By Angela Leach, CSP

We bought a new home this past July. With three kids to get settled before the new school year, we needed to sell our current home quick. So, the hunt for a real estate agent began. My husband is an analyzer-driver, so that meant interviewing four agents to learn about their experience, the strategies they would use to sell our house, and their price.

What did we observe? All the realtors demonstrated the “sell and tell” sales style very well. Not one realtor asked us what we wanted to know about their services or the process of selling our home. They immediately jumped into their sales pitch. Apparently, we were like every other homeowner.  But the actions of one realtor, in particular, were quite shocking, and not in a good way.

He arrived on time. He greeted us warmly and asked to see our home.  As we toured our house we learned we had a common interest in hockey, Aerosmith and the joys of raising kids. He liked our home. I really liked him. Then we sat down to discuss business, and that’s when things changed immediately.

The rapport-building realtor quickly turned into a sales robot. He pulled out his iPad and positioned it between my husband and myself. He then put on his glasses and retrieved his mobile phone. He started up a PowerPoint presentation on his iPad, and read the notes directly from his phone. He wasn’t just referencing these notes on his phone. He was READING the notes word for word.

The sales pitch killed my interest immediately. It was about 14 minutes later that my husband noticed that I was about to ask the realtor to leave. My husband interrupted him and told him to wrap it up, and that’s when I just had to say, “Can we just have a conversation?”. I was shocked. I had never disliked someone so quickly. He continued to ramble on about the most irrelevant information, and when we finally had the opportunity to ask questions, his answers contradicted the message of his sales pitch. This only added to my frustration.

As a Customer Experience Strategist, I advocate and train sales representatives about consultative selling. Ask questions first. Listen to understand what’s most important to your customer or prospect. Then share your perspective on the best solutions to meet their needs. It’s that simple. Please, I beg you, ditch your sales pitch. Just plan to have a conversation instead.