Improve Follow-Up By Asking Good Questions

Our blog theme for February is about the importance of follow-up. As we said in our first post in this series, FORTUNE IS IN THE FOLLOW-UP, more than 70% of listing appointments come through lead follow-up instead of the first call.

In that post, we discussed the importance of dedicated, persistent follow-up until you secure that listing presentation. And for many, the key to successful follow-up is knowing how to ask the right questions,

WHY QUESTIONS ARE IMPORTANT

Real estate agents (especially anxious ones) often fall into the trap of thinking that they need to do most of the talking. But the truth is, effective DIALOGUE is actually the best way to build rapport and trust with a prospect. Let your prospect do 70% of the talking by asking good questions.

Questions are important for a variety of reasons:

  • Better questions can yield answers that help guide your approach to working with the prospect.
  • Questions help you learn about the prospect’s situation, motivations, etc.
  • Strong questions show you’re interested, which builds trust and confidence.
  • Effective questioning allows an agent to control the flow of the engagement,
  • Asking questions forces you to listen.
  • Good questions create dialogue that might lead the client to “self-discovery” and maybe an expedited process.

We mentioned control above. Let’s elaborate on what we meant:

  1. Prospects can become more engaged through the process of thinking through the questions.
  2. Effective Q&A is particularly important when dealing with a prospect who is throwing countless objections your way.
  3. Questions can shift the prospect away from their emotional right brain, which is often the source of many objections.

TYPES OF QUESTIONS

Below are some of the basic question types with examples:

  • Closed-ended questions are those that look for a simple, straightforward answer, often yes or no. These are OK in some situations. But generally, you’ll want to move away from closed-ended questions as they do not drive dialogue:
    • Did you get qualified for a loan?
    • Do you want me to list your home?
  • Open-ended questions require thought and consideration, and are great for drivers and analytics because it forces them to engage a little more. Also, open-ended questions force you to listen more carefully:
    • What are you looking for in an agent?
    • Where do you plan to move to?
    • How much/what percentage of a down payment do you have?
    • What is your decision-making process?
    • Why do you feel your home is worth more than your neighbors?
  • Specific questions push the prospect to expand on previous answers. These questions take a more aggressive tact for you to guide the conversation:
    • Are you looking for an aggressive agent?
    • What type of loan are you applying for?
    • What are the reasons you’d like to sell it on your own?
  • Multiple-choice questions limit the prospects’ responses and are great for expressives because they like to make their own choices.
    • Is today at 3, or tomorrow better for you?
    • Do you feel the market is increasing or declining?

Learn to control the pace and direction of a conversation by asking effective questions. And as you master the art of using questions to create an effective dialogue with your prospects, you’ll begin to notice that your follow-up efforts are paying huge dividends.

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