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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Oct. 11, 201810:28 AM EST

Why you’re not closing more deals

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Jacksonville real estate trainer, author John Palumbo shares sales advice at workshop.
by: Jay Schlichter Staff Writer

When it comes to making sales, tiny adjustments to your habits can produce huge payoffs, said John Palumbo, a national real estate trainer and author on the psychology of influence and persuasion.

Palumbo was the guest speaker Sept. 14 at a Closing Skills Workshop sponsored by the Northeast Florida Builders Association’s Sales and Marketing Council. About 120 people attended the presentation at the University of North Florida’s University Center.

Palumbo, of Jacksonville, is the author of nine books. Over the years, he has received the National Association of Home Builders’ Sales Manager of the Year Award and The Million Dollar Circle Lifetime Award. 

Even experienced agents sometimes are perplexed by what it was they did to close a sale, Palumbo said. But the reasons may not be that all that elusive. 

Making small adjustments in the words we use, old habits and scripts and how we read people and their degree of commitment, can make a big difference,  he said.  

Palumbo’s presentation, “7 Tiny Reasons You’re Not Closing More Sales,” is based on the premise that a tiny reason is “a small but destructive habit that is quietly deterring your next sale from closing.”

Here are Palumbo’s seven reasons why real estate agents aren’t closing more sales:

• Treating all lookers the same. “The reality is, not everyone is a buyer,” Palumbo said. Distinguish between the tire-kickers and the serious clients. Devote more time to the clients who have done their research, gotten a pre-approval letter and ask detailed questions. 

• Offering incentives and specials. Incentives won’t close a deal unless the client is about to reach that conclusion on his or her own. That will be revealed by the questions they ask. “Let pressure build organically,” Palumbo said. “You don’t have to push, push, push.”

• Don’t apologize for anything. Show that you can solve problems, not apologize for them. Instead of saying “I’m sorry” about an issue, respond with “Let me take care of that,” or “Don’t worry, I’ll handle it.” 

• Falling into the time trap.Customers in today’s market are moving fast. Get ahead of the curve and address their pain points head-on. If you want to become a top producer, accept the after-hours calls and texts. Create a mind-set that work can be your play and play can be your work. 

• Giving just the tour. Activate the customers’ curiosity, not their passive interest. Gauge the clients’ level of involvement by the depth of their questions. Step up your presentation by actively interpreting what your customer is saying. 

• Using the wrong word. Words like “if” show uncertainty and can make a difference in how the customer sees you and the home. Say “when” you by this home, not if you buy this home.  

• Sticking only to plan A. Loosen up a bit and be more authentic and spontaneous. “Customers don’t want scripted, planned aggression,” Palumbo said. “Forget the script. Over planning kills the magic.”

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