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How to Give Your Sales Skills a Refresher

Welcome to Mike Ferry TV … the week of June 15th. Gosh, it’s hard to believe that we have almost half the year gone. It’s been a crazy year, but a lot of you are doing your job the right way and that’s the name of the game.

I had a couple interesting requests this week. I had two Brokers, not related or didn’t know they were both requesting the same thing, that said to me that they use the Mike Ferry TV a lot of times to help train some of their newer licensees on how to sell Real Estate … and they said, “You know, at some point, could you give us a little refresher course … I guess is the best way to say it … on what they need to know to be successful?” And I thought about it. I thought … well, that makes sense … a refresher course never hurts anybody, and then I realized that a good portion of even the good agents sometime forget some of the basic fundamentals of what brought them to the levels of productivity that they’ve accomplished.

So, I thought, well … this would be kind of fun maybe since we’re almost at the halfway point of the year to do a little refresher … and I want to start by sharing this with you. I think it was 1992 or ’93, I’m not sure which year … it’s been a while … I was doing the Superstar Retreat in Palm Desert, California, and I think it was the second or third day. At lunch, one of the attendees, who was a good guy and a good friend, said, “Let’s have lunch.”

I said, “Okay.”

So, we sat down at lunch and we’re enjoying our time and he goes, “Boy, I really liked what you did today at this morning’s session.”

I said, “Well, thank you.”

He said, “You know, you really have created quite a very systematic step-by-step approach for listing and selling Real Estate.”

And I looked at him and I smiled and said, “Well, thank you, that’s very nice of you.”

He goes, “No. I mean, when did you put together the system?”

And I’m sitting there smiling and saying … I don’t even know what this fellow’s talking about because I had not been thinking about what I teach that way. So, we finish lunch and I said I’m going to run upstairs and freshen up. So, I went upstairs and I got out a scratchpad and I started writing down the Mike Ferry Sales System and what is involved in that Mike Ferry Sales System. In those days, the Sales System really revolved around six steps … and then I realized that anybody, you and I, that would take the time to master these six steps is probably going to have a pretty good career. No matter how far they want to go or how much production they want to have, it’s going to come across a little bit better, a little easier … probably a lot more professional.

So, first let me give you the six steps and then we’ll look at each one for a minute or so individually. Obviously, time management is step number one. Prospecting … okay … we hate to hear the word. Prospecting … lead generation … talking to people … having conversations … whatever you choose to call that … is number two. And then, of course, strong lead follow-up, which during this pandemic time has been a very important part of what we do … and we’ll talk about that. Next is strong prequalifying … making sure that your Buyer or Seller is fully prepared and can make a decision after you do your job presenting on a listing or presenting a house for them to buy. Strong presentation skills … being a professional presenter, which really is something that we all have to learn and it’s a tough one … and then handling objections.

So, what I used to do for many, many years … and I’m going to ask you to take your pen now and write the letter “P” as in Peter … “P” as in Paul … and “C” as in Charlie across the top of the paper. “P” as in Peter … “P” as in Paul … “C” as in Charlie. I used to start every seminar by putting those three letters on the board … and then I would say to the audience, “First ‘P’ is for Prospect … Peter … Paul is for Present … and ‘C,’ Charlie, is for Close. And then I would ask the audience, “Let’s do a vote … and everybody has to vote … which is the most important step of these three,” and 99% of the time, everybody would pick prospecting as the most important step, which I certainly understood.

So, I would ask the audience, “Why would you pick prospecting?”

“Well, how can you possibly present and close if you don’t have a good prospect?” Logical … makes sense. So, probably 80% would pick prospecting … 19.9% would pick the close.

I would say, “May I ask why?”

“Well, if you don’t hammer them down and get the signature and get the pen in their hand … if you don’t get the signature, you can’t do a deal.” Made sense.

Then I would say, “Okay. Let me point out to you the most important step of the three … and it was the center ‘P’ for Paul … or Presentation” at which they would always look at me. I said, “Well, think about it this way … you see a For Sale By Owner … you drive by … you don’t stop … why?”

99% of the time, if you’re honest … “We don’t stop because we don’t know what to say when we get up and knock on the door.” So, the lack of presentation skills keeps us from prospecting.

Then I said, “If you make a very compelling presentation, do people want to buy your product or service?”

To which they would say, “Of course.”

I said, “Therefore, the stronger we are in how we present to the needs of the Buyer and Seller, the faster they will sign a contract. So, therefore, the close is a natural ending … or dependent upon the strength of the presentation.”

