Tag Archives: Communication

Provide Extra Information To Add Credibility When Speaking To Customers

When your market is changing and possibly even decreasing in volume or sales value it is time to take stock of how you change your communication style when speaking to customers.

They will know if you are exaggerating or trying to gold plate or overstate the situation. Not only will your words seem to contradict what they know but your body language may betray you. The old saying that honesty is the best policy stands true in the changing market.

Firstly make sure that your research and information is up-to-date. Understand what various industry commentators foresee in the next six to12 months.   Then figure out how you can rephrase this and include examples in your marketplace to support or contradict it.  Provide extra information to add credibility when speaking to customers.   Specificity creates credibility.  So have specific examples on hand that are relevant to assure your customer that you are knowledgeable and credible.

Respond to questions with a point of view and a reason, summarising the point at the conclusion of the answer.  This more thorough and thoughtful answering of simple questions will further enhance your credibility.  You may even have to be ready to review the past present and future market outlook.  Having these prepared is a simple solution to being caught out and unable to answer the question.

People will see through bravado and exaggerated positivity. But if you speak knowledgeably about long and short term market trends your customers trust will increase.

5 Tips for Professional Business-Writing

Not everyone needs to be an English professor but one sure way to diminish your professionalism in the eyes of your staff, customers or prospects reading what you’ve written is poor business-writing basics. Communication is the single most critical element in engaging people. In an age of text-speak and consulting jargon, one sure way to stand out positively from the crowd and noise is clear, simple, and persuasive written communication skills.

I’ve had several books published, as well as being a regular columnist in industry media. I watch with amazement at professional proofers doing their job. Neither you nor I need to have that level of skill and precision, but we can all improve our results and lessen our regrets by following a few simple principles. I’m not calling them ‘rules’. The thing with English is that every time you have a rule, you soon find many exceptions. I before E anyone?

I met one trainee who ran a clothing boutique. They’d sent out a mailbox drop in their neighbourhood promoting their latest fashion arrivals. Their intention was to communicate that many of the shoes matched up nicely with many of the trousers on offer. They referred to this matching as, “These shoes are complimentary with these pants”. Unfortunately, what they meant was, “These shoes are complementary with these pants”. You see, one of those words means ‘matching’ but the other one means ‘free’.

  1. Write from the reader’s point of view

    Are you including information useful and relevant to the reader or just brain dumping to get it out of your head or make you look like an expert? They don’t have time to read everything and there is a lot of competition for their attention. How often are you using the words “you” and “your” compared to “me”, “my” and “I”?

  2. Ambiguity is the enemy

    I saw a billboard advertising ice cream that was, “97% fat-free and gluten-free”. Can a gluten-intolerant person eat that ice cream? It’s ambiguous. I saw a magazine cover, “Rachel Ray loves cooking her family and her dog”. How do her family and dog feel about this?

  3. If in doubt, leave it out

    If you’re not sure, how can you be sure they’re sure? If you can’t explain to me where and why you might use the word ‘whom’, then don’t use that word.

  4. Less is more

    Do I need to expand this? I hope not.

  5. Purposefulness

    What is the purpose of your document? Is it to sell, influence, or inform? Should that one email be three emails instead? Check all your ideas that you might include back against the over-riding purpose of the document. If it isn’t working for your purpose, it’s working against it. Leave it out or append it.

In jest, I often recommend having a13-year old around of slightly above average intelligence. They can test your writing for reader-centricity, clarity, efficiency and meaning. If you don’t have access to such a resource, have you ever run readability statistics over your documents? You can find this function in your word-processing apps usually in the same menu as spellchecker. Not everyone needs to write for a 13-year old, but the stats can give you a feel for the consistent level you should be writing for and when you’re off-track.

Not every document matters, but if it matters, it really matters. Use fresh eyes and have others check your writing and you reciprocate. If you have multiple people contributing to a single document such as a proposal, then make one person in charge of sorting consistency.

Better engagement via better communication leads to increased productivity and revenue. Let’s write right!

Real Estate Communication “The Secrets” of becoming a better listener and speaker in real estate

The Four Levels of Conversation

Level One: Small Talk

Small talk is sometimes but not always, superficial conversation about the weather, the traffic, current events, school drop off and the like. Some people think it is purposeless, but it isn’t. This is your chance to size up another person and decide whether you have something in common. You don’t know the other person and you aren’t expected to reveal anything personal about yourself.  It is about getting a “feel” for them, creating a connection and is usually part of our first impressions.

Used during: Networking, social events, visitors to an open home, school drop off/pickup, que at the café or supermarket, a first time meeting.

Level Two: Fact Disclosure

Should the small talk phase go well, we are ready to move onto the second level of communication with our conversational partner. It maybe straight after small talk, or the next occasion. This time we will reveal a few facts about ourselves to the other, such as our occupation, our hobbies, sales experience. Now that you are revealing a bit more about yourself you may find more you have in common. There is give and take in this conversation as you ask and answer questions with your conversational partner.

Used during: Networking meetings and events, serious viewers at open homes, auctions, coffee catch ups, the start of an listing presentation.

Level Three: Getting Specific; Viewpoints & Opinions 

Conversation(s) at this level starts to get personal and relvealing. You may even venture into areas as politics or religion (but be cautious). The general rule is “low and slow,” don’t reveal too much too soon. You maybe asked your opinion on the market outlook or interest rates, it’s important to choose your words carefully when expressing opinion over fact.

Used during:  Monday phone calls; Listing Presentations, sales negotiations, open home feedbacks

Level Four: Personal Feelings

This usually doesn’t come until you feel very comfortable with your conversational partner. The surest way to get here is to not reveal too much too soon. It usually takes a lot of conversations with someone you feel very comfortable with before you progress to level four.

Used during:  social situations, post-sale, personal relationships.

Being aware of these levels of conversation can help you judge how your relationship with a vendor or purchaser is moving forward.  By following their lead you will make them more comfortable.  You can switch levels and give them the information they need more quickly and therefore create rapport. A sales consultant that is “easy to talk too” is more likely to make a sale.