Building Better Customer/Client Relationships—Are you listening?

LisnekPaul Lisnek, attorney and real estate broker and WGN/CCN commentator gave REALTORS® attending the Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) convention a primer course on key advanced communication and awareness skills to help them be better business professionals. “This is a tough market,” he lead off telling the approximately 600 REALTORS® gathered at the IAR opening session at the Westin Lombard. “What worked in the last 5-10 years selling real estate is not working today. The world has changed.” Lisnek added people are more educated. “They are watching HGTV, House Hunters Chicago, Design on a Dime and they are coming to you thinking they are experts,” he says.

A successful negotiation means everybody wins right? As a successful REALTOR®, Lisnek urged the audience to think about the psychological nature of negotiation, what people are saying in terms of both their verbal and nonverbal communication. “Buyers and sellers are more empowered today. People do research, homework and sometimes their own pseudo-research (watching televsion, prime-time shows that aim to educate today’s buyers and sellers),” he says.  Think about your approach to negotiation. Is it a problem to be resolved or a battle to be won, he asks? How do you approach it in the most cooperative way and what does your approach say about you? Think about things you do daily and what that says about you as a service provider. When do you get back to your clients when they call you? How important is that to you? Different things drives certain people. What drives you is really at the core of understanding your needs and the needs and values of others.

There is power in language of non-words. Body language plays a very powerful part of the decision making of individuals today.  55% of your message is body language, 38% in para-language (how you say it–tone, pitch), 7% in actual words (verbal language).  Women are better than men at hearing nonwords. 93% of the message is beyond your actual actual words. Therefore, it is important to begin as a service professional to understand the body language processes that affect the decision-making of your clients.

What affects your credibility? 50% is your competency–and 50% is your character and trust (keeping your word when you say you are going to do what you say you are going to do) and composure and likeability factor. People have to perceive you are in control and have confidence in you as a professional. Let’s say you are new in the business but eager to be a successful agent. If you you aren’t a seasoned broker you have to act as though you are one.  Be Likeable, Lisnek advises. People will accomplish more who are likeable. Don’t be difficult to work with.

People typically learn in different ways: visually; auditory and kinesthetic—it’s the way you make sense out of everything. Listen to the words, gestures, eye contact, eye movement, adjust your message based on your analysis and pay attention and watch reactions.

  • Visual people like to see things drawn out. Everyday we have visual movies of things going through our minds daily. Some of those movies are bigger and brighter are more vibrant and colorful. If something does not matter to to you, visuals will be blank, still, flat and colorless. Something you may say may trigger a visual response in minds of someone just by pure mention of a word. A visual person might say, “I don’t see what you are saying.” They need a visual drawn out image to understand.
  • Auditory people like to talk and frequently have long answers to questions. Auditory response might be: “I hear what you are saying, that sounds great, I’m all ears.” Therefore that person made need a more thorough discussion on what information you are providing to them in order for them to make a decision. They frequently keep a rhythm with their body language.
  • A kinesthetic person learns from doing or being part of them. They keep their gestures close to their body.  A smaller pecentage of people are actually kinesthetic learners.

People like people who like themselves. Are you smiling and happy and showing that everyday. How are you showing that in your words and phrases? Be aware of critical phrases your clients are saying he suggests. Match and mirror your client’s  phrases. Build your unconscious competence. Learn more at: www.paulmlisnek.com

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