In baseball, the time between pitches seems like hours. In fact, in less than one minute the pitcher and catcher have scanned the field, mentally reviewed their notes on the current hitter, and the potential next hitter, communicated on a strategy to approach all these elements, and had little if any verbal exchange! That’s quite impressive if you think about it. Heck that’s more effort than most brokers put into their pitches for listings.
There are two keys to winning listings — convincing the prospect to list their property and then convincing them to list with you. Both of these processes require different skills and a different set of pitches. But before you start pitching, you have to make a very important decision: whether or not you want to list the property. Yes, most brokers quickly confirm they do, but several ultimately wish they didn’t.
You win listings by sharing with/convincing the client it is better to list than not to list and that it is better to list with you than with anyone else. While it’s possible to convince prospects of your skillset through rhetoric, it’s a lot easier to do it when you can point to specific listings that you have successfully closed. However, before you rush to list a property, determine if it is one that you can put in your “win” column. If it is not clear, you should have a strategy as to why you would take an assignment when you feel you very well may fail. Then determine how your pitch will need to be adjusted.
Some prospects understand the value of giving you a listing, but many do not. If you are dealing with a prospect that doesn’t get it, you will need to share some of the benefits of listing with them. There are the very basic ones:
- When you list with me, I can execute a full marketing program consisting of….
- I can tap into a database of ___ buyers sand ___ cooperating brokers.
- As your representative, I will negotiate on your behalf, rather than on the buyer’s behalf.
There are more articulate ways to express the value of representation, but that is beyond the scope of this article.
Once you have shared with the seller the benefits of listing their property, you then need to convince him or her to list with you instead of another competing broker. To win the business, ask yourself this question: What can I offer that the seller needs that no other broker can and how can I demonstrate this? Figuring out your unique value proposition and then articulating it is the key to successfully beating your competition to gain the prospect’s business.
New, quality listings are great for your business. Not only do they lead to paychecks, but they also increase your profile in the market and give you a shot at additional buy-side business both on the listing and by selling other properties to buyers that don’t buy the listed one. With this in mind, it is well worth the effort to both refine and practice your skills at pitching the value of the exclusive and your unique client focused value proposition. Unlike baseball, striking out when you pitch is not a statistic you should be proud of.