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Question-Based Selling: The Dos and Don’ts of Asking Questions

June 9, 2014
From Loan Officer Lou King

From Loan Officer Lou King

How do you engage with clients to build a strong working relationship? The advice is all over the board… but one specific tip will help you get to the bottom of what clients want more quickly: asking questions.

Obvious, right? Yes… and no.  The idea of asking questions instead of doing all the talking is something most real estate professionals have learned to do. But no – many real estate professionals don’t ask questions with the right strategy, so they miss out on valuable information that a client would be willing to share. There is a right and wrong way to ask questions.

Wrong: Asking a question and jumping in when you get the initial answer.  Too many real estate professionals immediately pounce on the first answer they hear (that’s all they hear!) and charge ahead, drawing conclusions from introductory questions.

Right: Asking follow up questions.  Sometimes what a client wants in a new home is hidden behind further questions. They may want a ranch style home, but why? Do they want to be closer to the kids instead of on two floors? Are there health issues that make stairs difficult? Do they want to finish the basement, and therefore, want the largest footprint possible? You won’t know the true reasons behind choices unless you ask clarifying questions.

Wrong: Asking too many questions at the same time. In general, when you ask multiple questions all at once, a buyer can become overwhelmed and not truly answer any of them.

Right: Letting your clients’ responses lead you to the next logical question, vs. trying to get all of your questions answered in a single meeting.  You should have a plan that addresses what you want to learn, but don’t be so rigid that you miss out on other valuable information being shared.

Wrong: Asking broad, general questions that don’t get to the core of a client’s needs.  They also tend to be confusing to a buyer. If they don’t know what you’re asking, they can’t give you a good answer.

Right: Fine-tuning questions so they lead to specific answers. Use open-ended questions, assumptive questioning, and clarifying questions to drill down to the real issues.

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