A ‘prospect’ is someone who has not yet bought your services but who, if taken through the sales cycle step-by-step can be turned into a ‘client’. We all know people don’t like to be sold but they do like to buy! So remember when you are selling, put yourself in your prospects shoes and think about how you would like to be ‘sold to’.
The good news about a prospect having an objection is that they are actually engaged in conversation with you AND they want to know more! You may be the best home stager on the planet but the reality is you are always going to have to deal with objections. So let’s find out how you can do that.
In my previous life (not as a home stager) I was a Sales Manager for a billion dollar service company. I trained account reps and account managers how to turn a ‘prospect’ into a ‘client’. The selling system that I used then is the same one I use today and teach in my home staging course. Most times this ‘Typical Selling Cycle’ follows this exact pattern yet it can a miss a step or two. You may find that you need to go back and handle the prospect’s objections more than once.
Typical Selling Cycle:
- Prospecting – who might be interesting in purchasing your home staging services?
- Qualifying – how serious are they about staging and when?
- Consultation/Information Meeting – gather information and build rapport
- Offering Features & Benefits – what will you offer and how will it benefit your prospect?
- HANDLING OBJECTIONS – clarifying and understanding what exactly are they objecting to
- Trial Closing – getting the head nodding ‘yes, yes, yes’
- Closing the Sale – the client signs your contract and gives you $$$$$
One of the very best ways to handle home sellers and/or realtors objections is to anticipate them already. The most common objection for home sellers and realtors is about the cost. They often have a preconceived misconception that home staging is extremely expensive. Compared to the money that can be made from selling a property, home staging is a relatively small investment! Use both ‘open ended’ and ‘closed probes’ so you keep the conversation alive. A closed probe only requires a ‘yes or no’ answer but if you mix this up with open ended probes you will have more opportunity for conversation.
OBJECTION FROM A HOME SELLER: I don’t know if I can afford this?
YOUR RESPONSE: From my experience I know your home is one of the biggest investments in your life. Wouldn’t you be willing to invest a small percentage of your future profits to make the most possible money you can? )
For a few thousand dollars you stand to make many more thousands of dollars from selling quickly and no longer paying your monthly carrying costs. Is this something that might appeal to you? (this is a trial close – head nodding YES…)
Let me share with you some of the properties that I have recently staged similar to yours that have SOLD in less than average days on market and for top dollar…. (This is where you take out your portfolio and WOW them)
OBJECTION FROM A REALTOR: I understand home staging services are expensive?
YOUR RESPONSE: Expensive compared to having a property sit on the market?
You don’t have to pay for the staging services. In my experience, most realtors who pay my nominal consultation fee look really great in the eyes of their client. I can upsell my services once I meet the home seller, and they can pay for the staging. How does that sound?
Let me share with you some of my recent staging successes that are similar to what needs to be done to get this property market ready …(This is where you take out your portfolio and WOW them)
Most people have some kind of ‘money story’ where they continually say they cannot afford something, or that is too expensive. Interestingly enough it never is really about the money but some underlying fear around scarcity. So keep the conversation going by repeating what they are saying and asking them if what they have said is correct. Sometimes they may say one thing, but in actuality they mean something different.
You can always ask them questions like – What is in your budget? What would you be willing to pay? What will happen if the property does not sell in 1 month? 3 months? 6 months? Will you make a price reduction? Did you know that your first price reduction is far more than my home staging services are? And on and on it goes. Keep the conversation flowing and you just might find that the objection isn’t money at all but something else which may not even be valid!