Written by Jeffrey R. Armstrong – President/Owner of Armstrong Capital
Your favorite Master Note Buyer – Straightforward, Honest, Fair…
One of the most overlooked pieces of being a successful note broker/consultant in any niche is your communication with the person that is receiving the payments on a particular income stream. To keep with the Tricks and Tips theme of this issue I will give you a “treat” with some insight on how to better communicate with our potential sellers.
In a service industry like note brokering, you are the product. The competition for the note seller’s deal is seldom decided by money; the choice is between note brokers. If you are to distinguish yourself from other brokers, you must learn to communicate with note sellers (or professional referral sources) in terms that are meaningful to them.
In every attempt with each potential note seller your communication must help the cash flow seller. You need to try to do three things: 1) Discover what they want 2) Identify the obstacles that must be removed to get what they want; and 3) Instill trust that you are the right person to help them achieve the desired results. You build trust through successful communication. If the cash flow seller believes you’re trying to see their point of view, they’ll listen to you and want to work with you. The most persuasive people in sales today are those who appear open to persuasion themselves. Below are some suggested conversation techniques to help you win your seller’s trust and increase it throughout the note purchasing process.
- Ask, Don’t Tell: Empathy is enhanced through questions and much of what you say can be expressed in the form of a question. A properly timed question can: a) give initiative to the sales conversation; b) gather valuable information about the note seller’s needs, c) clarify what is unclear, d) establish commitment, and e) maintain control over the conversation’s direction.
- Don’t Interrogate: On your first contact with a potential note seller do not jump right into the information gathering and just fire questions at the note seller. Anything you ask should be a logical reaction to all that has been discussed up to that point. You should express interest without crossing boundaries of good taste.
- Listen to the Answers: It does little good to ask, if you’re not going to pay attention to the answers. Don’t interrupt either verbally or by facial expression. Encourage your prospects by commenting on their observations: “That’s an interesting point.” “I understand how you feel.” “Plenty of note sellers feel the same way.” Never criticize or judge a cash flow seller’s statements.
- Reinforce Regularly: Simple verbal reinforcements like, “I see,” “Uh-huh,” or “Good idea” can encourage a note seller to continue talking in a certain direction. Nonverbal gestures like nods or well-timed smiles can also be reinforcing and encouraging. Reinforce whenever your note seller says something positive. If your seller begins speaking negatively, be patient—but don’t reinforce that behavior with any statements or gestures.
- Paraphrase Periodically: Restating the prospect’s words both compliments and clarifies. For example, “I want to make sure I understand you correctly. You said that you needed some cash as soon as possible, but you are worried about losing the monthly cash flow. Is that correct?” This reminds the cash flow seller that you’re paying attention and are concerned with meeting his or her needs.
- Use Check Questions: Regularly measure your understanding of your note seller’s intentions with questions like, “Why is that important?” or, “Is that what you had in mind?” If the seller has not made their needs specific and justifiable, then you have not asked enough about them.
- Practice Daily: Asking questions are appropriate for both personal and business conversations. At first, you may feel awkward, even insincere, but keep trying. It takes only a few days for your questions to sound truly natural. When you see just how much better you understand the note seller’s needs, plus the difference it makes in your level of rapport, you’ll understand why communication skills are the number one tool for success.
These communication secrets can give you the edge when you are negotiating with a potential note seller. Especially if you know they are talking with other consultants and shopping around. Practice these things on your next several phone calls and test them pout for yourself. You may just get a treat (deal)!