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As an agent trying to get a listing, or a broker recruiting a productive agent, do you ask, push and ask again until you get them to buy in? Not anymore. Sales as we know it has changed more in the past 10 years than in the previous 100, says author Daniel Pink.

The Always Be Closing approach, according to Pink, has evolved to the new ABCs of selling: Attunement, Buoyancy and Clarity.

Attunement is understanding your customers’ real needs. They may be stated up front, but often, they’re below the surface. You must deeply understand the individual you’re dealing with and their business. You must develop trust.

Buoyancy is having complete knowledge of your product or service and what it provides your customer. It’s also an irrepressible belief in what you offer and the value you provide, in addition to the ability to succinctly convey why it’s of value to the customer.

Clarity is the ability to be in sync with your customer and convey why your product or service will be beneficial and helpful to them. It’s an insightful explanation as to why they need it. Gaining the customer’s trust while understanding their business needs, coupled with an in-depth knowledge of your offering, allows you to take the next step by presenting the solution to their underlying needs at the right time and place.

In the ideal scenario, you will find attunement with a customer who will either state what their needs are outright or provide clues. By having the knowledge and solution, you have the buoyancy. Being able to clearly articulate why your offering meets their needs, and how it will help them succeed, provides clarity.

The best salespeople are those who completely understand and function with the new ABCs of sales in their toolbox. It’s been a required core expertise for the team responsible for the expansion of our brand in North America, and we have proven the results.

To select and approach the prospects we feel would make the best partners, we know their market, challenges, disadvantages, competition, goals, and most importantly, them. Attunement.

We have a comprehensive toolbox designed to assist them in achieving their business goals. We explain these tools and show them in action. Our existing partners tell our prospects how the tools we offer have helped them. Buoyancy.

Our prospects typically aren’t looking for an affiliation before we speak to them. They perform their due diligence, ask questions and learn as much as they can about us. That’s how we learn how much they completely understand us and how ready they are to partner with us. We help them get there one step at a time, on their timeline. Clarity.

Always Be Closing when selling used cars or Girl Scout Cookies, but not when growing an international real estate company. Attunement, Buoyancy and Clarity are the new ABCs of selling, and they work in our industry.

Jacob Stepan is executive vice president of Expansion for Engel & Völkers North America.

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