Communicating With Different Personality Types
How To Improve Communication Skills In Your Sales Strategy
Personality types play a major role in the real estate industry. Is there anything more frustrating to a real estate agent than watching a customer leave, then list or buy a house through a competitor?
In spite of your best efforts, the deal evaporates and you rarely know why. Some companies conduct 'lost customer' surveys to find out what happened. Invariably, the main reason cited was "I didn't like the agent or I didn't like the agent's attitude."
You and the prospect seemed to be speaking different languages.
Some warning signs of a personality conflict could include body language as well as conversational language.
They appear bored or not focused on your explanation of the benefits of the real estate services you provide.
He/she moves away from you as you try to establish and build rapport.
They seem reluctant or hesitant to answer questions about their real estate wants or needs.
However, when you 'click' with a client, the listing or sale is a breeze!
In real estate, knowledge of personality traits and types can be helpful in understanding what clients need from you, especially how they best like to learn about your services and how they like to interact during the process of gathering information and making decisions.
So, how do you learn to adapt your real estate sales strategy to deal effectively with each and every prospective client's personality traits?
Personality Types - Follow The Clues!
Every potential client has a way he or she wants to be sold to, but regrettably, they are never going to tell you what that way is! It's your job to recognize the clues and use them.
Each prospect or customer has a distinctive personality type with a unique style of buying.
Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator
The MBTI instrument has been called "the best-known and most trusted personality assessment tool available today". The Myers Briggs system includes a personality test that among other things, defines specific personality types and their preferred mode of interaction in the world.
What you may not know is that the Myers Briggs personality types strongly predict how customers like to be sold!
If you become familiar with Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), you will be better able to understand and respond to your prospects/clients by knowing how they are likely to respond to your style of selling or sales approach.
The theory behind the Myers Briggs Type Indicator suggests that personality types fall into four "continuums":
Extroversion-Introversion: You focus "out" to everything around you or you focus "in" towards your own thoughts and ideas.
Sensing-Intuition: You want the facts and details, or you are more of a 'big picture' decision maker.
Thinking-Feeling: You look for objective logic to help make decisions or you base your decisions on relationships and values.
Judging-Perceiving: You prefer to be organized, structured and planned as opposed to being free spirited and flexible.
You don't need to know the personality traits of every one of your customers but, knowing your own personality type can be extremely useful in order to recognize certain patterns of behavior in them.
You can then begin using Myers Briggs personality types in your real estate sales strategy. (Your Broker/Manager may have already given you the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® assessment. You can review the results with management. Otherwise, you can get a Myers Briggs report here.)
To further simplify things, you'll only have to focus on one or two elements during each phase of your sales process. (No, you don't need a degree in Psychology here!)
The Building Rapport Phase
Most real estate agents are extroverts. Your customers however are just as likely to be Introverts. Introverts are often less talkative, speak softly and if you notice the body language, position themselves a distance from you.
In order to build rapport, give them the time and the space they need to think. Don't mistake being reserved as a sign that they are not interested. That assumption could prove costly.
On the other hand, an extrovert tends to talk quickly and loudly. They usually want to discuss their purchasing decision in great detail with you. By engaging at their energy level, building a relationship is quite easy.
Understanding Needs - Conveying Information - Exploring Options
Four very distinct personality types emerge for customers in this step using the Myers Briggs assessment:
FYI: "Type" as it's known, explains our innate preferences regarding how we like to live, work, and interact with people and life in general.
Sensing Thinkers want the facts in a straight forward manner. They will ask very specific and direct questions about housing costs, specifications, and timing issues. They are specific about facts like utility bills and zoning limitations and you should be as well.
Sensing Feelers want the facts as well, but they want them more personalized. Brands are important to them. They tend to be 'product loyal' and want to be able to 'feel' the benefits of an inground pool or the Jacuzzi bathtub for themselves and their family. They want you to care by understanding their needs and supporting their housing requirements.
Intuitive Thinkers want an innovative solution that feels customized and unique to them exclusively. Intuitive thinkers want to know the implications of their decision to buy a specific property for the future. They are likely to ask "what-if" questions and expect a knowledgeable Realtor to help them address their 'unique' real estate needs.
Intuitive Feelers want a solution that fits with their criterion for perfection. They like to explore a number of properties to find one that feels just right. They may talk about their dream home or the services they want from their ideal Realtor. They want an agent who understands their mental picture of their dream home.
Closing The Sale
This is where the Judging-Perceiving personality types come into play. Judgers are the 'getter done' types, eager to make a decision,to move forward and to have things settled. When closing a deal with this type, get out of their way and simply facilitate the sale!
Perceivers on the other hand, are less driven. They appear indecisive, preferring to weigh their options over and over again. They will balk at feeling pressured to make a decision. Perceivers will resist your attempts to pin them down. They need to be given ample time to decide.
You can see how much variance there is in the way your clients like to be approached.
Prior to reading this, you may have approached every prospect and client with the one style that felt best for YOU. It likely worked for some clients but not others. Now that you are aware of the various personality types and their differences, you may want to consciously make adjustments to your sales strategy.
By becoming more familiar with the Myers Briggs personality types, you'll also develop new approaches that will more easily connect with the personality types of each of your clients.
None of us are so set in our ways that we cannot or won't change. You can't change your own personality. However, you can modify your behavior and personal style based on your knowledge of your customer. The more you familiarize yourself with Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and work with their system, the less you'll run into customers with personality traits that are obstacles to your real estate success. You will finally be able to speak their language, whatever language that might be.
You may want to review scripts and dialogues to deal with the variety of personality types and their objections.
NOTE: The DISC Assessment was designed to help people win, and to achieve a greater degree of success in life and work. Winners throughout history have had one thing in common - they know themselves. Champions don't underestimate what they can do. They don't sell themselves short. They know their own limitations and, by realizing their weaknesses, are able to develop plans to overcome their shortcomings and take full advantage of their strengths. This tool uncovers insights about the four dimensions of human behavior. Learn more...
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