December 20, 2008

Newby Tuesday Tip – Listen First, Talk Second

by Irene Nash

basset with big ears

Have you ever gone on a long-awaited appointment to a professional, like a doctor or counselor, and ended up disappointed because after all that build-up you felt like that person hadn’t really listened to you?

Well, I remember once as a pretty new agent I was being interviewed by prospective buyers who made me nervous, and almost as soon as they sat down I started in on my big buyer agent spiel – complete with workbook, etc.

I could feel them disconnecting from me with every passing minute, but I didn’t know what to do.  It was like being some kind of horrible Broadway tap dancer who couldn’t stop tapping.  (Except there was no big cane to reach out and pluck me off the stage.)

Here’s what I learned from that:

When people sit down with you for the first time, they’re full of hopes, concerns, fears and dreams.  They’ve been thinking about these things for a while, and they’re dying to share them with someone who can really help them.  So LET them!

A great way to start out a meeting is to:

  • First explain that you know they have questions about specific topics (name them) and that you’ll be covering those.  Mention anything else they can expect during the meeting.
  • Then, ask them to first give you an idea of where they’re at.  Even if they gave you information over the phone, you can repeat some of it to let them know you remember it, but explain that you want to make sure you’re clear on things.

You’ll be amazed at how the floodgates open (so take notes!)  You learn a lot of information that lets you help them better as clients, and at the same time you show them that you know how to tune in to their needs.

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