How would you like to double your sales? Here is one easy change you can make to your sales strategy that will make all the difference to your clients.
Generally, when I do these videos, I’m answering a question, but in this case I recently had an experience that I’d like to share with you, that I think is one of the most, most important selling lessons and marketing lessons. If you can absorb this, and I’m going to tell the story to you. If you can absorb it, and apply it, and look for these instances in your world, and then apply them to your selling process and your marketing process, it will make you infinitely more successful. Now this is something I already know. This is something that I’ve practiced many, many times. But I’ll admit, it’s also something that I’ve somewhat gotten away from. Or, when I’m trying to maybe sell something or get a marketing piece out quickly, I neglect to do what I’m about to tell you. When you do what I’m about to explain, everything works so much better, and you have so much more success.
I need you to imagine, so I can paint this picture for you, I need you to imagine that you’re buying a home, buying a property. If you’ve ever bought a property, or you’ve ever looked at properties thinking you were going to buy, if you can imagine the experience. More than likely, if you’ve bought something in the last many years, you’ve found it on Realtor.com, or Redfin, or some website. You look at the pictures and you think, this looks good, this has potential. Then you make a judgement the moment you open that front door and you walk through the door. You make a judgement about the property. You get a subconscious, first ten second, initial feel. You walk in and you think, Oh yeah, this is it. Or you walk in and you’re like, Eh, this is okay. I’ll keep looking. Or you walk in and you’re like, this is not it.
You’re going to have one of those three experiences and it happens like that. As soon as you walk in. That’s really important to know because that’s how we make hiring decisions in life, that’s how we buy things in life. Generally, we make our decision in the first few seconds and then we find reasons, and facts, and data to justify that thing that we wanted to do, from a selling standpoint. I won’t even go that direction, but just go with me on that one, just buy into that concept. Now, put yourself in a place, you’re buying a property. My wife and I, and our oldest son…our youngest son doesn’t want to have anything to do with this process…we’ve looked at four properties in the last two weeks. This past Sunday, we looked at three properties.
The very first property we looked at we were like, “This is it, this is it.” Then, the next three properties we looked at, we really liked them. The first one was great. I’ll explain some details here in a moment, but the first one only met our criteria because of balconies. Doesn’t really matter, but there’s a few other things about it that we really liked. But it wasn’t perfect.
The second property, great place, without question. Soon as we walk in the door, the reaction is, “This is a cool place, I like it.” It’s not a reaction of, “Oh, this is it.” So you have to know that balconies are incredibly important. This is a downtown property. Balconies are incredibly important to us. This property has a lot of balconies, but it didn’t have exactly what we were looking for. You could see it the moment you walk in because the whole back of the building is glass. The feeling you have is, this is cool, the decorations of the place, the way they designed it and the interior. Immediately you think, this is cool, but just based on what we want, there wasn’t that reaction of like, “Oh my gosh, this is it.” It was like, “This is cool.” It’s definitely a property that I want to look around just to see what the options are, but it’s not the property. That’s the reaction. It’s really important that you understand, that was the feeling. I had it, my wife had it, we didn’t verbally say it, but that’s what we both were feeling.
We were going to look at the property, make a tour once or twice, and leave. The agent was there before us, and when we walked in it just so happened that the owner was there. We assumed it was the owner, this is insane, because there was a picture in the place of a guy standing in front of a Ferrari 458. It wasn’t a picture, it was a painting and there’s the guy in the kitchen. So we knew the owner was in the property. He didn’t say a word to us, he’s just staying away from us, moving around. But the agent is going to show us the property. Again, stick with me, this is going to be a little bit longer. There’s a really good point. At least it’s a profound point for me. I think it’ll be good for you.
