Handling Hesitation on a Listing Appointment
A Floyd Wickman Team blog by Mike Pallin
A “hesitation” is what the prospect says, for whatever reason, to put off making a decision in the moment.
You might call it a stall, or a condition, or an objection, or a question, or a concern, or an obstacle, or a procrastination. It’s not as important what you call it as it is what you do about it, and how and when you do it.
Handling a hesitation without pressure begins with an understanding that hesitation is nothing more or less than a prospect’s way of putting on the emotional brakes. Hesitations are not logical, they are emotional.
The bottom line is hesitation is normal, because most of us are hard-wired to be indecisive.
Let me give you an example you might relate to. You walk into a store with a purchase in mind. You have the money with you. You know what you want. In fact, you have wanted this thing for a very long time. It is not an impulse purchase, but a long-cherished desire. As you walk into the store, the sales clerk approaches and asks, “May I help you?” And how do you respond? “No, thanks, I’m just looking.”
This might be the single most important reason why retail stores are going out of business. People prefer shopping on the internet because no one is in their face pressuring them.
Hesitations may be the single most important reason why real estate salespeople leave the business. It can be very frustrating and demoralizing, thinking you have put on a great listing presentation; that you have built rapport, gained their confidence, wowed them with your marketing, agreed on a price, and in the end when you ask for the signature, to have them say something like one of the above common hesitations. Totally unexpected. Totally illogical. Huh? What? You can’t be serious!
At times like this, remember your Wickman training, and settle in. If you’ve showed them everything they need to see to be comfy making a decision; and they have told you everything you need to know, you deserve a decision. “Yes” is a decision. “No” is a decision. “Think it over” (and all of its’ brothers and sisters) is a decision not to decide. You are this close to a listing, so don’t blow it now.
What does Floyd teach us about handling hesitation? What you say is not as important as what you do. The attempt to handle the hesitation will get you further than the words. The words you use will be determined by you, them, the situation and what’s already been said. Use your own words, your own vocabulary, your own style. But respond with a psychologically sound process to help them change their feelings and come to a decision.
- CUSHION it.
- QUESTION it.
- ISOLATE it.
- HANDLE it.
First, make a statement that says you aren’t going to argue. Cushion it.
Then, get to the bottom of what they are feeling using empathetic questions and reflective listening. Question it.
Make sure you isolate their specific hesitation as the only thing preventing them from going ahead with you now. Isolate it.
Then, and only then, show them something (facts with emotional words) that allows them to change their feelings. Handle it.
Stay calm, cool and collected. Be patient. Follow this psychological process and let the end result take care of itself.
And finally, remember this Wickman Rule of Thumb when asking for a decision: “Build the habit of always asking for what you want three times (never any more, just never any less) and you will almost always get what you want without pushing people beyond repair.”