What To Say Now: Episode # 16
Conversations That Empower
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Show Notes and Links:
What To Say Now Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/whattosaynow
Full Show Transcript:
Dan Stewart (00:19): Well, I hope this is on, I hope you can see me, I hope you can hear me. Hello everyone, it is Tuesday at 2:00 PM Eastern, and that means it's time for the next episode of What To Say Now. So guys, I have to tell you, wow, am I covered up in gratitude at this particular moment in time. The past months of my life have been dedicated to one thing, and today I've made a massive breakthrough in that area, and I'm so excited about it, I want to share with you. Because if you think about what we do here at What To Say Now, it's about helping you have conversations that really make a difference in your life. Hello, Jodie, thank you for being here. Love that you're here. And I see a watch party has just been started, that's awesome. Thank you for that.
Dan Stewart (01:11): So what I want to talk about specifically today is one type of conversation, and that would be a conversation that empowers. So think about this, wherever you are right now in your life, I believe that the path between where you are and where you want to go is paved by conversation, it absolutely is. So we fall in love inside conversations, we negotiate contracts inside conversations, we end relationships inside conversation. Ah, is there anything important we do as human beings that doesn't happen, at least in part, inside conversation? We raise our children there, we learn there, it's absolutely fundamental to humanity. And today we're going to take a nice deep look at that specific type of conversation that all of us need to be having, and that would be conversations that empower. So welcome to episode number 16 of What To Say Now, I'm going to turn my screen share on here, and I'm going to get rolling with some really impactful content for you.
Dan Stewart (02:16): So let's take a look here, guys. If we're going to break down this thing called conversation, we've got to set some groundwork, some ground rules here first. So all conversations, it doesn't matter whether it's, "Hey, how you doing?" Or it's that awkward conversation where maybe you have to end a relationship with someone you care about, maybe it's an employee, maybe it's a life partner, it could be anything. But when you're having this conversation, you have to understand that all conversations do one of two things, they either distress or they empower period. That's it, they cannot do anything else.
Dan Stewart (03:01): And if we look at this from a real top level perspective, we have to understand there are some facts that just can't be denied, and the first fact we have to understand, we know is true because this is our own experience every day of our lives, we want to be heard. Well, guess what? Everybody else wants to be heard too. They absolutely do. So, think about some of those conversations that you've had. We just had a situation in our family where someone at a store was incredibly rude to my son, incredibly, unnecessarily rude, and I'm really proud of the way he reacted to this, he just let it roll right off his back like it was nothing. He's in his bubble, he's having a great day, this other person clearly is not, and he didn't let it totally throw him off as game.
Dan Stewart (03:56): And the reason he's able to do that is because all of us, we should all recognize as human beings, we all experience some level of pain in our lives, and those occasions when maybe we're not the shiniest, happiest version of ourselves is probably due to some internal turmoil that we're suffering from. So I believe that if I'm going to lead my best life, if I'm going to have valuable, meaningful, impactful connection, if I'm going to experience true joy and love, I need to be forgiving of people having a bad day. And I need to understand the old adage that hurting people hurt people. So if you run into that conversation where someone would just wants to argue, just try to step outside yourself for a moment, not respond emotionally, and understand that they're really just reacting from the pain that they're experiencing.
Dan Stewart (04:53): Another fact we need to recognize is the time that we live in it is unprecedented. We are those human beings who get to be alive right now. And that means we're bombarded with messaging at a rate that no other previous generation of humanity has ever faced. That's startling to think about. If we were born just 100 years ago, 200 years ago, 500 years ago, we would be incapable of imagining the ability to be instantly connected to almost anyone on the planet. It's amazing. And the consequence of this is that it makes it hard for people to really say slow down and listen.
Dan Stewart (05:34): So if you want to make an impact with somebody, take the time to make them feel heard, make sure that they hear you, make sure that they understand that you hear them. Now doing this requires a very special skill we call active listening. Active listening makes it safe for them to speak and it allows us to serve them more effectively. So, those of you watching this who work in the real estate community, there's no greater crucible to put this thing to test than as you're moving towards the close of a transaction, because stuff does go sideways. You have homes that don't appraise, you have offers that get rejected, you have inspections that fail. These things happen, and when they happen, your ability to be an active listener is going to get you more smoothly through those negotiations, it's going to get you more smoothly through those tough conversations you have to have with vendors, and it's going to help your buyer or your seller get back in alignment with achieving the goal rather than getting all mired in the minutia of what happens to be happening right now.
