All closes are not created equal. Top producers realize every homeowner has specific needs and every situation demands its own close. While you may have found a close that works better for you than others, it shouldn't deter you from using a variety of closes depending on the situation. By learning the 22 trial closes, you'll stand a better chance of getting more listings. Knowing how to close many different ways will enhance your success.
When a homeowner delays listing, you use benefits to move him towards a signature. Then, ask again with a different close. Constantly use different closes throughout the presentation at each listing signal. Most agents fail to get a listing because they don't ask for it. They give the homeowner the facts and figures and wait for the homeowner to say, "This is terrific, I'll take it."
If you want the listing, you have to ask for it. You have to ask for it many different times and in many different ways during the presentation. Since homeowners are afraid of making a decision, they will say "no" several times before they say "yes." This is true even if they want it and are almost ready to list. If you don't ask several times with many different trial closes, you may stop selling and leave just as the homeowner was getting ready to list.
Tension at the time of the close is natural. The agent fears rejection; the homeowner fears making the wrong decision. Using different trial closes helps the homeowner get past this moment of tension and gets him closer to a listing decision. Therefore, you shouldn't stop after just one "no," nor should you fail to use a trial close just because of tension between you and the homeowner.
Soft trial closes can be used early in the presentation. These closes are not pushy. They don't ask for a decision; they merely ask for an opinion. If the homeowner gives a positive answer to a soft trial close, you can then go to a stronger close asking for a decision. If they give a negative answer to a trial close, you go back to questioning and reselling benefits to encourage them to want to list and make it easy to close.
Here are 22 different closes and trial closes to help you ask for the listing. Use different trial closes throughout your presentation.
1. The Commitment Close
This close helps ward off the "I'll think about it" objection by obligating the homeowner to make a decision on the spot. Use this close when you are talking to a homeowner you feel will use the excuse he has to think about it. At the beginning of the appointment, you say:
All I ask is for you to look at what we have to offer, and tell me if it applies to you.
As you go through the presentation, make sure to write down the various comments of the homeowner. If the homeowner later says that he'll think about it, you can respond with a review of an earlier homeowner statement. You said, concerning selling your home, in point 4
2. The "Hot Button" Close
Warm up your homeowner by pushing their "hot buttons." Emphasize those benefits you know are the most important to them. Homeowners make 80% of their listing decisions on only 20% of the benefits. So hit their "hot button" over and over to get them "warm" enough to close.
For example, the homeowner agrees with the uselessness of open houses... so you must repeat it over and over with a few stories of past client examples of successful sales without using open houses.
3. The power of suggestion close
Help your homeowner visualize using your services. Speak to them as though they already have listed, and tie in a "hot button" benefit. Remember enthusiasm is contagious. You should talk as though they already listed and sold their home through you. Use the word "when" not "if."
When you sell your home, we will take a picture of us standing together in your front yard... just like these happy clients!
4. The "Yes, Yes" close
Ask "yes" questions, so when you close the homeowner is already in the habit of saying "yes." Each time they say "yes," they are closer to listing. Also, it becomes hypnotic. Eventually, "yes" comes automatically. Look at the following questions, and think about how natural it would be for the homeowner to answer with a "yes" to each one:
Do you want a quick sale?
Do you want top dollar?
Would you like to sell your home within 30 days?
May I show you some information?
5. The "Just Suppose" Close
In this trial close, you have the homeowner "just suppose" the objection didn't exist. You then ask if he would list. This tactic also helps you uncover and tackle hidden objections.
Homeowner: Your commission is too high.
Agent: Is commission your only concern?
Agent: Just suppose you felt our commission was fair, would you list then?
What this does is expose the truth commission is not really the problem. All the objection is about is the fear of saying yes. By eliminating the fear, or postponing it, you move closer to the listing.
6. The Sharp Angle Close
The sharp angle close uses the homeowner's questions and comments to help you get a commitment to list. Instead of immediately assuring your homeowner you can meet all of their wants and needs, ask if they'll list with you if you can.
Use this opportunity to try a trial close by asking the homeowner to commit to listing if you can do what he wants. Then, give him what he wants. Never say you can do something extra for the homeowner without a commitment he will list if he gets what he asks for. Without the commitment, he will say "great" when you say you can do what he wants. Then, he will say, "Okay. Let me think about it."
Homeowner: I want a lower commission.
Agent: If I could get you a lower commission, would you list right now?
7. The Switch Place Close
When all else fails, ask your homeowner to tell you what he would do to sell the home. You might get a quick lesson not only on how to sell this person but also on how to sell more effectively to your other prospects. Use this close when you can't figure out why the homeowner won't list:
Mary, would you put yourself in my shoes? If you were selling to someone, and you didn't know why he wasn't buying, what would you do?
If you get an evasive answer, ask: Is it the price (me, service, etc.)?
Then, ask: What would have to happen for you to use our services?
8. The puppy dog close
This close gets its name from the pet store closing technique of letting prospects hold the animal they like, so they can't resist buying it. This close lets your homeowner see for themselves their need for your service. Make sure your homeowner holds, tastes, feels, wears and tries out your service. Once they have experienced using it, they want it more and it will be easier to get them to list.
Example: Let the homeowner go through your MLS book (or computer listing database/print out) and decide the price point on the home. I did this all the time. I handed the homeowner the book and said:
"Here is your competition. They all have priced their home at $99,900. As you can see, there are pages of them! At what price would you price your home so it would stand out and not get lost in this book/computer listing?"
