Discovery is typically the part of the sales process that we as sales people love to talk our prospect to death. Well, it’s time to change your approach. This should be a very natural conversational piece. It should flow as though you are talking to a friend or relative about something. There is no reason to panic at this point; you know your product, and you know the price range the prospect needs to stay in, so this is the easy part.
Many times the salesperson interrupts the prospect and attempts to anticipate what they are going to ask. Solomon covers this in The Book of Proverbs when he says; “He who answereth a matter before he hears it is not wise”. See Proverbs 18:13
As you ask questions in an effort to gain useful knowledge, be patient, it is not a race to the finish. Allow your clients to give you all the information that you need. Let them lob that softball up too you so that you can smack it out of the park. By interrupting them prematurely, you will swing and miss most often.
This is also the time in which your personal opinions do not matter. Remember the home is not for you; it is for them. Your favorite floor plan should be that of which is needed for that prospect that is standing in front of you. It’s really that simple.
Once you determine the needs of your prospect and you have the home that most likely fits them in your head, share it with them. Show them how the kitchen has that bar top that overlooks the family room, or how the master bedroom is located separate from the kid’s rooms. This is your moment to point out the unique features that this home offers and tie them back to the buying motives, needs, and “Hot Buttons” that your prospect has told you about.
Here are some good discovery questions:
1) Do you have any particular needs or requirements for your new home?
A. With this question, you can determine if they need a mother-in-law suite, or handicap access, or any other item. This is a great question because in most cases it will allow the prospect to talk to you and give you an insight into what they are looking for in a home.
B. From this question, you will have the opportunity to ask several piggyback questions to help you mentally gauge which home may fit them best. If they say they have to have a two-story home ask them why. Don’t assume anything. Every buyer has different wants and needs; take the guess work out of the equation and keep asking questions to discover what they want.
C. Sometimes people will say, “I’m not sure what we are looking for.” For this scenario, ask them how they like to use the home or where they spend most of their time. The purpose of this question is to allow your prospect to visualize themselves inside of their own home. It lets them make mental notes on what they do at home and they will relay this information to you more often then not.
2) What time frame would you like to move into your new home?
A. The reason for this is to establish a time-line for urgency. This will allow you to either gear a presentation around an already built home or a home that needs to be built from the ground up. The other benefit is that it allows the prospect to reveal other information, things like they won’t be moving here for two years or their company is relocating in six months. For those prospects that won’t be here for a year or longer, you will want to ask another follow-up.
B. Will you be purchasing your home in advance of moving here to lock into today’s prices and interest rates? If this answer is “yes”, continue with your presentation. If the answer is a firm “no”, then this is a good time to politely excuse yourself; remember the 80-20 rule.
Through proper discovery, and asking question like these, you again are separating yourself from the average real estate professional that does not ask discovery questions with the prospects best interest in mind. The vast majority of people just offer up what they have in hopes that the prospects will say, “Yah, that’s it, that’s what I want.” That may actually happen from time to time in a great market, but more often then not; it won’t. If you want to increase your sales, it’s time to stop throwing darts in hopes that something sticks.