Dan Stewart (06:44): So there are three methods of active listening that we're going to focus on today. The first one is simply repeating verbatim whatever it is that they said to you. Like, "Oh, I hate these floors." "Oh, so you hate these floors." Repeat it verbatim. We train this with our sales staff internally. If we ever have a potential client on the phone who's like, "Oh, how much does it cost?" We're going to respond almost instantly with, "Oh, so you want to know how much it costs." So that tells the person who's speaking that you actually heard what they said.
Dan Stewart (07:17): And then the next thing would be to paraphrase. Let's imagine we've got that seller who says, "So I know we've got multiple offers on this property, we felt like this one couple had some things that we liked about their offer better than the other, but we're worried about this, we're worried about that, we're worried about the other thing. Would it be better to take the all cash offer? The finance offer? What's the likelihood of this one actually closing versus that one closing?" There could be a whole litany of things that get pulled into that conversation and your ability to paraphrase that and capture the essence is what's going to allow you to stand out in that situation as the valued service professional that you are, keyword service.
Dan Stewart (08:03): "So I understand Mr. and Mrs. Home seller, there's a lot going on and you're right to be concerned about which of these offers is best for you to accept. Let's examine the facts and we'll make the right decision." You've taken chaos, you've paraphrased the situation back to them, and you've charted a path forward that you can now follow together. So the next and the final of these three methods that we're going to talk about is reflecting their unspoken feeling and intentions. So you may sometimes encounter someone whose face is saying something entirely different than the words that are coming out of that face. We've had that conversation before, haven't we? We have, we run into that from time to time. Having three kids, it's something I've experienced quite a lot. So you want to be able to say things that allow them the space to express how they're really feeling.
Dan Stewart (09:05): "Mm-hmm (affirmative). So I hear what you're saying, Mr. and Mrs. Buyer, and it sounds to me like maybe you're feeling..." Fill in the blank. You want to give them the sense that you're actually seeing what they're experiencing, rather than just responding to what they're saying. And that's a very important thing. And it's a concept that's absolutely delightful to watch in action. And that's why I'm going to give you this tip. You need to go to YouTube and search for this video called Validation, it is an absolute joy to watch, it's a few minutes of your life you will never regret. You will see someone really anchor for you what the concept of validation is all about. And you have the power to really positively influence every single person that you have the privilege of speaking with every day by exercising the things you see in this video. So trust me, go watch it, you'll love it.
Dan Stewart (10:03): Now, next, we're going to move into a strategy here called reframing. Reframing is important because sometimes you'll encounter that person who's got it all decided, it's a hundred percent this, and then, you'll say something and they'll see it from a different perspective. I'll give you an example, I recently was on a phone call with a potential client who said to me, "We're looking for social media post that can be branded in the name of our brokerage. Can you do that?" And I said, "Okay, Mm-hmm (affirmative), how can I respond to this?" I wanted to understand why they felt that was important. That's the first thing that occurred to me is well, okay, they're telling me they want a prescription for X and Y and Z in the certain dosage and amount, but why is it that they think they want that? What is the thing behind it?
Dan Stewart (10:58): So I listen to them and then I just reframe for them what it is that they're looking for. Sometimes reframing comes in the situation of a customer service example. So let's imagine that you're on the phone with someone who's really upset. And let's, since we're in fantasy land, let's imagine that they actually have a good reason to be upset. I hate to admit it, but every single person in my company is a human being and that means that we sometimes make mistakes. So if that happens, we want to listen, we want to really focus on empowerment rather than distress. And to do that, we have to listen very carefully, we have to practice our active listening skills, we have to repeat verbatim, we have to reframe for them, we have to leave them understanding that they're correct, that we actually understood what they're saying, and that they're good.
Dan Stewart (11:57): Okay, so as you see on the slide right now, the most important thing is they need to be heard and then you should decide what the particular situation is. So, sometimes you'll talk to someone who has a problem that they're just incorrect about, so we don't want to make that person feel like they're correct when they're clearly not. We need to help them understand that we understand, make them feel understood. And sometimes we'll have someone who will, this is a real world example, we've had people who've subscribed to our service with the very best of intentions, and then they find themselves at some point down the road going, "Ooh, I never actually got that set up." And they feel bad. They feel bad about themselves.
