When we talk about brokers selling successfully, it’s 95% people knowledge, 5% product knowledge, says Clifton Warren, principal at Corporate Eye Consulting.
“If you don’t know the 5%, you can get help on that because there is technical knowledge all around you,” he says.
“But that 95% is crucial and is missed by a lot of people. That is the difference between someone just being an average performer and a top performer.”
There are a few effective ways to work on that 95%:
Be a genuine people person
The brokers that are best in action are genuine people persons, says Warren.
“They are very sincere and have the customer’s best interests at heart,” he says.
“When you take it from that point of view, it’s easy to have that balance between having a meaningful connection with them and getting down to business.”
When you see the top professionals excelling, they make it look easy, says Warren.
“They are just really being themselves, but their ultimate goal is to help their client and whatever is in the best interest of their client.”
Don’t force it
One common mistake brokers make is that they try to force a rapport which can come across as fake, says Warren.
“They think that they have to mimic somebody else they have seen in action, or they have this view of what a broker should be,” says Warren.
“If you’re more focused on closing a sale or getting a deal done, it doesn’t work. It’s going to shine through that you are in it for you and not for them.
"It’s all about the customer, that’s it.”
Adjust your approach to each customer
Using the same approach for each and every customer is another no-no for brokers, says Warren.
It’s all about recognising what the customer wants, and then providing it.
“If someone is leaning forward, making eye contact, speaking loudly, moving at a fast pace, I know I have to pick up the pace a little bit more. I just have to get straight to the point,” he adds.
“But if someone wants to be more chatty, has less eye contact and is more friendly, I know that I have to slow down and talk about myself, my family, maybe things like that before moving into business.
“It’s your responsibility to adjust to the customer, not the other way around.”
The risk of getting this wrong is you put the customer out of their comfort zone, Warren says.
“And then they won’t deal with you. People buy from people they trust and like.
“Don’t go in with any pre-conceived ideas. Wait for the evidence to come to you as far as their style and adjust to their style.”
Do your homework
It’s a good idea to do some background research so that you’re in the best possible position to help your customers, says Warren.
“The mistake I see a lot of brokers make is that they don’t do their homework before meeting someone, so they come underprepared and are trying to wing it,” he says.
“You can use LinkedIn, you can Google them, just so that you get some background information.”
How do you build relationships with clients? Share your thoughts below.