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When it comes to winning new luxury listings to sell, conversations are the key. Think about it. With so many tools and so much technology available to today’s prospects, luxury real estate clients who choose to work with luxury real estate professionals are looking for a more human approach to selling their home—and that all starts with selling conversations about what they really need.

The catch? The best-selling conversations aren’t rehearsed; they’re improvised.

As you might expect, improvising an important sale can be a bit nerve-wracking without the right strategy or mindset. So, in that case, what does a successful selling conversation look like? How is a luxury real estate professional supposed to present their real estate marketing strategy without a rehearsed presentation? And most importantly, does this really work?

These are great questions, and we’ll dive into a few ways to master the art of improvised selling here. But first, we highly recommend that if you’re a current member of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (The Institute), you take full advantage of the Ditch the Pitch book in your member’s area. The book covers the same principles we’ll cover here, and it’s a great resource to help you build your confidence around selling conversations.

Now, let’s look at a few ways to practice strategic improvisation in your selling conversations:

1. Work With What You’re Given and Aim for Micro Commitments

Ultimately, your “selling conversations” are an opportunity for you to serve your prospects, not the other way around. This is the time to let them tell you what they’re looking for, and what a “successful sale” means to them. In fact, in Steve Yastrow’s Ditch the Pitch, he suggests making 95% of the conversation about your prospect and just 5% about you—and to be “frugal” with that 5%.

In addition to letting your prospect take the lead, he also suggests ensuring your prospect keeps saying “yes” in your conversations. This is called a “micro commitment” and keeps the conversation flowing. Even when you have to disagree with your prospect, Yastrow recommends offering a “Yes, and…” instead of “No” to create a sense of mutual agreement.

2. Don’t Rush the Story

As an expert who loves what you do, it can sometimes be difficult to know how much information your prospect is ready for. To you, a lot of the information is second nature. And to a prospect? It can be a lot to take in.

Part of mastering the art of improvising is knowing when to bring the information into the conversation and doing so while leaving enough room for another meeting. As a general “rule,” Yastrow recommends only including pieces of information that are critical to persuading your prospect and leaving the rest “in your pocket” to create a callback.

Again, this springboards off letting your prospect take the lead and setting the pace of the conversation. Rushing it actually slows the sale down because you might bring up some resistance, confusion or overwhelm.

3. Make Accidents Work

This is what most people are worried about when it comes to improvising selling conversations. What if the conversation goes in a direction you’re not prepared for? What if you can’t get control of the conversation if something does go wrong?

It’s helpful to shift your mindset about selling conversations in the first place and just think of them as conversations. If you were in a conversation with a friend and it went to a place you weren’t expecting, what would you do then? You’d likely keep it moving to find some common ground again or dig a little deeper into specific details to find out more about their unexpected perspective.

Again, the idea is to walk away with a clear understanding of what your prospect needs and how you can best help them. Their narrative is the one that matters most, even if it veers from yours at times in the conversation. Just keep listening, keep looking for “yeses” and keep the focus on them.

Want More Help Standing Out in the Luxury Real Estate Market?
Becoming a member of The Institute gives you access to some of the top producers in the industry and done-for-you marketing tools that give you a tremendous advantage.

The Institute also offers a wide range of resources for you to invest in yourself at any stage in your luxury real estate career—even if it hasn’t begun yet.

– Subscribe to our Estate of Mind podcast and/or Estate of Mind video series on YouTube for monthly deep-dives into specialized luxury real estate topics with industry experts

– Take our Luxury Livestream or Luxury Online training to qualify for The Institute membership and its many member benefits

– Visit your membership portal for brand-new training sessions, as well as our book, “Rich Buyer Rich Seller: The Real Estate Agents’ Guide to Marketing Luxury Homes,” which is available for free to all members of The Institute and also available on Amazon.

Diane Hartley is the president of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, a premier independent authority in training and designation for real estate agents working in the upper-tier residential market. Hartley brings her passion for luxury marketing and more than 20 years of experience growing and leading businesses to her role as president of the Institute.