What this did was to establish my professionalism with the homeowner. Not one homeowner ever answered the question but rather said. "I'll leave that up to you." That's the best yes an agent can ever get!!!
9. The summary close
To use the summary close, simply reiterate the homeowner's needs and wants, and show how your service satisfies them. You sum up what the homeowner has told you about what he wants, and give him his own reasons back for listing. No one can disagree with his or her own reasons.
From what you told me, you want an agent with experience, honest, and doesn't waste your time with useless activities such as open houses. Our company offers this and more! Don't you agree?
10. The physical action close
The situation arises where you have to call the office to check on the possibility of accomplishing something the homeowner has asked if you can do. While on the phone, talk as though the homeowner has already listed. If the homeowner doesn't stop you, she has listed.
Homeowner: I am happy so far but I have one question. What about this listing period? I find 180 days a little long.
Agent: Let me call the office and see if I can lower that. (During the call to the office, ask: Can we give Mrs. Homeowner a smaller listing period?)
When you get off the phone, tell the homeowner how lucky she was to have gotten the lower period. And show her on the listing form the shorter period. If she doesn't stop you, she's listed her house.
11. The hurry up close
This close implies it's to the homeowner's advantage to list now rather than wait until later.
Homeowner: Maybe I should wait.
Agent: You may want to list now. The reason is there are few homes in your price range in this neighborhood on the market today. This means buyers have less choices and the chances of getting your price are better. But if you wait, from my experience there will be more homes and then you'll have to be more competitive.
12. The testimonial close
To build credibility and reassure your homeowner he's making a wise decision, tell him about the success other people have had with your service. In this close, the agent uses letters or stories from other clients who have used the service and have received fantastic results. This eliminates listing anxiety.
Homeowner: I'm not sure.
Agent: These clients used our services, and they have had fabulous results. So will you!
This close is good for an insecure homeowner afraid of making a decision. The fact others have already tried your service and are happy will relieve his anxiety.
13. The qualifying close
This close determines whether or not the person you are talking to is able to make the necessary decision.
If I can sell your home at the price you want, are you in a position to make a listing decision today?
14. The readiness close
When you can't tell if you're getting through to a poker-faced homeowner, use the readiness close to gauge your homeowner's interest. This close checks the homeowner's "listing temperature."
You can also find out if you are on the right path with your presentation or need to change course. The great thing about this close is it doesn't end your presentation. Instead, it tells you whether you should keep selling or go for a stronger close.
Does this make sense to you?
How do you feel about this so far?
Is this what you wanted?
Is this an improvement for you?
15. The invitational close
If your homeowner is waiting for an engraved invitation to list, give them one. Make a persuasive argument for your service, including the reasons why your homeowner should list. Then, invite them to do it. This close is powerful because it is direct. It is especially useful with the no-nonsense homeowner. They appreciate its directness.
Why don't you give us a try?
Why don't you take it?
Would you like to get started right away?
16. The ultimatum close
This close is best used when the homeowner is putting you off and hasn't made a decision. He hasn't said "yes" or "no." He just continually procrastinates. This close should be used only when you have decided the homeowner isn't worth pursuing any further. You want to force a decision. In this close the agent fills out a listing agreement, looks at the homeowner, and says:
Either it's a good idea, or it isn't.
At this point, you give the homeowner the agreement, and ask them to sign it.
17. The reverse close
The reverse close turns a homeowner's reasons for not listing into reasons for listing. When your homeowner voices an objection, think of a benefit to that objection.
Homeowner: Your commission is too high.
Agent: That's the very reason you should use us. Because of our successful track record, which proves our quality, we list and sell more homes than most other companies. Being with the best is better than with the rest!
18. The take away close
People want things more if they feel they may not be able to get them. If you suggest what you are offering may not be available it can be just enough to help the homeowner want to make the decision now.
I only take a few new listings per month. I do not want to over extend myself and hurt my clients. Right now I have the time for another client. I sure would love to work with you! I think we would work together well. Wouldn't you agree!
19. The Scratch Pad Close
This is a very powerful close. Bring out three or four agreements early in the presentation. Mention you'll be using them as scratch paper. You are doing this because if you get a strong listing signal later, you'll already have a filled-in agreement with their name and address on it. You can just slide it across the table for the homeowner to sign.
20. The Ben Franklin close
Since few agents can offer homeowners the perfect service, it's often difficult to overcome every one of their objections. When an unanswered objection stands between you and a listing, make a list of benefits versus objections. Just make sure the benefits far outweigh the objections.
Present them to your homeowner, and say, "As you can see, the reasons for listing outnumber the reasons against."
This is a good close to use when the homeowner has some objections you cannot overcome. Simply list all the pros and cons of the situation.
21. The "You'll Thank Me Later" close
Use this close when you know you're pressuring the homeowner.
Homeowner: (Irritated) I'm not ready to list.
Agent: I know I'm pressuring you. But you'll thank me after you've sold your home and found the one you want. You'll feel great!
22. The story close
Close to 80% of the listing decision is based on emotions. The part of the brain involved with emotions is the right hemisphere, and this side deals well with stories and pictures. In order to appeal to the emotional side of the brain (the listing side), build your presentation around stories of others who have hesitated before making a decision but were overjoyed with the results when they did decide to act. You can even use stories that are not business-related.
Randy Roussie has been a real estate trainer since 1987 and has helped thousands of agents succeed in real estate sales! Randy is the author of many real estate training programs and his company has developed many unique products and services for agents.
You can visit Randy's web site at http://www.randyroussie.com