You’re talking to a person first, customer second
How often do you get exasperated with a customer? They just don’t seem to understand what you are on about. They don’t GET the situation that faces them. They’re not unintelligent people but they seem to have recently taken a sound thrashing with the stupid stick. But who’s the real fool?
In most industries, but in service industries like estate agency especially, it is too easy to forget that we are dealing with people; not customers. Yes they may be customers as well, but, they are people with needs, fears and expectations first and foremost.
In estate agency, we are dealing with people who are making one of the largest emotional commitments in life; often due to another life-changing change in personal circumstances – job, divorce, death, pregnancy etc. It is a hard fact that the stresses and emotions involved can cause mood changes and depression so it’s hardly surprising that the business of buying or selling a property is an emotionally charged minefield; for them and us.
In earlier blogs, I have often stressed the need to ask questions, find out information and to listen more than you talk and to manage expectations and they are all key to making your job easier and, more importantly, your customers experience a positive one.
In estate agency, I often find we play many roles apart from salesperson and often, chief of these is that of a counsellor. By asking the right questions, finding out WHY someone is moving, WHY they need to be in quickly, WHY they have a certain aversion to an area (in one case I know of, the customer’s very unpleasant ex in-laws lived around the corner). Crack the ‘why’ and everything else is plain sailing.
It’s only once you have found out someone’s motivation for moving and the reasons behind and surrounding it that you can really begin to offer a truly helpful and personal service and understand just why this apparently otherwise intelligent person has taken temporary leave of their senses…..It’s quite possible that due to the stress of everything going on in their lives at the moment; they really have. Be nice 😉
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About Chris Wood: Chris is an estate agent with over 25 years of property experience. His business, PDQ Estates Ltd is based in Penzance and Helston, West Cornwall. He has worked with all sizes and types of businesses from single office independents to the management team and board of RBS and Tesco. A former President Elect of the NAEA and board member of NFoPP until he resigned in 2009, Chris has always championed the highest professional standards for estate agents in the UK. No stranger to the media, he has appeared on various programs including BBC, News 24, ITV, independent and BBC radio and is a regular contributor to trade journals, local and national Newspapers. Chris is on Klout LinkedIn Ecademy Facebook and Twitter Married to Amanda, he lives in Penzance with their children who are slowly flying the nest, his two dogs and his elderly Uncle. In his spare time; Chris likes to keep fit and is a long-standing member of the Territorial Army. In 2010 he mobilised for a tour of duty in Afghanistan with 1 Rifles as part of 3 Commando Brigade.