Watch this example … informercials for years became a big, big thing on TV and I used to enjoy watching them because I was fascinated that in 25 … 28 minutes, they could present a product that probably nobody really had a great need for, build up the desire and then do a close to get you to buy it … and I never, ever, ever bought anything from an informercial … and some good friends of mine own a company called Guthy Renker Corporation and … you know … they have a great company. It’s huge … they’re one of the informercial kings in the industry and I would watch their informercials because they were so good at their presentation style.

One night, don’t ask me why, I woke up at like 2:00 in the morning and, you know, I’m awake, so I take the clicker, turn on the TV and there’s a couple infomercials. I didn’t think too much about it. About 4 days later, I get about four packages at the door. In my crazy haze of being half asleep, I bought four or five items that I didn’t even need. Why? Because the presentation.

So, what I want you to think about is the presentation skills could be the most important of the six steps with the last step being handling objections and closing. So, let’s take a quick look at each step. Time management … I’m just going to say a few words on each step … either we control our time or the world controls our time. Which way do you want it to be? I mean, do you want to have control of a schedule? Do you want to work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday … maybe half day Saturday? Are you willing to put little blocks? Block one for prospecting, block two for lead follow-up, block three for prequalifying, block four for presentations. Are you willing to go that far to help yourself become more productive? Because if you’re not controlling your schedule, the world around you is controlling your schedule.

I mean how often, in the office, have you been there for a couple of hours and never done anything productive? And you go, “What happened to the day?” And what happened was you were distracted by what is called “the great distractions that take place in every business, every day.” Either we control our schedule or the world does.

Prospecting … we talk about it all the time. Either you’re going to buy business through advertising, marketing, billboards … you know … bus benches, mail outs, etc. … buying it from Zillow … buying your leads … or you’re going to wait for them to find you by sitting in the office hoping the phone rings. Here’s the phone, “Hello? I’m there,” if somebody calls. Or holding open house … waiting for someone to walk in. Or third, we can go out and earn the business by talking to people. Which do you think is probably the most effective for profitability’s sake? And that would be earning business. We have to learn what to say in prospecting to engage people in a conversation so we can do our job.

Here’s the catch … everybody has the same leads. Nobody has a lead that somebody else doesn’t have. I mean, if your mother is talking about selling her home with you, she’s told other people … and other people have told other people … have told other people … that gets to a Real Estate Agent that knows your mother’s going to sell their home. So, therefore, if you’re not effective in lead follow-up, guess what? Your mother lists her home with the competition. Isn’t that a slap in the face?

Strong prequalifying … it’s what every profession does. You know, you go to the doctor and the first thing they’re going to do is take your temperature, take your pulse, take your blood pressure … it’s just standard procedure … and they do this only for one reason … to check on your health to make sure you’re okay. It’s part of the prequalifying. The pilot on the plane has a pre-flight checklist … they go through it with the copilot … and if they’re flying it by themselves, they have to yell it out loud and answer themselves. They want to make sure the plan can land safely.

Strong presentation skills … and here’s what I think we need to understand … the competition for presenting is getting better and better and stronger and stronger because less people are participating. Here we are … June 15th … there’s agents that are just waking up to the fact that the Real Estate market is moving forward. They’ve been asleep the whole time. That doesn’t even make sense to me. How can you be sleeping in a market that is dynamic? You’ve got Buyers and Sellers everywhere … we have to learn how to present in a professional manner.

Then, of course, handling objections and closing … and, of course, in handling objections, my Broker Pat McVay was a genius. “They all say the same thing, Mike … learn the answers.” There’s only seven … eight … nine objections they’re going to give. Learn the answers to each objection and then you have the confidence when they bring it up to close and get a contract signed.

Well, that system that we put together sometime in 1992 … ’93 … now is 21 steps in the Mike Ferry Sales System … and I invite you to go online. It’s all free … download the material … look at that stuff … decide what you have to learn. If you’re a new agent, prepare it by going through the scripts for each of the steps to support the step. If you’re an experienced vet, get back into role-playing … get back into accountability … get back in with your mastermind group. If you’re a superstar, you’re a superstar because you follow a system … whatever that system may be. Don’t stop.

I’m looking forward to the fact this is going to be a great summer for all of us. It’s going to be the kind of time we’ve been waiting for since, really, the 1st of March when this whole thing started. The pandemic is getting closer to an ending. The safety protocols that you all have are in play … are in place … are being used. Have a great week. See you next week.

Mike Ferry is the global leader in real estate coaching and training. Watch Mike each week as he discusses a variety of topics to help real estate agents and brokers. Grow your real estate business by improving your mindset, developing your skills and creating a plan of action to increase your production!

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