Posted by js-Indianapolis on September 11, 2003 at 01:32:38:
Here?s my script:
?Hi, I was calling about the house on 123 Main ST. What?s going on with that??
Dandy, isn?t it? I plan on selling a course for $200 some day around that gem. I?m being facetious, if you haven?t guessed.
The truth of the matter is that?s all you need to get started. Sure, in time, you will find out what they owe, and why they are selling, but there is no script to it. This is not an interrogation, it?s a conversation. Ask an open ended question, and then SHUT UP AND LISTEN. If you didn?t catch that, I?ll state it once again for emphasis. SHUT UP AND LISTEN.
You?re going to hear about their new baby, a recent divorce, the reverse osmosis drinking water system they put in to add $3000 in value to the house, and the skylight they have installed in the basement. Whatever. Let them talk. Be their buddy. When they?re telling you that they got $10,000 in builder upgrades and a play set and a white picket fence, they don?t want to hear, ?What do you owe??
I think you get the point. I?ll give you a couple other things I ask, most of which I?ve learned here and incorporate into just about every conversation.
?Wow, sounds like a really nice house. Why would you want to sell it?? Again, listen. Not just for the words but the tone. It?s all about their tone. If they?re rambling, stuttering and sounding like there?s more too it, there?s more too it. Possible foreclosure? Divorce? Who knows. But you?ve been listening, so you know they don?t want to talk about it right now, or not with you. That?s fine. Give it time, and they?ll warm up to you.
Another thing I do instead of just saying, ?How much ya owe?? I ask, ?So, how are you going to end up?? Sometimes they misunderstand, and give me a bunch more info about the situation. Maybe something like, ?Well, I?ll have to move to a smaller place, maybe an apartment for the time being.? Not what I was after, but good info nonetheless. I?ll take it. Usually, they?ll ask what I mean. I tell them, ?I mean, with the mortgage. Are you going to walk away with anything at closing? Just want to break even? are you going to have to pay to sell?? Somewhere along there they?ll tell you which it is. Again, it?s a listening thing, not a direct answer. If they are tiptoeing around the answer, there?s a reason. You need to uncover it.
I rarely will run into someone who asks why I need to know, or just says ?I?d rather not say.? VERY rarely. If that?s the case, chances are they?re not real motivated. However, I take it as a positive, so I can lead into, ?I buy houses two ways, cash or on terms.?. This just moves nicely into asking, ?What do you think about doing something on terms?? Always turn it around, ask a question, and LISTEN.
You know, as I write this I realize I?ve been saying about he same things to sellers, and they all ask about the same questions. I guess I do have a script. I used to run a telemarketing office. I?d write scripts for my employees to follow when asked questions. It?s really simple to answer anything, then ask a return question, and control a conversation this way. However, I could never teach them the really important part. That?s all the listening for the little clues in the person?s answers. The tone of their voice, their hesitation or lack thereof, the nervous rambling on about nothing, etc. It?s easy to teach someone how to talk. Listening is where it?s at though.
If you?re interested, I?d be willing to write a little script of answers I?ve got. I know this question gets asked a lot and it?s tough when you?re new. I can write what I say, and I?ll let everyone here judge if it?s any good. Won?t that be fun? It?s really simple though. It?s a question, followed by a vague answer like ?I buy cash or terms?, followed by another question back at them to stay in control. The conversation just gets progressively deeper, as they guide (or push) you there. Oh yeah, did I mention after that to SHUT UP AND LISTEN?!
Imagine that, from a guy this long winded.