Chronic uncertainty: What’s ailing your homebuyers?

Myers Barnes ne home salesA good salesperson works with what they’ve got. They know how to maneuver around the obstacles or leap right over them. A great salesperson can learn the cause of a customer’s uncertainty—not merely guessing, but uncovering the real reasons why homebuyers aren’t buying. Do you know what’s ailing your homebuyers? Better yet, can you treat chronic uncertainty?

Know the symptoms of chronic buyer uncertainty

A buyer walks into a model home. No, this is not the start to a joke, but the first sign that a buyer is, indeed, serious about buying a home. If they weren’t, they’d stay at home and just wander from one builder’s website to another, browsing floor plans and communities to their heart’s content.

But they’re standing (or sitting) in front of you, they WANT to be sold, to be cured of their woeful hesitation. It’s like a patient in a doctor’s office. Cure my condition. Relieve me of my doubts. Make the pain of uncertainty go away!

Before you can succeed, you need to go through the exploratory questioning, also known as discovery. 

The mistake that I see with many new home sales professionals is that they stop too short on the questioning. They take the buyer’s answers at face value. Remember the joke that goes like this:

“Doctor, it hurts when I do this.”

The doctor replies, “Then don’t do that.”

In the new home sales world, here’s the equivalent of that conversation:

Your buyer says, “I’m not quite ready to buy yet.”

The salesperson asks, “When will you be ready?” and then makes a note to follow-up.

Neither the doctor nor the salesperson treated the real problem for the person who came to them for help. The customer probably doesn’t give up. Like the patient seeking a second opinion, that buyer goes looking for someone who can cure his hesitation. Guess who earns their trust and loyalty? The one who delivers the solution.

It’s not “When” but “Why”

Instead of accepting that the buyer isn’t ready, the great salesperson asks more questions to find out why homebuyers aren’t buying.

“What’s getting in the way of you buying this home that you love?” 

Asking “When” feeds into the uncertainty. They’ll give you a vague date, because they’re uncertain. “When” is the wrong question. You need to know “Why”—why they’re hesitating, why they’ve come all the way to your model home if they’re not ready to buy.

If it’s price, you find out the boundaries. Don’t throw out a discount immediately, but learn what’s comfortable for the buyer and then work to meet that challenge.

If it’s the interest rate, you remind them that they can always refinance, but waiting only means that the price of the home will go up. Cure the misconception by explaining the cost of uncertainty in no uncertain terms!

If the home itself is causing chronic buyer uncertainty, then you find out what’s causing the doubt. And you present better options.

I know, this seems like New Home Sales 101. But if that were true, why are salespeople underperforming and not converting more prospects who walk into their model home? Probably because their sales training hasn’t actually trained them for these objections.

How to diagnose chronic buyer uncertainty

Every potential buyer tells you some of the things they want in a home and neighborhood. It’s then up to you to learn more. 

“It hurts when I do this.” 

“But what about when you do this? No? Then it’s not a bone issue but a nerve issue.”

“You don’t like the kitchen, is it the size, the features, the layout? What do you need and why?” You’re not questioning their preferences, but attempting to understand them. You’re doing your job.

To know what your homebuyer really wants, you must spend quality time learning everything you can. From whether or not they have kids or pets to the things they do in their spare time, from who does the cooking to how they plan to use the garage. 

Ask. Observe. Diagnose. Don’t rely solely on their words but study their actions. At what point in the conversation do they seem uncomfortable? That’s a symptom you need to address.

Get to know them. Study their character. Learn how they think. Then you will understand how to respond to their needs, their homebuying objections, their spoken and unspoken desires as a homebuyer. You will also know when to quit selling, either because they’re ready to buy or because they don’t want to…yet.

When you fully understand what’s causing chronic buyer uncertainty, you’ll understand why homebuyers aren’t buying, and you successfully cure the condition. Work with your team with new home sales training that centers on what’s ailing your homebuyers and how to cure their chronic uncertainty. Need help with effective sales training? I’m here.

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