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Persuading Your Commercial Real Estate Clients and Prospects to Do Business With You

By Jim Gillespie | September 22, 2009

The keys to persuading your clients and prospects to do business with you are subtle. Because if they ever perceive that you’re trying to persuade them, your attempt to do this is likely to backfire on you…because no one wants to work with a salesperson who they feel is trying to manipulate them. And it’s these blatant attempts at manipulation that end-up giving salespeople a bad reputation.

In short, the more your clients and prospects trust you, the more easily you’ll be able to persuade them. Because these people all need your guidance, and when they know they can trust you they’ll relax more and let you guide them all the way through their next real estate transaction.

And there’s no more important time for building the effective foundation for persuasion than in the very beginning of your relationship with someone. Because it’s this first impression and their early impressions that have people get a feeling of whether or not they can trust you, and whether or not they want to do business with you.

With this in mind, here are three important questions to be asking yourself to determine whether or not you’re doing your best to lay the proper foundation for doing more business with your clients and prospects:

1) Are you well-dressed…at least to the level of the top commercial brokers in your marketplace?

Because if you’re not, I can almost guarantee that it’s costing you money. First impressions are extremely important, and if your prospects are getting better first impressions from your competitors than they are from you, you’re going to be losing business to your competitors.

This may sound like a simple subject that you’ve probably heard about before, but it’s an extremely important one. How you look, act, and sound to people creates a feeling within them about whether or not they’ll want to do business with you. So you want to make sure you’re dressed in a manner that will have your people have an even better impression of you than they do of your competitors.

And as long as we’re talking about creating good first impressions, when I first began my full-time brokerage career right out of college back in 1980, I was driving a high-performance Ford Mustang that I absolutely loved. But as much as I loved that car, I couldn’t continue driving it in my brokerage business and pretend that it wasn’t hurting my success, and one of my first prospects was direct enough to point this out to me. So I bought a more conservative luxury car, a Cadillac Seville, but still continued to drive my Mustang every waking moment when I wasn’t working.

You have to keep in mind that your clients and prospects are going to be making one of the most important financial decisions of their lives in their next real estate transaction, so you want the clothes that you wear and the car that you drive to reflect that you’re someone who has the success and experience to expertly guide them along the way in this next transaction. I think most of us, if we were to interview an investment expert for the first time and saw that they were driving a small, inexpensive economy car, we might wonder if they really had the level of financial success to guide us to where we wanted to be ourselves financially. So keep in mind that your commercial real estate prospects could easily be thinking like this, too.

2) Do you come across as being a true expert at what you do in commercial real estate brokerage?

Dressing the part and driving the right car are one thing, but you need to also be congruent with the image you’re creating and be able to talk intelligently about what’s happening in your marketplace. And you need to do it with a presentation style that’s engaging to your people, too.

WARNING: Avoid using jargon terms that you’ve learned in commercial real estate brokerage. Any terms like BOV, BPO, PTR, LTV, COLA, and C-Suite. And if you don’t know what some of these terms I’ve just mentioned mean, you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about here. When brokers throw out jargon terms like those, they make their prospects feel like they should already know what those terms mean. And when the prospect doesn’t know what those terms mean they feel stupid…and the last thing you want to have happen when trying to build a relationship with someone, is to have them feel stupid whenever they’re around you.

3) Do you convey to your clients and prospects that what you stand for is serving their own best interests at all times, far above and beyond the importance of you earning a commission?

Because if you don’t convey this your clients and prospects will most likely end up working with one of your competitors instead of you. And they’ll never tell you that it was because they didn’t trust you either. There are a lot of commercial brokers out there who think that they’re so very smooth with their presentation style, and that their clients and prospects will never know that they’re willing to bend corners when it comes to them getting paid a commission.

Don’t be one of them.

The people you’re doing business with have gotten to where they are in life because they’re smart, and along with that intelligence usually comes a well-developed sense of intuition.

The crazy thing about this business is that the more that you take care of your people and the more they get that you’re about serving their own best interests, the more they’ll want to work with you, and the more they’ll refer you to other people they know that you can work with, too.

I mean, wouldn’t you want to work with a salesperson who made you feel that way? And wouldn’t you probably be loyal to them and refer other people to work with them, too?

So when you create the feeling of trust within people, they’re more likely to relax and let you guide them more easily through their next commercial real estate transaction. And that’s one of the most effective forms of persuasion that any salesperson could ever want to achieve.


If you want to learn more about persuading your clients and prospects, my next Million Dollar Commercial Real Estate Agent Inner Circle Teleconference call is titled "Mastering Your Power Persuasion Skills". And in terms of my expertise in this arena, the title of my 210-page dissertation for my Ph.D. degree was "Utilizing Rapport, NLP, and the Hypnotic Language Patterns of Milton H. Erickson in Commercial/Industrial Real Estate Sales and Leasing". If you’d like to learn how to more effectively persuade your commercial real estate clients and prospects to move forward and take action with you, and learn how to more effectively overcome all their objections, click here for more information on this teleconference.

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