Business Development Managers, it’s time to realise that it’s actually a good thing when prospects raise an objection. Instead of baulking or reacting, it’s time to embrace and face the objection and turn it on its head. In other words, don’t let objections control your overall performance.
As an experienced BDM, there are three main questions I often get asked by those whom I provide training to including: What was a common objection I came up against when speaking with a prospective landlord? How did I overcome the objection/what was my response? Did my fee structure often prompt objections?
The main objection I faced was on the topic of fees. I never allowed the fear of discussing fees hold me back from sharing why we were the best agency on the Fraser Coast.
If your prospective landlord raises an objection, that's a good sign. If they're voicing their concerns it means they're giving you the opportunity to provide a solution, rather than just nodding in silence throughout your presentation.
Explore The Objection
I find the first objections aren't usually the prospective landlord’s real concern. Many landlords don't want to admit that they don't have enough money to use your service, so they'll raise other objections instead. Before answering the objection, ask a series of questions, like: What has your past experience with real estate agents been like? Have you had trouble with property managers in the past? What has been your previous experience with this investment property?
These questions allow you to draw more information out of the prospective landlord.
Don’t Just Tune Them Out
When the prospect starts talking about the other agency and what they did or did not do, tune in! Listen intently. Sometimes the best clues come from listening to the prospects’ past experiences and concerns with another agency. It can help you understand what they really value when it comes to having their property properly managed, and thus give you the currency you need to then fill that void.
Let Them Be Heard
When you're 100 per cent confident the prospect is done talking, show them you understand by repeating it back to them. This shows you were listening and gives the prospective landlord a chance to clarify. It also demonstrates your ability to listen to them which builds trust.
Be The Answer
Once you have a clear understanding of the objection, it is time to answer it. When a prospective landlord raises an objection, they're generally expressing fear from past experiences. Your mission is to alleviate their concerns. If you have some great examples, such as a story from a current landlord or a few statistics make sure you present it.
Confirm, Confirm, Confirm
Many BDMs avoid asking certain questions for fear of sounding silly, but when you have come this far with the objection don’t miss the opportunity. Asking the landlord if you have answered their concern is the best way to confirm that the issue is sorted.
Once the objection is resolved, get the prospective landlord back on track. If you were part-way through your listing presentation when you stopped to address the objection, simply summarise what you talked about before, and move on. Or, if you've finished your listing presentation, check if the prospective landlord has any other questions, and then start closing the deal.
One of the best ways to improve your sales pitch and become more confident in overcoming objection is to practise your scripts. I have included a list of common objections BDMs often have to overcome on a daily basis.
Block out at least 30 minutes per week reading through the list and practising your responses so you’re armed and ready whenever you’re faced with a prospective landlord’s objection.
“(INSERT NAME), before I answer that question, would you mind if I asked, what have you been offered for that management fee? … From my experience we find that agents who are offering a discounted fee are often providing a discounted service…
“(INSERT NAME), in comparing our fees, you need to take into consideration that we don’t just look after your property. We are focused and dedicated to maximising your income and optimising your capital growth in all of our management processes. (INSERT NAME) did they highlight how they can reduce your risk when discussing their fee structures with you?”
“(INSERT NAME), another important consideration when choosing an agent is, they seemed quick to negotiate on their management fees to secure your business? … If they are open to discounting on their management fees, aren’t you concerned they may discount on the rent with a tenant to secure the new lease?”…
Remember to only use scripts as a guide. Focus on the questions and then develop your own natural responses. Don’t let fear hold you back; be proud of who you are and what you have to offer as an agency. Go for it!