Sellers Say Yes When They Feel Understood

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There’s an old saying in the sales world, that Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneurs need to remember: “people don’t buy when they understand you, they buy when they feel understood.” In today’s episode, Jeff explains why the same applies to working with Sellers—Sellers say yes only when they feel understood. Listen in and learn how to make Sellers feel understood.

Episode Transcript

When you’re making a proposal to a seller, you are in a sales mode. Now, hopefully you’re not creating an experience that anyone would describe as “salesy” but you have an idea that you want to get them on board for, you have a proposal that you want them to consider and hopefully, except, or give you some feedback on so that you can modify it a little bit, and get to an agreement. And when you’re in sales mode, there’s one thing that’s more important than anything else that determines your success. And in today’s episode, we’re going to talk about what that one simple but unbelievably powerful thing is. So let’s cue up our theme song. We’ll dive right into that important discussion.

Welcome to Racking Up Rentals, a show about how regular people, those of us without huge war chest of capital or insider connections, can build lasting wealth acquiring a portfolio of buy and hold real estate. But we don’t just go mainstream looking at what’s on the market and asking banks for loans, nor are we posting We Buy Houses signs or just looking for “motivated sellers” to make lowball offers to. You see, we are people-oriented deal makers, we sit down directly with sellers to work out win-win deals without agents or any other obstacles, and buy properties nobody else even knows are for sale. I’m Jeff from the Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur. If you’re the kind of real estate investor who wants long term wealth, not get rich quick gimmicks or pictures of yourself holding fat checks on social media, this show is for you, join me and quietly become the wealthiest person on your block. Now let’s go rack up a rental portfolio.

Thank you so much for joining me for yet another episode of Racking Up Rentals. This is Episode 66, which just by the way, that would be two thirds of the way to 100, which is kind of an awesome milestone I’m excited about. And that means that show notes for today’s episode are at www.thoughtfulre.com/e66. Please do us a massive favor by hitting that subscribe button in the podcast app. It really does help send a message back to the platforms that let them know they should be telling other fellow thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs about this show. All right onward with today’s episode.

So, as you may or may not know about me, I’ve been an entrepreneur, most of my career, I did have a quote real job out of college for about two years. But then I quit that. And I started a freelance marketing business and that freelance marketing business grew into being a marketing agency and then really specialized deeply in one particular niche. And that was brand strategy for banks and credit unions a very, very specific type of service and a type of client. And as we went through that growth, metamorphosis over many years, I did that business for about 12 years. Of course, like many businesses, we struggled with sales. And at the beginning, of course, we had kind of like what I might call a server mentality, a waiter waitress mentality, you know, it’s fine, the client asked them what they need, bring them what they need, and get paid. But that was difficult, because we were really subject to a lot of competition, and other people would be willing to do essentially the same type of work for less. And so as I as I started to really study, what ways could I maybe be more successful with sales, I ultimately stumbled upon a person who was teaching a much more consultative approach to sales. And I switched at that point from the server mentality to a doctor mentality. So what does a doctor do you know, a doctor meets with people who have some kind of a pain, he or she talks to that person understands them. And that’s, that part’s called diagnosis, right? And then ultimately, they prescribe some kind of a solution, medicine, surgery, treatment, whatever it might be, but diagnose and then prescribe. If you did that in reverse, if you prescribed before you diagnose, that would be malpractice right? Now in the world of consulting. It was very, very common for people to prescribe a solution before they’d really diagnosed. And so as I started doing this thing that I had learned and really focused on diagnosing First, it really, really changed things. And as I would sit down with my prospective clients, as I would give them a proposal, right before I’d give them a proposal, I would say you know what, I just want to start with recapping my understanding of what you’re experiencing right now and where you’re trying to go and the problems you’re facing. And then I would say you know, I as I understand it, you are having x problem y problem, you want to z thing, etc. Now, before I share my ideas with you, am I on track with those? Did I miss anything? I forget anything? And it was amazing to always see these. These banks and credit unions and their marketing teams kind of step back and go wow, yeah, no, you really, really understand us. Thank you for listening were really impressed. And I would say, absolutely, of course, and then I would share my proposal. And it would go really, really well. Because they felt like I understood them. And so when I switched over to doing real estate entrepreneurship full time, I decided to carry over that one practice into my real estate business, even though the context was totally, totally different. And that is, it’s simply when I make a proposal to somebody, I always start by recapping what I understand their objectives and concerns and wants and needs and criteria are, before I share that with them. And I’ll tell you what, it really works. And here’s why.

