Breakthrough!Getting a call from someone in your sphere of influence about a listing opportunity really gets the adrenaline pumping! An alumni from Bill’s college (he had graduated 22 years earlier than Bill) had called saying he was interviewing agents to list his house. The seller had agents booked at 10 AM and 11 AM this coming Saturday, and had asked Bill if he wanted a 9 AM or a 12 noon appointment?

Bill remembered the instructor in his last negotiation training class had discussed this situation. The instructor had said if he thought there was a reasonable chance he could talk the seller out of interviewing the other agents and hiring him right away, he would go first in the interview process. If however, he thought the seller would follow his process and conduct all the interviews, he would go last so that he could ask the seller what the other agents had offered and be in a position to offer something more competitive if he wanted to. Bill thought the latter choice made sense in this situation so he called the seller back and selected the 12 noon booking.

Bill had a first-class listing presentation put together from many different resources. It included comps with color charts and graphs, examples of past listings, past client testimonials, cross-agent testimonials (this was another pearl from the negotiation class he attended), an interview form to help find out what was really important to the seller (also from the negotiation class), and a Listing Agent Negotiation Workbook Bill had purchased from the negotiation training company. Most importantly, Bill had included NAR information about where buyers look for homes which was linked to his marketing plan to show the seller he could find the buyers who were looking for a home like the seller’s.

Bill showed up at 12 noon and after a tour and some small talk (which included some discussion about their alma mater to build a connection with the seller that other agents did not have), Bill launched into his interview with the seller. The interview was designed to find out many things about the seller, including his motivation, his past experience with agents, what he expected from his new agent, and more. Bill already knew from his research that the seller had been on the market for 18 months with two other agents and in his judgment the house should have been sold already. Inside he was angry that the seller had received such poor service from the other agents. Bill was a professional who took pride in his industry.

After the 15 minute interview, Bill could now focus on what the seller had told him during the interview. The seller had just been through 18 months of increasing stress and frustration with two other agents. But Bill showed the seller he was different right off the bat by interviewing and really listening to the seller. The “spotlight” started on the seller and stayed on the seller during the entire process (another negotiation technique he learned in the class). Bill also had some impressive tools the other agents did not have. His comparative analysis of the seller’s home was more thorough and professionally presented. His section on what resources the buyers use to identify homes to look at was something the seller had not seen before. And then Bill’s comprehensive marketing plan hit all the resources except TV and radio advertising. Bill could tell the seller was impressed. When Bill showed his seller the Listing Agent Negotiation Workbook Bill knew he had closed the deal! What an awesome feeling!

When Bill received his commission check of $9000 for the sale of this home, he calculated that he had achieved a return equal to 30 times his investment in the negotiation training class he took just a few weeks before. Now that was a smart investment! And he was sure there would be many more closings!

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