Dan Stewart (12:44): So we need to help them understand that, it's not that they're bad people, they're super busy. I mean, you can relate to that. You're so busy serving the needs of your client, that sometimes it can be challenging to press pause and make sure that your own needs are well taken care of. So that's an example where we'd like to make them feel that they're good. So let's recap here a little bit, all conversations distress or empower, we've talked about that. Distressing conversations include these things, if you're tying someone down, if you're injecting scarcity into their life, if you're giving them all sorts of FOMO and fear of loss, you're being a manipulator, that's distressing. And sadly far too many of us in sales are trained that this is the way we need to proceed.
Dan Stewart (13:34): That's sad, I mean it's pathetic. Is it any wonder that sales professionals have such low regard? Is it any wonder that so many sales professionals have such low esteem for themselves and what they do for a living? From where I sit, no matter what industry you're in, if you're a sales professional, you have a fantastic job. You're the person who helps people get what they want. That's awesome. That is a great thing to get to do. You get to help people get what they want. That's outstanding. So, think how empowering that is. We're having a conversation internally about that, that empowers us. And empowering conversations, they're open, they're transparent, they exude feelings of trustworthiness, "You are who you are. Take it or leave it. Just embrace who you are." Decide, do you really want to serve people or not?
Dan Stewart (14:31): If you really decide that you want to become a servant to other people, you have absolutely nothing to hide, there's no need for tie downs or scarcity or fear of loss. You're your goal is to serve. All you have to do is show up and say, "Hey, I'm here to serve, it's so much easier, so much easier. So I want to give you some examples of how this can be effective now in the real world. And at my company, Happy Grasshopper, our job is to start the conversations. Clearly I want to teach you guys how to have super effective conversations, so I'm going to give you an example here from our last content cycle.
Dan Stewart (15:08): So we have a client in Houston named Randall, who sent this message, this is an email message, the subject is blockbuster finally pivots, and it reads, "Hey Ann, did you see this? Blockbuster's last store is now an Airbnb rental! Ha! They've set it up with 90s furniture, TV, VCR, and all the movies you can watch for $4 per night." Now, I took the image out here, so it would all fit on the screen. "And call me crazy, but actually love this. It kind of makes me wish they had paid more attention to Netflix and pivoted sooner. Speaking of real estate changes, do you know anyone who's thinking of moving? Or even someone we could convince to move if they got enough money for their home?"
Dan Stewart (15:47): So if you're watching this right now, maybe you're going, why would you send that message? Well, I'll give you a reason. First you've got to acknowledge who this message is for. This should not go to new leads, this should not go to cold leads. This is only for sphere and past clients. So Randall sent this message to a past client, and this is the response that he got. "Hi, Randall, hope that you, Vanessa and your family are doing well. You're laughing sentence got me." Now what was that last sentence? "Or even someone we could convince to move if they got enough money for their home?" That's a call to conversation that produces this response, and now here she is talking about maybe moving. This is someone in Houston talking about moving outside of the inner loop to another property. So, lots of questions being asked here, this is exactly the sort of opportunity that you can create for yourselves by regularly communicating with your database.
Dan Stewart (16:49): Now, here's Randall's Facebook post about this message. I'm going to call this out here, "Want another happy grasshopper testimony? This morning, I sent out the blockbuster email, within 90 minutes, I received this email back from a client that closed in 2013. I figured I'd share so you can see how easy the flow is." So as awesome as that last message is, look at this, he got a second email from a client that closed in 2017 and has been talking about moving to a larger one story home within their existing neighborhood. "Had no idea they had the itch. She wants me to set up a search. If both of these alone were to pan out, we're talking between one and a half and $2 million turnarounds for the sell buy on both. Not bad for an HG email."
Dan Stewart (17:35): So as always, I am going to do everything I can to encourage you to reach out to the people in your life. 2020 is a bizarre year. We're fortunate in the real estate community to be so busy and active, please, please, please reach out to the people in your lives, anyone who knows who you, your past clients, your sphere of influence, and communicate with them with messaging that shows you care enough to keep in touch. Whereas I've shown in this example, your desire to engage in real estate is in second place to your desire to engage them in conversation.
Dan Stewart (18:09): So today we've covered a lot and every Tuesday at 2:00 PM Eastern, this is what we do at What To Say Now. I hope you've enjoyed today's content, I hope that you'll tell people about this channel, and I hope that if you have any questions, need any help at all with your messaging strategies, please post inside this group, myself and my team pay attention, we will help you with the content that you need. So this is me signing out everybody, have a fantastic day. Bye now.