The agent, showing us around, he’s like, “Hey, here’s the living room, here’s the balcony, here’s the view. Come with me. Here’s the master suite, here’s the bathroom area. It’s got this, this and this.” He’s running through the checklist of things that a property of this type would have that are important to somebody that’s buying it. He’s showing us around rather quickly, and it’s as though, in his mind, he’s got a checklist. The kitchen matters, these appliances matter, the balconies matter, different things matter. The master suite matters, the view from the master suite. He’s just like, “Hey, look at the view from the master suite,” check. “Hey, look at this master bathroom. You can walk into the shower. It’s got all this stuff,” check. He’s just moving us through the property.
He continued our feeling of, okay, this is a nice property. Then, I don’t know how it happened exactly. Oh! I asked how many parking spaces the building had. How many parking spaces could I get, because that’s the most important thing to me. It was only two, which is a problem. The owner then stepped in and says, “Well, how many do you need?” I told him how many I needed. He’s like, “Oh, well I don’t know that that’s even possible.” It starts a dialogue. This is the part that’s really important to understand, and the reason I’m telling this story.
The owner, he starts talking about the property. He says, “Well, have you noticed my cabinets?” The cabinets go all the way to the ceiling, and they’re super nice. No doubt about it. He starts talking about the cabinets. He starts talking about the storage in the cabinets. Then he talks about the backsplash. We’re standing in the kitchen at this moment, and he tells us that this was the seventh backsplash. He’s had six prior backsplashes, had them all torn down, and this is the seventh. It’s pretty interesting. It’s very unique. He tells us the story of that and how the contractor’s were frustrated.
Then he shows us in the living room how he has this floor to ceiling, backlit cabinet and built in entertainment system. He then tells some stories around that. Then, he shows us the security system. He travels a lot, and the security system automatically kicks in when somebody shows up at the property, and there’s different codes for the maid service because this is in a hotel. So, there’s different codes for the maid service. If he needs to send somebody up to the property, the security system can do all these things. He tells us stories about when he’s traveling, and the security. These are the things you want to look for in a property. How all the blinds in the place lower and raise based on certain times of day and the amount of light being detected in the property. We’ve always thought we want to be up on the 20 or 30th floor. This is on the 14th floor. He tells us, “Hey, step back here and look with me at the …” Because it’s completely surrounded by buildings, like the skyline. He says, “Notice how every building, you can see the top of every single building in Dallas.” So, what happens is you’re surrounded by building’s at night. It’s one of the best views in Dallas.
He knew of another property that we looked at. He’s like, “Yeah, you can be up on the 28th floor in that building, but what then happens is you’re looking down. You’re not surrounded. You’re looking at the tops of buildings. But in my building, in my space that I carefully picked, that I put down the deposit on when this building was being built in ’07, I specifically picked a building so that it was like a picture frame around me. I could see the top of every building. And I was framed in lights,” and he told the story of that.
He told the story of going from the living room to the master suite, and how this door, that he had to have it custom built. It cost $18,000, so that it would fit around a column, so that the glass wouldn’t be too transparent so that you wouldn’t accidentally walk into it, or a guest, or if you’re having a party, wouldn’t walk into it at night. At the same time, it needed to be perfect glass, so that when it was closed, only a very small little part at the bottom would lock that door, so that no one could enter it.
Then he told a story around, if you have someone over and there’s maybe someone in the bedroom and their not feeling very well, maybe they’re ill and you don’t want your guests going in there, you could lock the door. He went through story after story of the property. I could go on and on. None of that matters, but as he told the stories our feeling on this property totally changed. When we walked in the property we thought, oh, most of the 60 or 70 units in this building, that you can buy, are probably very similar to this. Then after telling the story, we realized that none of the units in the building are like this. This is the only one you can get like this. It took three years to build the interior. You can’t get another property like this. The story of the door, the story of the skyline, it changed my opinion and it was all based on stories. That’s my point. That’s why he gave me so much detail on this.
