It’s Not About YOU, It’s About THEM!

Posted on April 27, 2011 by

Blah Blah BlahA common mistake real estate investors make when meeting with a seller is not listening – really listening – to what the seller says and how he/she says it (e.g. voice inflection and body language).

Frank, an investor in Marietta, Georgia, asked to spend the day with me. He wanted to watch me make offers to folks who had homes for sale. When I asked why, Frank said he was meeting with a lot of sellers but wasn’t getting a lot of deals. He wanted to find out what he was doing wrong.

I explained that to accomplish his goal, I needed to watch him make offers, not vice versa. Frank assured me he was doing everything right, but agreed to my terms.

Shortly after sitting down at the first seller’s kitchen table, Frank’s problem became abundantly clear to me. He spent the first forty minutes talking about himself. He told the seller about all the deals he’s done, how smart he is, all the seminars he’s taken, etc.

After just five minutes of listening to Frank’s drivel, my ears began to bleed….more importantly, so did the seller’s.

When we were in the car heading to the second seller’s house, Frank confidently inquired, “That was pretty good, wasn’t it?” I answered, “It was something, alright.” “Now what?” he asked. “Let me watch you with one more seller,” I replied.

The second meeting was identical to the first – forty more minutes of listening to Frank dump heaps of praise all over himself – but this time I recorded him!

At lunch, I explained to Frank what he was doing wrong. He assured me that I was mistaken. I made Frank listen to the recording. Afterward, he sat back dumbfounded. “I had no idea I was talking about myself that much.”

I asked Frank, “If you went to a doctor, and instead of asking you where it hurts, he wasted a bunch of time telling you all about himself, what would you do?” Frank quickly answered, “I’d get a new doctor.” “What do you think your sellers are doing?” Frank hung his head and said, “Calling another investor.”

Folks, I’ve made this same mistake only about five or six THOUSAND times! I want the seller to understand that I’m experienced and know what I’m doing. I think to myself: The only way to get this across is to tell the seller all about me. W-R-O-N-G!

When you meet with a seller, it’s not about you, IT’S ABOUT THEM! They don’t give a hoot about you. They want to know one thing: Can you fix their real estate problem? The way to find this out is by asking the seller a lot of “Does it hurt here?” questions.

The next time you meet with a seller, be mindful of this lesson. Don’t repeat the mistake Frank and I have made.

Bill & Kim CookBill & Kim Cook are a husband and wife real estate investing team. They live in Adairsville, Georgia and have been investing in real estate since 1995. They specialize in buying single-family homes, mobile homes and mobile home parks. They also run North Georgia REIA and teach folks how to successfully invest in real estate.


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