’t recognize. So if you are able to get someone on the phone, don’t ruin the opportunity by going after the “hard sell”.
The days of telling people what they need or who they need to work with or what they have to have are long gone. In the olden times the sales people typically had all the knowledge and all of the answers—far more than the consumer on the other end of the phone at least.
Nowadays, thinking you know more than the consumer can be a dangerous assumption to make. That’s because even though you probably do have more real estate knowledge than your prospects, they are probably better informed than 10 or 20 years ago. At the very least, they think they are informed or that they could easily become informed. Coming on strong, telling the lead what they need, why they need it, and how working with you is the only way they are going to get it, is not the right tactic to take anymore (if it even really ever was).
At Smart Inside Sales, we discuss the importance of having real conversations on your sales calls A LOT. And not to beat a dead horse, but the true remedy to outdated sales tactics, and the key to working with consumers in any industry today is building a relationship.
In ads this means offering content and freebies that actually bring real value to the people consuming them. With maintaining existing clients this means going the extra mile by sending out physical mailers, reaching out to them to genuinely see how they are doing, and just doing anything you can think of to stand out from the endless slew of digital insincerity. In real estate sales this means entering your calls to help the prospect, not just to make the sale.
Remember that the calls you are making are not about you or your team. They are about the person on the other end of the phone. That means the most important thing you can do is ask questions—find out what they need instead of telling them. Through your questions you’ll be able to understand their situation, motivation, and goals from their own perspective. That puts you in a much better position to offer help, guidance, and advice, which is what is going to get you the sale.
The world of sales and advertising is markedly different today. The problem is, instead of changing tactics to conform to what consumers want and are looking for, many marketers and salespeople are simply doubling down. Putting out more clickbait, shoving more useless content down people’s throats, and becoming even more aggressive and heavy handed in their calls and follow ups.
I think the answer lies somewhere else. I think the future of successful sales is in having real conversations, building actual relationships, and thinking of your prospects and clients as people you are able to help achieve their goals rather than just as sales.
What do you think?