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If you’ve been around the industry for even a little while, you’ve probably been prompted to learn hard-closing scripts and techniques in order to “nail” more appointments and “close” people to make decisions.

After teaching real estate agents to take their businesses to the Next Level® for more than 30 years, I can tell you from experience—and from my heart—that those techniques not only don’t work with today’s consumers, but also don’t feel comfortable for most agents, either.

We’re in the business of people—of creating connections and building relationships—which means that most of those canned scripts and tough sales talks really aren’t in alignment with relationship-building.

That’s why I teach agents to use stories, metaphors and analogies to convey their messages with feeling, be more present in their conversations and better connect with sellers and buyers, because the focus is on serving, not selling—and coaching, not closing. That’s a differentiator. When we’re focused on serving, it’s not all about us, which means that we’re asking questions and listening for answers. We’re learning what the real commitment is from that seller, which is rarely just to sell the house. It might be that they want to move to be closer to their grandchildren, or they need a bigger house for a growing family. What’s their commitment? When you know that, you can coach them to realize their goal. See how that feels different?

A listing appointment is like a dance. When you get on the dance floor, the more moves you have, the better the dance. You don’t get on the floor and “do steps,” but rather, you “are the steps.” You’re not doing; you’re being. You’re in the moment, inventing the dance as you go along.

Now, what influences the dance is your partner and the speed or tempo of the music. On a listing appointment, the “dance floor” is the kitchen table. Your “partner” is the seller and the “tempo” is the seller’s commitment, or how soon they have to sell. Your “dance steps” are the metaphors, analogies and stories you’re able to communicate about the process that glides them through the course of a powerful listing appointment.

I teach agents to use metaphors and analogies for the tools they use to market a home (MLS, lockbox, yard signs, open houses), get pricing, handle objections, the works. The more of these you have in your repertoire, the simpler it will be to communicate with your partner (seller), the smoother your appointment will be and the more connection you’ll feel with your sellers. That naturally leads to more listing contracts.

Bottom line? Make the shift from selling to serving and closing to coaching. When you do, you’ll feel more integrity, as well as an added level of comfort when prospecting and when on appointments. Our students tell us it makes all the difference. I know it can for you, as well.

Darryl Davis has spoken to, trained and coached more than 100,000 real estate professionals around the globe. He is a best-selling author for McGraw-Hill Publishing, and his book, “How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate” tops Amazon’s charts for most-sold book to real estate agents. He is the founder of the Next Level™ real estate training system The Power Program®, which has proven to help agents double their production over their previous year. Davis earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, held by less than 2 percent of all speakers worldwide. To learn more, visit