Ever listen to a pro agent converse with a client and think to yourself, “I pretty much say all that stuff too…Why are his numbers insane and mine are just so-so?”
Maybe it’s the smile? The suit? The neighborhood connections? Perhaps.
But what if he’s just using specific words and phrases that he knows are proven to produce favorable results? AND what if he also knows which seemingly innocent words and phrases to avoid at all costs?
Most successful real estate agents have a knack for small talk and a solid grasp on human nature, but research has opened a window into the mind of the buyer, prospect, and/or client.
It turns out, there are specific words that can help in sales, and — you guessed it — specific words that can hasten a deal's demise.
In other words (no pun intended):
Say this: ___ = sales increase,
Say that: ___ = sales crash and burn.
These amazingly simple, yet strategically important words can make a HUGE difference in your bottom line — research has proven it!
“Words That Sell and Phrases That Cost You”
The data science team at Gong Research Labs analyzed over 500,000 anonymized sales calls using conversation intelligence technology. Sales calls that included or excluded specific words and phrases saw correlating increases or decreases in successful sales.
Some surprisingly significant connections were revealed between sales that were successful from beginning to end and those that started out promising, but fizzled out before they had a chance to cross the finish line.
Chris Orlob, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Gong Research Labs says,
“Death, taxes, and pre-purchase anxiety are the only certain things in this world.”
If you’ve ever had to deal with an anxious client after they’ve submitted an offer, then you know firsthand how right he is.
It becomes an issue when those thoughts and worries circulate through your prospects’ minds, ultimately preventing them from making a move. Knowing the right words to say in this situation can help move them past their initial resistance can make a world of difference to your numbers.
Listed here are some of the most influential words and phrases you can use to help get your prospects off the fence and into the game!
Orlob states that “When risk-reversal language… is used generously by sales professionals, we’ve seen win-rates skyrocket on average 32%.”
What he’s referring to are the old classics:
Money Back Guarantee, At No Risk to You, Under No Obligation… and so on.
Obviously, in real estate, there are limitations on how those phrases can be used, but some companies have gotten creative.
Most Re/max teams offer a 24-hour listing cancellation guarantee. Doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but that little phrase can score big by cutting short the time a person usually spends overthinking and worrying as they set out on their real-estate journey. Once they get over that hump and set the ball in motion, you are in a great position to continue to guide them through a successful sales process.
Some agents pay to include a home warranty for all of their buyers. On the grand scale, it seems that in most cases this “perk” pays for itself. It generates more business for an agent, as prospects will often make choices based on how much risk is involved, and what protection they can rely on as a “safety net.”
Realty USA offers a 100% money back guarantee giving clients peace of mind, and a huge incentive to work with them. If they’re not satisfied with the home after they buy it, Realty USA will buy it back for 100% of what the purchaser paid.
Even though there are some restrictions, Merle Whitehead, President and CEO of RealtyUSA and Chairman of Howard Hanna New York understands the benefits of implementing risk-reversal strategy. He says,
“In this age of consumerism, everyone is trying to reduce risk in business transactions. Having a 100% Money Back Guarantee will be a real market differentiator, giving RealtyUSA and its customers a distinct advantage.”
It’s your personal choice as an agent what you may be willing, and/or able to work into your contract that helps soothe the “Risk-Beast” and win more listings, but the statistics speak for themselves: Risk Reversal language is a super savvy way to get more listings and bump up your sales.
Three Words to Get the Deal:
Chris Voss, author of Never Split the Difference, refers to it as the “F-word,” and claims it’s the single most powerful word in any negotiation.
Interestingly enough, although the most successful deal-closers absolutely do use this word more often than the average salesperson, stats reveal they use it sparingly throughout their conversations.
Put the power of this word to use when networking with new prospects, but don’t forget that a little goes a long way.
The power of this word is in the activation of the mental pictures it generates when you follow it up with enticing directives. When you use the word “imagine,” you’re preparing your prospects’ internal stage to come to life with the picture that your next words will paint. The power of imagination could have your clients actively pursuing the course that leads to the fulfillment of their dreams… which in this case, would be working with you, of course!
3. Their Name
When somebody knows your name, it leads to the subconscious assumption that they’re more likely to understand you. Really, it’s just human nature to seek connection. When we’ve found that, we become “invested,” and more inclined to do business with those folks we’ve connected with.
SO, now that you know three words to beef up your sales, it’s time to learn:
Three Phrases That Can Cost You
1. “We/I Provide…”
It’s great to let your prospects know that working with you would be a super smart choice, but data show that close rates dropped by a whopping 22% when the phrase we/I provide was used four or more times. The takeaway? People don’t like being “sold to.”
Avoid too many mentions of your services and guarantees.
Chris Orlob says, “The word “payment” almost hurts to listen to when you’re the one about to do the paying.”
In real estate, it’s somewhat difficult to avoid that term entirely, but consider using “monthly amount” as a stand in. As Orlob observed, “Amount” is an objective, neutral word, “Payment” is emotionally charged.”
3. “Your Company Name”
It’s true, in the end- people don’t really care about who’s paying your salary, or where your office is- they ultimately just want to know who can get the job done. Sure, if you’re lucky enough to work for a premier agency, you can mention that once or twice and it won’t affect your results. But “name dropping” more than 6 times can cause a 19% drop in your ability to close the deal. Instead of using your company's name, just share your understanding of buyer/seller problems, desired results, and value based observations.
Now that you’ve brushed up on your communication skills, consider tackling a FSBO takeover! With this book, which reveals 5 easy strategies to help you get those FSBO listings, you’ll learn how you can generate bigger pay-days, with less work.
FSBO’s represent hundreds of thousands of dollars of potential income…don’t overlook those opportunities!
Use the strategies listed in this book, and just imagine the success you’ll achieve (see what we did there!).
Joe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning property, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here!