The way you greet your clients, both potential and existing, has more influence on making sales than you might suspect.
Stop for a moment and think back to a time you walked out of a store without buying anything because of the way the staff reacted to you – or didn’t. Or remember a time when you called tech support, and when you finally got past the options on their phone system, the the rep sounded annoyed or bored. The greeting is all important and can have a huge impact on your business.
Here are 6 tips that will help you make a good first impression:
The first step to effectively greeting existing or potential clients is to stop what you’re doing and smile at them. A nice, simple smile where you meet their eyes and acknowledge their presence.
You’ve now signaled to them not only that you know they are there, but you’re willing to focus on their needs and wants.
If you’re on the phone, it gets a bit more difficult. Start by looking at the person or people who have arrived so they know you are aware of them. You may even want to nod your head or hold up your finger to let them know you’ll be with them as soon as possible. Then get off the phone as soon as you gracefully can. If it’s going to take longer then a minute or two, put your call on hold long enough to actually speak to your client and tell them when you’ll be available.
Just as a recording like “Your call is very important to us” smacks of insincerity, so will any greeting that sounds canned or over practiced. The people who walk through your door or up to you at a meeting, want to be treated like people, not like standard cogs in a wheel. Introducing yourself with your name and a handshake and a smile can work with the stranger. Saying simply “Hello Bill, thanks for being here” is more than enough. Keep this in mind if you ever train someone how to answer the phone.
Once names have been exchanged, it’s helpful to have a bit of small talk ready. Small talk eases the transition from greeting to business. The weather is a great topic because we’re all interested in it. If you know the person, asking after a family member might be in order.
You can facilitate that transition to business with a question or two. It might be as simple as “how can I help you?” Or, it might actually be a closing question, like “are you ready to sign?”
Careful listening, without any preconceived notion about what they may say, is a skill worth learning. Active rain lists 13 tips for active listening aimed right at real estate agents. It’s worth reviewing.
Make it a practice to greet every person you meet, client or not, with warmth and a willingness to be of service. After all, being of service is the basis of your real estate business.
Do you have questions about greetings? Ask here and we’ll get an answer for you.
Before Anne Wayman became a writer she sold real estate in Southern California. She worked with her father who learned the business from his father. Not surprisingly she learned a few things along the way. Since then, she has been freelance writing for over 30 years – she is a grandmother, loves cats and writes about a wide variety of topics including real estate.