Dale Carnegie’s now infamous self-help book How to Win Friends and Influence People published in 1936 still holds true today. I particular like his Six ways to make people like you. These are:
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
They’re just common-sense really, and if you think about it, every estate agent in the land should learn and practice these six techniques when they’re showing viewers your home. Let’s look at their relevance for making the most of every viewing, and if you don’t have any confidence in your agent showing a high degree of skill in this regard, then you need to make sure you do these instead:
- Become genuinely interested in other people – talk to your viewers, and find out all about them. Where have they come from, what are they looking for, what other properties they’ve seen. The more you discover about them, the more successful you will be at matching their needs to your home’s offering.
- Smile – be friendly! Viewers will usually be nervous or apprehensive about the viewing; they are, after all, a guest in your home, and whilst they want to like the house, they are worried that they won’t. A big, friendly smile when you greet them will immediately help them to relax and feel welcome.
- Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language – if you don’t know their names in advance, make sure you shake hands and introduce yourself by your first name straight away. Hopefully they will reciprocate, but if not, don’t be afraid to ask. First names are best, and will encourage your visitors to adopt a more friendly and less formal approach that may help you to foster a good relationship with them from the start.
- Be a good listener – make sure you ask lots of questions and really listen to their answers. It’s no good extolling the virtues of your vegetable patch if they tell you they work long hours, or telling them all about your paddock if they show no interest in using it; if you actively listen, you will be in a much better position to tell them about the features of your home that really matter to them.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interests – use the word “you” as much as possible. They don’t want to hear all about you and your time as the occupier: encourage them to think in terms of their future in the house. Saying things like “You could park at least four cars in this driveway” or “you’d love this house at Christmas” will help them to engage with your home and see it as their next chapter.
- Make the other person feel important – if you don’t connect with your buyers, chances are they won’t connect with you. Make the effort to understand them, their hopes and dreams, and find something to like about them. Finding some commonality really helps; perhaps you’re both dog lovers, or share an interest in a hobby or travel; whatever it is, once you find it and can have an engaging chat as you show them round, you’ll find they will become more open and friendly themselves.
Although Dale Carnegie I’m sure didn’t intend his Six ways to make people like you to be applied to selling homes, by following these guidelines you’ll make sure you give yourself the best chance to make a great first impression, and very importantly, to forge a good solid relationship with your viewer that might just tip them over the edge to becoming a buyer.