Turn Objections into Meetings

Objections can arise for many reasons. Not every prospect needs what you’re offering, or more likely, you're not effectively demonstrating the value they need to see. Most objections are really nothing more than a request for more information, or a need to have a greater confidence in you or your organization. Skilled salespeople welcome objections because they are often buying signals in disguise.

Whether you're on the phone or are meeting in person, here are a few tips to handle these situations.

  1. Understand the real objection.

    Property owners, landlords and tenants will often provide vague reasons as to why they don’t need your servicebut those are not the real reasons they’re objecting. Your job is to listen, understand and use gentle, open-ended questions to uncover their real reservation.

  2. Be prepared.

    Try to anticipate objections before they arise. Know your property and market, and have testimonials, marketing materials and your track record at the ready. The potential client can have all the opinions or thoughts in the world, but it’s harder to argue with empirical evidence.

  3. Have the right people in the room.

    If you’re talking to a decision influencer and not the the decision maker, you could be creating an unnecessary blockade. They may have objections that don’t matter to the decision maker.

    If you can’t get all the right people in the room or on the phone at first, make sure you control the narrative to eliminate certain objections. Pay close attention to the questions and responses so you can prepare for the time do you have the right people in the room.

  4. Don't take objections personally, and don't become adversarial.

    Don’t win the argument at the expense of the deal. Some objections may be legitimate, others may be negotiating tools. Either way, it’s not a personal attack on you. Don’t take it as such.

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So how does this play out in real world objections you’ll likely hear about regularly? Let’s have a look at some common objections and ways to keep the conversation going.

Common objections

Objections are highly situational, but they are not unique. You just need to know what they are and how to address them. Here are some common objections you will likely hear:

  • We do or will represent ourselves
  • I already have offers
  • Your fees are too high
  • I can negotiate a better price
  • You'll favor properties represented by your colleagues
  • Your list price is too low
  • I'm not ready to sell or look
  • I'm going to wait for the market
  • My property requires maintenance/upgrades
  • I don't want to do another broker wrong
  • I don't want to disclose certain details
  • The decision is not mine to make

Understanding and addressing such objections is how successful brokers convert more prospects to clients. This is done by listening, and being perceived as listening. You can demonstrate your attention with empathy and sincerity. Put yourself in their shoes, and then proceed to ask open-ended questions.

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Here are few ways you can demonstrate understanding and turn the objection around.

Investment Sales

  • Objection: I already have several offers.
    • Start with affirmation. You know the ups and downs of getting something sold, so acknowledging the feat puts you at their level.
    • Ask, "What was the property appraised at?" Follow up with, "Where have the offers come in at?"
    • Ask, "How many appraisals have you received?" Follow up by explaining the benefits of obtaining several opinions of value.
    • Ask, "Were you given a list of comparables used to determine the value of their property?" Follow up with an example demonstrating the depth of your database and how it's used to determine property value.
    • Ask, "What type of marketing did you use?" Explain the power of a vigorous marketing effort and provide an example similar to their scenario.
    • Educate your prospect on the reach of you and your company's network of investors and brokers and how it's been used to receive higher yields for similar properties.

Landlord Representation

  • Objection: We have in-house landlord services that takes care of that.
    • Start with understanding their position and affirm their successes in doing so.
    • Let them know that you have the ability to work alongside their internal team.
    • Explain similar situations where you helped large and small companies reduce operating expenses.
    • Ask, "Does your team know the value of their current tenants and spaces in achieving maximum cash flow?" Explain how you have and can analyze operating expenses, rents and tenants to achieve maximum cash-flow. Provide examples how you've done this in the past.
    • Ask, "How has your team branded the property, and are they aware of its place in the local submarket?" Explain how your services have been leveraged to give similar properties a unique place in the market that resulted in better exposure and better tenants.
    • Ask, "How does your team attract new tenants?" Follow up with explaining your extensive network and access to top tenants that would be valuable assets to their property.

Tenant Representation

  • Objection: I can represent myself.
    • Start with affirmation. You don't want to insult their intelligence.
    • Ask, "How do you go about finding the spaces that meet your criteria?" Follow up with the depth of your reach in the commercial real estate market. Provide examples on how past clients in the same position found much greater success when they leveraged your search capabilities.
    • Ask, "How are you informing yourself on the city codes and regulations that may affect your ability to operate your business?" Explain how certain regulations have affected other clients and caused them to spend a lot of unnecessary time on a space that was never going to work in the first place, or will require costly work to bring up to code for their intended use.
    • Ask, "How do you ensure you are paying fair market rent?" Follow up with your extensive market knowledge, citing lease comp statistics that demonstrate the peaks and valleys of market rents and how you have been able to negotiate "valley" rents for your clients.
    • Ask, "How have you handled right of first refusal, termination options and renewal options in past leases?" Proceed to educate your prospect on common oversights and their impact on a company's ability to change or renew their lease.

Regardless of the position you are in, make sure you have your finger on the pulse of the market to respond to any objections with facts and figures that can help you and your prospect achieve your shared interest. And make sure they know that it's a shared interest. They need to understand that your goals are their goals, and that hiring an agent of your caliber is not a cost but an investment.

Lastly, catalog everything in Apto. Tracking your conversations through Apto's activities feature is the best way to capture every important thought, comment or agreement—all of which can be leveraged at critical junctures throughout the deal.