Often when I ask a Broker to role play and try to recruit me as an agent, I find the following fundamental challenges in their approach:
- They do not have an agenda.
- They do not ask any (or enough) questions.
- They try to tell me too much, which is overwhelming.
- They focus on price primarily.
- If they discuss value, it is not focused on what I want or how it benefits me.
Let's tackle the first observation.
Put Prospects at Ease with an Agenda
It is important when meeting someone for an appointment that you create an environment that puts your prospect at ease. An agenda does this. Here is what I recommend the agenda look like:
- About You
- About Us
- Your Value Proposition
- Unanswered Questions
- Mutual Decision
In articulating the agenda I would suggest it sounds like the following:
Example - How to Articulate Your Agenda
"Hi <Name>, before we start let me share with you the agenda I created for this meeting. First, I would like to ask a lot of questions to learn more about you, what makes you tick and what is important to you. I will take a lot of notes. It is important for me to understand what your goals are and what you may be looking for.
I would then like to tell you about us. What is important to us and the culture we want to maintain in our company. I will then share our value proposition that addresses the areas you may be looking for. Following this, we can deal with any unanswered questions and come to a mutual decision. The mutual decision is generally one of three things:
I like you. You love everything we have to offer. You'd like to join us.
You want to take home the info. provided and consider your options.
The worst-case scenario is that we will part as friends.
Does this sound ok to you?"
Start with learning a lot about what is important to your prospect. Assemble a list of 20+ questions to ask when discussing what is important to them. This is not the time to sell, it is the time to listen. I would recommend taking notes to demonstrate that you are listening and genuinely interested.
It is also an opportunity to pinpoint the items of value you offer that will resonate most with them. Everyone is different and what is very important to you may not be as important to them. Do not short cut the process by making assumptions.
There is nothing more powerful then someone speaking clearly and succinctly about their organization and what their Mission Statement is.
At The Profit Centre our Mission Statement is: "Changing lives by guiding people to Profitability. When you are profitable you have the freedom to be more generous with your time and your heart."
Being a powerful leader with clarity of vision and having a culture of success is very attractive. We can all talk about our values, however when we practice them on a regular basis it becomes easy to articulate. Consider focusing on 5 key values:
Honesty. Speaks for itself, however it begs to be addressed that you have zero tolerance for deceit.
Integrity. If you say you are going to do something, follow through with it.
Professionalism. Follow and adhere to the rules of engagement.
Financial Responsibility. You are responsible for your bills and invoices. You are not a bank.
Productivity. Just because you are honest, have integrity, are professional and financially responsible does not give you a pass on producing results. I would address and articulate your minimum production standards as one of your core values. This is a dicey area. If you truly have minimum production standards, what are they?
In the future should any of these values be compromised, you can always revert back to the interview at the beginning of the hiring process.
Too many brokerages lack management and accountability in maintaining productivity. The main reason for the lack of accountability points to the #1 purpose of a business - To be Profitable. If you are not profitable you cannot fulfill the second purpose of a business which is Leverage. If you are not leveraged, you will not find the time to promote accountability. Without accountability we lose control of our intention to manage a company that maintains the value of productivity. Without profit or a profitable model, we cannot serve to the level of our intentions.
YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION
Just like a good listing agent, a recruiter needs a powerful presentation with effective collateral material to support the value proposition being offered. Every great listing agent has a powerful presence and presentation to substantiate the commissions they charge. The method I advocate in this process is called "Quantifying your Points of Distinction."
"It takes skill to sell value. Anybody can sell price."
If you just rattle off all the benefits of your brand and office randomly, prospects can become overwhelmed. The notes you take in the "About You" phase should allow you to zero in on the items of value you offer that relates to them. For example, let’s say that during the "About You" discussion he/she mentioned the importance of building a business and having an annual plan. Are you armed with collateral material to effectively articulate your related method, approach, and how it will benefit them?
Notice how we lead them to giving us the answer? In the last question above, let’s say the recruit answers "5 transactions". If the average gross commission income is $5,000 per end, then we effectively just quantified our value in just this one area at $25,000. If this is done effectively, then how can anyone argue about price? If they want to haggle, then it means only 1 of 2 things:
- You didn't do a good job on communicating your value proposition.
- They do not appreciate your value.
We cannot be all things to all people. You need to be clear about who you want and cater to that target specifically.
The mutual decision goes both ways. Some people want it all. However, it is important to realize that we should not be a Cadillac at Chevy prices. We are not all the same. Do not compete with everyone else even if they share the same brand. If you do not offer anything unique or substantial, you will always have to sell price.