Negotiation isn’t something you ad lib. It can be spontaneous if you’re skilled. Like an actor portraying a character, you have to assume the role and believe in your script. Negotiation is a mindset. Is your head in the right place to do it successfully? As a new home sales professional, follow this process to get ready to drive a negotiation to a successful outcome.
Step #1. Focus.
The first step in preparing to negotiate is recognizing where you need to focus. Clear away the doubts and distractions. Review the many benefits of the homes, community, and builder you’re representing. Use this knowledge to boost your confidence, which is essential to communicating value to your buyer.
Remind yourself to focus on being a good listener. A negotiation is a two-sided action. The more you ask questions and listen, the better you’ll be able to zoom in on the priorities that matter to your buyer.
Step #2. Establish a value curve.
Before heading into negotiation, get it clear in your mind what you have for bargaining chips. You never open with the offer of incentives, but should be aware of the options available to you. Remember that your goal is to satisfy your buyer while maintaining profitability for your builder. Understand the actual cost of every incentive so that you can calculate its impact on the bottom line profitability. For example, what does it actually cost the builder if you offer $5,000 in upgrades versus a $5,000 closing cost credit?
Hold on to concessions, offering them only as needed to move the negotiation along without caving in. When you concede too early, you establish a precedent for discounting. Your buyer thinks, “well, THAT was easy” and sees the opportunity to push for more.
Step #3. Prepare to manage objections.
As you learn to negotiate, managing objections is one of the must-have sales skills. These obstacles are predictable. If the price is too high, the buyer hasn’t yet been convinced of the home’s value. If they aren’t ready to buy, you need to determine the underlying reason. Often, it’s not that they’re not ready, but that they aren’t convinced.
While you’re preparing to negotiate, get it into your mind that dealing with objections is part of negotiating. Go through a list of objections you’ve had to face. Work on a response to each one. The best way to respond is not to provide a reason but to deliver a question.
“What is this home lacking for you?”
“Is this location and the school district a good place for you and your family?”
“I understand this is a big decision! Why do you feel you should wait? Is there more information I can provide for you?”
Use every objection as a negotiation tool. Climb each obstacle like a ladder. Make those steps even sturdier by practicing your response. You’ll scale the ladder with confidence and achieve success in negotiation.
Every new home sales professional is a negotiator. Some are better than others. The best ones understand that negotiation is a mindset and requires discipline, skill, and knowledge. If you need help with sales training, especially negotiation, reach out to me for help with.