April 17, 2013
All GREAT salespeople know the importance of SETTING EXPECTATIONS
I am in the real estate industry, which seems to be changing daily. In fact, most industries are constantly adjusting to changes. These changes could be a new boss, different pricing, new laws, new standards, new goals. Generally speaking, people do not like change. They tend to resist it, argue about it or simply ignore it. What inevitably happens is the person resisting the change, sees a decrease in sales production, and loss of clientele. The person ALWAYS blames "the change".
How do you overcome change and embrace it? First, understand the reason for the change. Usually this is a necessity due to legal issues, loss of income, or consumer protection. Quite often it simply is necessary and there is a good reason behind the change. Once you understand the "why's", it is easier to embrace. Second, manage the expectations of those affected by the change. Namely, your clients.
I have been in sales management for many years in which I have heard countless times associates say things like:
- "My buyers are really upset. They just don't get it. I don't think they will move forward on the sale".
- "I just lost a deal because of this new change. It is so stupid. No one understands it anyway."
- "My clients are so unreasonable. It has to be their way or the highway."
- "I can't believe my clients called and said they changed their minds - out of the blue."
- "These people get so frazzled so easily. They are so difficult to deal with."
Every time I asked the associate to tell me about the details of the relationship, I always find the agent did not properly set the expectations for the process. The buyers did not understand what was going to happen. The agent did not explain the process, what to expect and how to react. The fault for the deal not closing was the sales associate's.
Bottom Line: Managing expectations as a result of change, is a lot easier than dealing with than to deal with transactions that fall through and unhappy customers. Make it a point to talk about what will happen and what to expect through the sales process. Have them ask questions and answer those questions directly. You will find it will directly impact your revenue.