The first agent had a checklist. He was selling based on what’s most important: master bathroom, kitchen. He was going down that checklist of what is important to a buyer. Then based on the price point of the property, what are the important factors to somebody that’s buying a property of this type, and he covered those. He did an adequate job selling. He covered all the bases, but that’s all he did. He only covered the bases. The other guy, the owner, he told a story. He told a story about things that are mostly insignificant. A door. An $18,000 door separating the living room from the master suite. He turned that into an entire story, probably four minutes, and I remember it. I can recite it to you.
He then, I gave you some of the examples of the stories, the skyline was one of the most, that was one of the biggest revolutions to me because I’ve always wanted to be up as high as I could get and he turned it into a story about entertaining and such. It totally, as I said, transformed the way we looked at the property.
A little later he found out that … Well, back to the parking garage. I asked a question about the parking garage. He’s like, “Oh, oh, oh come down. Come down to the parking garage.” So, we go down to the parking garage. He’s like, “Okay, So, I was one of the very first people to put money down on this condo, so I have first dibs on parking spaces. Here’s the two parking spaces you should’ve had.” They’re right when you come in. They’re super convenient, but he’s like, “But here’s why…” He has multiple Ferraris and some other cars. He’s like, “Here’s why I don’t want my Ferarris parked here, because valets coming in and out, sometimes in a hurry, and they have tons of guests. There’s a lot of entertaining in this building, so lots of cars are coming through, so I moved my parking spaces over here. And notice how they’re protected. Notice how nobody can get to them and so I know that my Ferraris are safe. I know that all my cars are safe.” So he tells a whole story about that.
Think about that when you’re selling something. He didn’t even need to tell me that. He didn’t need to tell me about the other spots that he didn’t take. All he needed to do was tell me about the spots that he did take, but the story about the care that went into it, the thought that went into it; the reason why I want to be there and why his place is the perfect place. When we’re selling tree work, when we’re selling lawn care work, when we’re selling landscape, there’s a story for everything.
No matter what you’re selling, there’s more to it than I can just mow your lawn. I will close your gates and I will do a good job training my people. There’s even more that can be told. When you’re installing a landscape, of all things, you can really tell a story around that. What is the experience going to be that they feel? What are the differences in the environment going to be when they’re entertaining? What experiences will they have when they have family members over? Take it a step further. What is the care that goes into selecting their plants. Hand selecting their plants, and picking them out, and considering factors like what will the plants be like in five years and ten years? These are things that many of us already do, but what are the stories that can be wrapped around this stuff. Where, now you’re painting a picture in a person’s mind. That’s what happened to us.
Now this isn’t the property for us. We’re not going to buy it, but I will tell you that when we walked away, we felt totally different about that property. Maybe on a scale of one to ten, when we first saw it, from a present standpoint, awesome. But from matching some of the criteria that we wanted and being located where we wanted it, it was maybe a five. When we left, it was probably an eight and a half, if not a nine. But because of the location, that would be the only factor that would really kill the deal, is where it’s located. It’s way too noisy when there’s sporting events and things like that. So, it’s not a fit for us, but that was really the deal killer. The presentation, had everything else been right, would have probably sold us on the property.
I hope that I’ve painted a picture. I gave you a lot of detail and I did it so that I could paint a picture and give you some examples of story. How can you craft stories around what you’re selling? How can you craft stories around the experiences of what somebody’s going to feel? How can you craft stories about the effort that goes in to delivering to them what they’re receiving? The effort that goes into selecting the plants, and the trees, and caring for those trees. There are stories for everything. I’ll tell ya, I’ve done it and I’ve had success with it, but it takes more work. It takes more thought. When you’re writing marketing, it takes more effort. It takes longer to create that piece. So, it’s very easy for us to quickly get a piece out. Quickly try to close that sale. When if we just slow down a little bit, and put a little bit more effort into it, might our closing percentages, might our conversion rates, go way up? Stories sell. I’ve heard a saying once, “Facts tell, stories sell.” Very, Very good lesson. I hope it resonated with you.