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Whose side are you on? Seems rhetorical, doesn’t it?

But this is the one question real estate professionals must continually ask themselves in order to maintain the highest level of client acquisition. The answer to this deeply introspective question can be defined and practiced in one simple word: empathy.

Empathy is defined as one’s ability to vicariously experience the feelings and concerns of others.

People can sense empathy in others. Our tone of conversation, physical gestures, posture and general presence create a sense of empathy. Once a prospective client feels we’re genuinely on their side, any objections will be easier to overcome.

Let’s examine the typical sales situation as if the parties are seated at a table, which is most often the case. You’re on one side and your prospect is opposite you. It’s like a face-off; you’re eye-to-eye as though your goal is to conquer the table.

In an effort to get on your prospect’s side of the table, you could physically get up and move, but this would be awkward. Instead, use words of unity to move your client toward action.

The next time you encounter an objection in a professional setting, employ the following words of unity to save the day for both yourself and your client.

  1. We – It’s quite common for salespeople to use “I” and “you,” which are words of separation. Whenever possible, use “we” to convey a sense of inclusion and trust. For example, when a seller objects to your fee, instead of saying, “Let me show you how I can put more money in your pocket,” flip it around and ask, “Is reducing the expenses to sell the property most important, or is it the total amount of money we get you at closing?”
  1. Feel, Felt, Found – This sales strategy has been taught for generations, and it’s still very effective today. The next time a prospect says, “I’d like to sleep on it” (another way of saying “You haven’t convinced me yet”), try this: “I understand how you feel (I’m on your side) and many other clients have felt the same way (others are on your side, too), but what they found is that we could confidently move forward because of our firm’s satisfaction guarantee.”
  1. Sure Statements – Talk about the future as if you’re sure about what will happen. Instead of asking the client when they will be ready to proceed, try this: “It will take two days to get marketing in place, so if we’re going to have buyers touring the home on Friday, we’ll need to get started on Wednesday.”

When you use words of unity, the prospect is more likely to pay attention to what you have to say.

After your prospects have experienced your genuineness and true sense of empathy, don’t be surprised when you both end up on the same side of the closing table.

Cleve Gaddis of Gaddis Partners, RE/MAX Center learned sales the hard way, selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door, and now his real estate team closes $60 million in sales annually in Atlanta, Ga. He loves to share his sales strategies and to see others succeed. He’s the host of the Call Cleve Atlanta Real Estate Show which can be heard on NewsTalk 1160 WCFO every week. Contact him at

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