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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

To Know and Not to Do Is Not to Know

Written by Posted On Friday, 28 December 2018 05:30

My guess is that if If you have been in sales for more than 24 hours, you have already heard that you don’t have a prospect if they are not ready, willing and able to purchase a home. You have a suspect. 

The reason this is included in this series of ‘lessons’ is that too few sales agents seem understand how important each of the three qualifications is.

Obviously “able” means “can afford it and can prove it." It also means they can make the buying decision without third party approval. If they need someone else, say a parent, to approve their buying decision, there are in fact, not able to buy. This is the easiest of the three ‘musts” to determine. They either qualify for a home in the price range they can pay or they don’t.

What does “Ready” mean? This means they are motivated to make a decision to buy now. They are not looking for something to purchase in 6 months. They are ready now.

"Willing" means they are willing to make a purchase decision if they see what they want and can afford it. These prospects ask questions, have objections, and need your help. They are willing to spend time looking at homes, and may find some they like, but are not willing to make an offer because there is no urgency to make one This is the group that can afford the home, will spend weeks looking at homes, then decide to wait.  Just because they are approved for a mortgage does not mean they will buy.

These are important lessons, not just to know, but to understand how they apply. Here is how I learned them, then learned how to apply them.

Just out of college, I needed a job but I wanted one that would teach me how to sell. I knew I would need this skill somewhere along the line and I did not have the sales experience I needed. For 30 months I  Baby Butler, a safety feeding table and safety crib.

It did not take me long to learn what “not ready" meant.

My prospects were expectant first- time mothers who used a self-addressed stamped postcard to request a free Dr. Spock baby book. I set up an appointment to deliver the book and show a baby safety film. The film showed the danger of high chairs and the safety features of my products.

When I made an in-home presentation to a couple who could afford the product, needed baby furniture, but were not willing to purchase it from me, I learned what “willing’ meant. I also learned that of the three: ready, willing, and able, ‘willing’ was the one qualification I could control and that if the spouse was only in early pregnancy, they were not quite ‘ready’ to buy yet. 

The lesson: It’s easy to determine if they are financially able and if you are a good qualifier you can easily take their ‘ready’ temperature. But for them to be willing to make a buying decision today or soon, requires careful attention to the homes you show. Even then, urgency plays an important role. Maybe they are ready but are not ready to buy something they don't like. 

For those of you who quickly run out of 'saleable' inventory, I have a suggestion. Put your resistance aside, if its there, and show them a new construction home in the price range they are shopping. You will be surprised how many of your resale shoppers would prefer a new home and make adjustments to live in one, 

Next time you have a minute to look in the mirror,  ask yourself honestly how you are doing when it comes to understanding and applying the ready, willing and able conditions that so impact your commissions.

Then ask for the help you know you need. You will be glad you did. Rember, to know and not to do, is not to know.

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David Fletcher, NHCB

Lifetime Achiever David Fletcher spent an entire 30-year career working with homebuilders, builder developers, and real estate agents. Teams he recruited, trained and supervised for more than 70 communities, sold more than $3 billion.

He is the founder of New Home Co-Broker Academy, LLC, where more than 3000 Realtors have earned their New Home Co-Broker designation. Those earning the NHCB designation must complete the online course, How To Build A New Homes Niche and pass a 20-question multiple choice exam.
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