People say, “I don’t like this apartment anymore.” or “Man, with six kids, this house isn’t big enough.” Maybe they say, “I need to entertain because of my job; I need a nicer place.” Or, “This neighborhood has gone down; I don’t feel my kids are safe anymore.” It may be any number of things – the amenities, the changes in the client’s lives, children moving out, a job transfer, or an elderly parent moving in.
I call this condition current dissatisfaction, and it has nothing to do with what the client is moving to. Rather, the current dissatisfaction focuses on what the home buyer is moving from. By the way, this concept applies to your sales strategies for all four quarters.
Whatever the reason for moving, the clients sense that something in their lives isn’t right, that their housing situation is no longer satisfying. By the time they arrive at your doorstep, you can be assured that every prospective client you meet is on a mission to improve the quality of his or her life. After all, if there is nothing wrong with their lives now – if everything is rainbows and unicorns – well, why make a move?
Now, just because your buyers have dissatisfaction doesn’t mean they will share it with you right away when they walk in the door. Often your initial questions will garner surface-level dissatisfaction. As sales professionals, we must ask questions, listen, and understand the factors motivating our clients to buy a home. Finding out this motivation requires deeper probing.
This concept represents a dividing line between average and great sales professionals. Most salespeople will, if only by accident, stumble on their prospect’s current dissatisfaction. But the key to leveraging that current dissatisfaction is understanding it on an emotional level.
This is a critically important principle to grasp: people don’t buy because of their dissatisfaction; they buy because of their emotional response to the dissatisfaction.
A prospect might say, my home is too small, but the real motivation will have to do with his or her frustration and living in a small home. In other words, how living in a small house is making them feel. That could be tied to many things: friction between kids, lack of privacy; annoyance during dinner preparation; even embarrassment and having people over. Notice that these real issues are all emotional, not logical.
To elicit these emotional responses to dissatisfaction, remember to always look for three “why’s” deep. Here’s what this dialogue might look like.
Salesperson: What has you thinking it’s time to move?
Client: The neighborhood has changed. >> why #1
Salesperson: How so? Tell me more about that.
Client: We use to know everyone on the block, and most have moved. >> why #2
Salesperson: It sounds like your neighborhood was a familiar place. What about the new faces in the neighborhood?
Client: Well, that’s just it. There are a lot of new faces in the neighborhood, including strange traffic at all hours. The police have been parked on our block more than I can ever remember, and we are concerned about the safety of our kids. >> why #3 >> the emotional WHY!
You see the surface-level dissatisfaction is the low-hanging fruit. We often make many assumptions based on surface-level dissatisfaction because it’s easy for our brains. We want to tell ourselves we already know the answers.
However, it’s not until we slow down and go three levels deep (or more) before we can get to the good stuff. This is the emotion behind the dissatisfaction. This is how your clients are feeling. When you’re clients understand that you know how they feel, they will trust you even more. They will engage with you on a deeper level because they’ll know you’re partnering with them to work on their mission.
Slowing down in discovery will speed up your sales process. Understanding Current Dissatisfaction on an emotional level will be one of the most critical skills you can master as a sales professional. There is no motivation stronger than the emotion behind your client’s dissatisfaction.