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Competition Killer Part 2: Jedi Mind Tricks

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12-10 comp killer boxer

jp mosesA Word from JP Moses, Director of Awesome...

This is part two in a three part min-series of lessons brought to you by Shaun McCloskey. We had a chance to sit down and discuss how he’s crushing his competition, and woah boy did we get some awesome stuff!

In part 1 Shaun revealed how to build instant, unparalleled rapport with people by learning how to “mirror” and “model” them. And in part 3, you'll learn why you need to make sure your seller understands "there can be only one", and exactly how to do it.

In this lesson Shaun’s going to share with you step-by-step how you can use simple yet subtle “Jedi mind tricks” by asking the right questions, to get people to really open up to you, spill what they really need help with, and ultimately help you crush your competition.

As a seasoned short sale real estate investor in St. Louis, Shaun has been running a full time real estate investing business all the while teaching others how to invest in short sales.  He’s a “systems guy” and has even trained his own team on how to use the important “Jedi mind tricks” you are going to learn in this lesson.

From Shaun McCloskey, Deal-Getting Adviser...

You Gotta Get 'Em Talking!

talkingHave you ever worked really hard to get an appointment with a potential seller? Then you show up at the meeting super excited, walk into the meeting, and the guy or gal you are meeting won’t even talk. They are the quiet type or stand offish because they don’t know you from Adam.  It is their house we are talking about and they probably have a lot of other financial and personal problems going on as well.

So how do you crack this nut? How do you get them to talk? What if they aren't the “talking” type? What if they’re a little quiet?  What do you do?

Ask Open Ended Questions...

To get people talking about themselves, you must learn to ask open-ended questions.

An open-ended question is a question that requires more than just a quick yes or no answer. An open-ended question is one that requires some thought, some explanation, some type of response that takes more than a one-word answer. It’s a question that, by default, compels a person to volunteer more information, using their own words and a little creative and/or analytical thinking.

Contrast this with a close ended question, which is designed to limit your response – usually either to a very specific piece of information (like a name, date, or some detail), a yes/no answer, or a handful of choices offered, like “A”, “B” or “C”.

These are NOT open-ended questions:

  • Who is your lender?
  • How much do you owe on your mortgage?
  • Are you behind on your mortgage payments?
  • How far behind are you on your payments?
  • Does your husband know that you’re behind on the mortgage? (Trust me... you’re 
going to get some people that haven’t told their spouse they’re behind yet- that’s probably why they aren't talking, they are afraid to tell anyone!)
  • Do you need all cash at closing?
  • How much money do you have saved? 

These ARE open ended questions:

  • Can you describe to me the last conversation with your lender?
  • How long has it been since you've had some extra money to do something nice for 
yourself or your family, and how did it feel to be able to do that?
  • How will going into foreclosure affect your family?
  • How has it already affected your family?
  • What's it been like for you trying to sell your house in this market?
  • How will a foreclosure affect your credit?
  • How can you make sure that your kids learn from these mistakes so that they never 
have to feel what you’re feeling right now?
  • How do you think your husband will feel if he knew that you were behind on payments 
right now?
  • What do you think he would say the best solution would be if he knew?
  • How would you feel if you no longer had to worry about how you were going to make 
ends meet every single month?
  • How would you feel if at the end of every month you had some money left over to go out and have a little bit of fun for YOURSELF? 

Can You Tell the Difference?

Which set of questions do you think would generate a more insightful response? And which ones would quickly leave you trying to figure out what to ask them next? 

I’m not saying there’s no place for closed ended questions. Clearly there is, in an information gathering sense. And that’s exactly what closed ended questions do – gather information.

talking yourselfOpen ended questions get people thinking, opening up, expressing and they’re really powerful at getting people talking in a way that helps you find out more than “just the facts” of their situation.

But most importantly, open-ended questions get people talking about themselves. This helps to build instant rapport, and can really set you apart from all the other “sharks” out there.

Remember, People Love Talking About Themselves

Do you remember in our lesson on building instant rapport, we talked about how it was important to be the listener and create empathy for your customer by modeling and mirroring the four senses (auditory senses, kinesthetic senses, visual senses and breathing patterns)?

Can you imagine combining what you learned last lesson – modeling and mirroring the four senses – while asking these open-ended questions?  The rapport you can build with potential customers by combining these two tactics is off the charts.

So if while you’re connecting, emphasizing, mirroring/modeling, etc….you’re asking about their lives, their kids, their situations. And all the while, they’re feeling heard, understood and related to.

  • Open-ended questions inspire people to take action one-way or the other.
  • During the rapport building process, asking open-ended questions can be a tool to help show your customer empathy.
  • And you can almost always steer a person in the direction you need them to go by asking the right, relevant open-ended questions.

That last statement is so very important for you to grasp, it bears repeating...

You can almost always steer a person in the direction you need them to go by asking the right, relevant open-ended questions.

Don’t Accidentally Make Them Feel Stupid

 feel stupidAnyone who knows me in the real estate world knows I’m a short sale guy, and I've made a fantastic living for many years now in the short sale arena.  

But bringing up the subject of short sales in your discussion with the seller can be a sensitive subject. The way you approach it can absolutely make the difference in whether they’re open to the idea or shut down to it immediately.

Instead of asking, “Have you ever heard of a short sale?” You should instead ask, ““Has anyone taken the time to explain to you about short sales?”

Can you hear how less abrasive this sounds to the homeowner? Anytime you ask someone if they've heard of something, they might feel stupid if they haven’t. Few people like to admit to ignorance. And your goal here certainly isn't to make them feel stupid. That’s the OPPOSITE of what you’re trying to do here, right?

That’s why I suggest you never; ever ask them if they’re familiar with a “thing” or a “process”. Instead it’s really just as simple (but much less threatening) to ask them if anyone else has taken the time yet to explain the short sale process to them. Asking the question this way virtually eliminates the possibility of the homeowner feeling stupid if they have to admit they’re in the dark.

So with one minor phrase difference I've essentially given them permission to admit they’re ignorant of the short sale process, since it’s not their fault that they don’t know. I've made it clear that someone needs to explain it to them – it’s not something they should automatically know. And since no one else likely took the time to explain to it to them like I’m so willing to do, I’m in a pretty good position, right?

(This alone is a great example of how to build rapport, since I’m showing them that I’m here to help, and willing to do what other investors haven’t yet taken the time to do!)

Crush Your Competition With These Jedi Mind Tricks, You Will

If you follow these simple to follow tips to build rapport, set your customer at ease and steer them in the direction you need them to go by asking the right, relevant open-ended questions you will no doubt crush your competition.

Just remember these simple rules:

  • Get your customer to talk – even the quietest people can be convinced to open up.
  • Ask open-ended questions – not yes or no style questions.
  • Don’t make them feel stupid by accidentally phrasing the question wrong.
  • Engage the mirroring and modeling techniques we used in the previous lesson during when asking open ended questions to build instant rapport.
  • You can almost always steer a person in the direction you need them to go by asking the right, relevant open-ended questions.
Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps
  • Recall. What was your last conversation with a moviated seller? What was it like?
  • Ask yourself. What questions did you ask? Were they open ended or closed ended?
  • Engineer 10 questions. For whatever type of real estate invsting business you have, write down at least 10 solid, open ended questions you can ask every seller, that will really help you 1) get them to open up to you about their story and true motivation, and 2) establish greater empathy and connection with them
  • Keep learning. Time to consume part 3 in the "Competition Killer" series.

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