An accomplished communications professional and performance coach, Rik Rushton has worked with agencies around Australia, as well as big-name institutions like: Emirates, Holden, Cricket Australia, Collingwood Football Club and many more.
Recently on The Better Agent Series podcast, Rik shared his biggest tips to help real estate agents become master communicators and connect better with their clients.
Here are three powerful pieces of advice you can put into practice straight away.
1. Tune into your client’s frequency
The best agents know a one-size-fits-all approach won’t help you win a client’s business, nor does assuming you know what they want.
“I learnt pretty early on that selling wasn’t ‘telling’, it was asking. If you ask the right questions, you’ll get enough answers. The answers the prospect gives you, tell you what you should be saying next if you're really listening,” explains Rik.
“Too often we try to be the answer to their prayers, before we find out what they are praying for.”
As you’re asking your client questions, it’s not necessarily what they are saying, but how they are saying it, which will help you adjust your pitch in kind.
“People like to deal with people who are just like them, or someone they aspire to be. So let's get into their frequency and broadcast accordingly,” says Rik.
Ultimately, we are hardwired to seek out likeminded people. If you can become more like the people that are enquiring, they will feel more aligned to you and your chances of success increase significantly.
“If we are walking, talking, breathing and thinking through their eyes, heart and mind, a funny thing happens. We connect deeper, quicker, faster.”
2. Brevity is king
Learning how to be concise is a skill all agents should master. Not only does it help with winning over impatient personality types, it drives you to identify your key selling points.
“Just think, if I’m in an elevator with somebody, and I've just got a few short seconds to see if I can make an impact – what would I focus on? Hit the high marks, fire off all the bullets as quick as you can,” says Rik.
This works particularly well when you’re dealing with what Rik refers to as a ‘red’ personality type - someone that talks very quick, who is very clear on what they want and needs fast results.
“You ask a red person how they’re going; they’ll go ‘good’ and won’t ask you how you are – because they don’t care. It’s irrelevant to their needs, they just want to get going,” he says.
“They will be influenced by someone who says: ‘Look this normally takes an hour. I’ve drilled it down into the best 25 mins I can and I'll still leave five minutes for you to ask me anything at the end of it. You can rest assured I’ll have the solution for the challenge you’ve got and I'll take care of the whole thing.’”
3. Customise your voicemail every day
One of Rik’s great communication tips involves a device that’s never far from an agent’s hands – their phone.
He suggests recording a new voicemail every day to help streamline your interactions with clients and responses to enquiries. This allows you to carve out time in your day and set people’s expectations for when you’ll return their call.
“A lot of an agent's day is wasted, chasing people and returning voicemails. Let’s add some structure to it,” says Rik.
“If you go to leave me a message, you’ll hear ‘Hi, thanks for calling me on [this day], sorry I missed your call directly. I am returning calls after lunch time, between 2.30pm and 4.30pm. Please leave your name and best contact number, and I'll be sure to be back in touch.’”
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