If you’ve been in homebuilding (or real estate) sales for more than a week, you probably know all about the ‘critical’ path in selling, but what you may not know is that one of the most missed steps in selling is helping the buyers to compromise.
And when buying a home, compromise is critical. For example, there are some items – constraints – that the buyer says that they must have: location, price/budget, number of bedrooms, and so forth, yet often it can be quite challenging to find a home that has EVERYTHING the buyers want given those constraints. (Often, buyers come home shopping with a wish-list, don’t they?)
Getting buyers down to the final agreement and decision that the home you’ve identified is absolutely their best new home choice in their price point, one would work well for them, is all about helping the prospects trade off their less important wants (and needs) and compromise in order to own and enjoy the more important must haves.
Here’s how it plays out in your model home:
You’re showing a home that sounds just right for your prospects based on information you’ve gathered during the discovery process. During the home tour, you’ve asked and received confirmation from the prospects that the home meets their needs and requirements: in other words, they like what they see. They love the open concept of your home, and comment favorably about how the kitchen in your home is open to the family room. When showing them the owner’s suite, they comment favorably on the size of the room, and then they comment to each other that the master bath and room-sized closet are just what they need. As you are showing them the secondary bedrooms, the wife stops and states, “These bedrooms are too small.” (Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?)
You should immediately restate the buyer’s statement: “These bedrooms are too small?”
“Yes, our children have queen-sized beds and televisions in their rooms. These rooms are just too small.”
Here is where the compromise question comes into play:
“Mr. and Mrs. Prospect, when we were in the family areas of this home, you commented how spacious those areas are. You mentioned earlier that one of the reasons that you’re selling your current home is that your master bedroom and family room worked well when you first got married, but now that your family has grown, you would like both a larger bedroom for yourselves as well as a larger family area that would better accommodate all of you. I understand that the children’s bedrooms are not as large as you had hoped. Our architect designed this home based on the feedback we were getting from families just like yours: with all of the technology available to their children today, coupled with hectic family schedules centered on social and school activities, parents want their kids engaged with the family in the family areas of the home and not shut away in their bedrooms. We have other plans available that aren’t as spacious in the main living areas and owner’s suite as this home. Let me ask you this, if you had to choose either the larger family areas and owner’s suite over bigger children’s bedrooms, which would you choose?”
Anytime a customer has a like and a dislike, the salesperson can ask the compromise question. If you fail to ask the prospects the compromise question, then you’re letting them walk away to another salesperson who will. The compromise question is as fundamental to selling as learning your ABCs was to reading and writing.
So, just learn the phrase: if you had to choose “A” over “B”, which would you choose? Only when you have the answer to that question will you know how to proceed.
Deborah Fisher is a multi-award winning sales and marketer with nearly 30 years of homebuilding sales and marketing experience. A past speaker with the National Association of Home Builders, Deborah and team consult nationally with homebuilding and land development companies to help them refine their business strategies for greater excellence through all business cycles.