It’s been said before, that people buy, when they feel understood, people don’t buy when they understand you, people buy when they feel understood by you. So a lot of people in kind of a sales capacity. And by the way, this is sales, ironically, when you are selling, you’re actually trying to get someone else to sell something to you, in this case, right? Your sale activity is an attempt to buy something not to sell something, actually you’re trying to get them to let you send them money, which is, you know, kind of a funny little realization there. But at any rate, it’s still a sales activity. And so many people who are in the sales business, focus on making sure their product is understood making sure their value proposition is understood, making sure their message is understood, etc., rather than making the other person feel understood. So that leads us to another similar and very closely related rule when it comes to sales and, and influence with people. And that is that if you can articulate a problem to somebody better than they can articulate it to themselves, they automatically assume you also have the solution. Okay, so think about this, these two things together, people by people say yes to your proposals, in other words, when they feel understood, and they feel understood, when you can articulate their problem better than they can. And when they do feel that you can articulate their problem better than they can, they automatically assume that you also have the solution. Now, in our way of doing things, it’s really important to note that we don’t really show up on a seller’s doorstep and say, Hey, I can see you have a problem. However, when we do send our marketing, and a seller calls us back. in their mind, they might not have a problem, per se. But they definitely have something about their situation that they think could be better. And otherwise, they’re not calling us back. I mean, they’re not just calling us back to make friends. They’re calling us back because they think there’s at least an outside chance that by talking to us, their situation could get a little bit better. And the thing about sellers is that they often can’t articulate perfectly, what it is that they think could be better. Sometimes it’s just kind of a sense within them. It’s kind of a gut, it’s just this little this back of the back of the mind or deep down in their stomach kind of feel that they don’t love having this rental property anymore, they might want to sell there’s something bothering them about it. So the sellers often can’t articulate their own concerns as well as ultimately, we might be able to, they just know something could be better. This exact thing is what I call and we’ve talked about at length in our podcast here, solving the person this is the first S in the Y.E.S.S.E.S Framework. This is the essence of solving the person understanding what could be better for them, even if they can’t give it to you in real clear language, understanding it and then articulating it back for them and making them feel understood. So how do we articulate it and make them feel understood? Well, it’s really about two things. It’s about asking good questions. And it’s about listening. We have to ask, good, insightful questions. A lot of people in the real estate investing business, ask questions, but they do it in kind of a survey kind of a manner. You know, it’s like they’ve got a clipboard in front of them. And they’ve got a checklist of questions that they need to ask. And, on the other hand, regular people that when they have conversations, ask a question, they listen to the answers, and then they ask intelligent and common sense, follow up questions based on the answer that they just received because they’re seeking to understand the other person right now if I had a checklist I could say, great, and how long have you on the property? Great, and how much is the current balance? Great, and what are the rents that you’re getting?

Or if I ask somebody a question, though, and I say, you know, how long have you owned the property? And then they start to tell me, Well, we’ve owned a property for a long time, we actually lived in it for several years. And three years ago, we needed to move and so we decided to keep it as a rental, and we rented it some friends, but, you know, that just really doesn’t feel comfortable anymore. So then, what’s the next right follow up? Question? Oh, well, I’m sorry to hear that it. Tell me more, though. What isn’t feeling right about it to you anymore, renting this property to your friends? That’s an intelligent follow up conversation that shows your tracking with the conversation. It’s, it’s a true dialogue. And when you listen to somebody, you don’t just record the things they say, but you kind of read between the lines, you know, you, you, you hear what they’re really saying, not just what they’re literally saying, you hear both of those things. This really could all be summed up as empathy, as having an empathetic perspective. You know, when people ask me, what does thoughtful mean, when they hear a thoughtful real estate entrepreneur, I say it means two things. One is being very deliberate about the business that we are building the portfolio that we’re building, etc. And the second thing is the empathetic human approach. And that’s what this is really about. Just try to understand them by listening and asking follow up questions, allowing you to seek to understand who they are, you know, how do they feel about these things? What are their worries? What are their wants? What are their concerns? And ultimately, what is their one big thing what is the one topic that has to be addressed for them one way or the other, or they just can’t seem to be able to move forward. So my friends, I want to just summarize this by saying, people by meaning people accept your proposals when they feel understood by you. And if you can articulate to them your understanding of how they’re feeling as well or better than they can even articulate to you how they’re feeling and their perspective, then not only will they be pre framed and predisposed to like everything you were about to say in your proposal, they will assume that you have the solution because you effectively understand them almost better than they can even say that they understand themselves.

That is it for today’s episode of Racking Up Rentals. So again, show notes are at www.thoughtfulre.com/e66. Please do us a huge favor by hitting that subscribe button in the podcast app and if you would take just two seconds to rate and review the show, I would so appreciate that. We’ve got a few excellent new ratings recently and reviews your comments and just taking a few seconds to do that means the world to me.

Did you know also that we have a Facebook group for TREEs, Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneurs? It’s true. If you’re not a part of it, you should be. It’s called Rental Portfolio Wealth Builders. We would love to have you join us there. Just type in group.thoughtfulre.com and it will redirect you right to that page within Facebook. If you liked this episode, please go ahead and take a screenshot of it. You’re probably listening on your phone, post that screenshot to Instagram and just tag us. We are @thoughtfulrealestate all spelled out. So I will see you in the next episode.

Until then, this is Jeff from the Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur signing off. Thanks for listening to Racking Up Rentals where we build long term wealth by being win-win dealmakers remember solve the person to unlock the deal and solve the financing to unlock the profits.

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One response to “Sellers Say Yes When They Feel Understood”

  1. Nate Avatar

    “Seek first to understand and then to be understood.”
    – Covey

    Great insights Jeff!

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