Realtors and Loan Officers – asking amazing questions can help you get more clients, have smoother transactions, and close more deals

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Have you ever run into a sales professional – maybe even one of your realtor or loan officer peers – that talk a mile a minute, spouting so much information and banter that their client barely has a second to get a word in? Chances are they’re not the top-producing sales person in your office – or even anywhere close, right?

That’s because a sale occurs when you listen, not when you’re speaking. For that reason the Socratic Method – or open-ended questioning – is still the most effective sales technique. In fact, the old adage is that salespeople should be listening 80 percent of the time and talking only 20 percent of the time, and there is nothing worse than a salesperson that “takes the oxygen out of the room” and think they’re going to talk their prospect into committing.

But what questions should we be asking?

Luckily, there are plenty of in-depth and purposeful questions that can lead your prospect down the path to saying, “Yes.” Not only that, but your transactions will be smoother, more efficient, and you’ll end up with droves of appreciative and loyal clients. These may seem unfamiliar or even uncomfortable at first, but with a little scripting and some practice, you’ll be amazed at how asking the right questions transforms your sales.

Here are ten tips for Realtors and Loan Officers to ask amazing questions that will help you close the next sale:

1.         Hand them the microphone.
The best way to build rapport and establish trust with your client is by giving them an open forum from the get-go, allowing them to drop their barriers and converse openly. Start every sales presentation/meeting with open-ended questions that let them open up about whatever topic is must prevalent on their mind and you’ll find out a lot that reframes the rest of your conversation.

2.         Ask them about their overall goals.
Quite simply, what do they want? Allowing the prospect to talk about their short and long terms goals with the transaction, lifestyle goals and even big-picture dreams empowers you – the salesperson – to be an invaluable ally and trusted advisor as someone who can help them get there.

3.         Find out their pain points.
Now that you have huge red target of their goals to aim at, ask them candidly what’s stopping them – or at least slowing them down – from achieving that goals immediately and effortlessly. Is it time?  Money? Knowledge? Fear? This will probably offer a new perspective and some serous self-analysis by the client, and all of a sudden they’ll greatly appreciate your guidance leading them through the process. In other words, you are starting to look like someone who can help them get the keys to their kingdom!

4.         Qualify what it would mean if those problems were solved
Since we started by “zooming out” and going big picture, it’s time to start focusing in with our line of questions. What would it look like if they could overcome the obstacles that are keeping them from their goals and making things better? Remember that the value doesn’t just have to be in dollars, but can be time, comfort, safety, prestige, and even personal and family goals. Note that these answers very well might be emotive, personal, and subjective.

5.         Monetize/quantify those solutions.
If they could overcome those challenges and pain points, what would it be worth to them? Or, another way to frame this is to ask how much the status quo is costing them. If they made the decision to hold on to their current problems and challenges, what would that cost? These answers should be nuts and bolts and very specific.

6.         Ask permission and clarify.
At certain points throughout the conversation (I’m not even going to call it a sales presentation anymore!) it’s great to stop and check in with the client that you’re on the same page. A great way to do that is to recap or clarify the most important points of what they just said, and then ask permission to continue along the logical path of the conversation.

7.         Propose solutions.
Now that you know what they prospect really needs and the value those solutions would offer, it’s time to start assembling the puzzle pieces that you’ve put on the table. Make sure you do that together using more questions and the same conversational tone instead of falling victim to the impulse to start talking to them – not with them.

8.         Start broad and get specific.
Narrow down to three feasible and realistic solutions or outcomes with the scope of your services. Those will also be the best options, which you’ll find out by asking THEM questions about the pros and cons of each off those solutions.

9.         Ask for commitment.
Point blank, ask them what they want and when do they want to get started implementing plan to achieve that. This is the time you very succinctly and clearly ask for their business.

10.      Ask if there are anything preventive them from getting started
Even if they are enthusiastic and on board to sign on the dotted line immediately, pump the brakes with a couple questions that will make sure they CAN get started, even though they want to.

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