Do you sound desperate?
Posted on March 5, 2018

Bohemia Blog by Agent John Enrique Cheserie

Do you sound desperate?

I recall very vividly, like it was yesterday, when one of my first encounters with the other side: “Consumer”. It was a rainy winter day. As I was waiting to show the apartment, many thoughts came into my mind. One of them was of me showing the unit and my prospects loving it and we all leave and live happily ever after. Indeed, it didn’t happen that way. Looking back, I believe I let nerves and desperation creep into my voice.

Desperation turns people off fast. If you've ever put-off a suitor or friend because of overt neediness and constant invitations to meet up, you'll know what I mean. Most of us know not to cross the line between eagerness and desperation in social situations. However, when your job is on the line, good judgment can fly out the window. We need to make a certain amount of deals each month in order to hit our number, and the pressure can sometimes make us come off a bit too strong with our Prospects.

But in our quest to make quota, we often don't even realize that what we’re doing is emitting a desperate vibe. If you're guilty of any of these following behaviors, stop immediately before you send your prospects running (Like I did ?)

1) Do not assume your prospect is interested:
We often come off desperate because we don’t ask the prospects if they’re
interested... we just assume they are. This a bit presumptive considering we can’t truly know if the prospect is a good opportunity or not in the early stages. And what reads as presumptuous to some translate as desperation to others.

2) Do not press for a meeting too hard:
Prospects will often dismiss us with a quick "We're not interested," or "Now's not a good time," and good salespeople (us) are adept at maneuvering past these knee-jerk brush-offs. However, if you determine that a prospect is legitimately not interested, you should back off -- or risk being labeled as desperate.

3) Issuing ultimatums:
We have to be at the end of their rope to present an ultimatum or threat to a
prospect. Ultimatums, threats, and begging don't make anyone feel good. Don't go there.

4) Letting your voice communicate nerves:
The more confident we sounds, the more confident a prospect will feel in moving forward with a lease or buying decision. With this in mind, we should never let nerves or desperation creep into our voices. Even if you're nowhere near quota and it's the last day of the month, we should speak with an air of cool and calm. Not sure what a desperate voice sounds like? Here's a prime example from Ol' Gil, The Simpsons' resident Willy Loman:

5) Being too accommodating:
We should serve our customers, but that doesn't mean we should act like a
servant. For instance, if a prospect is demanding features far outside the bounds of normal service, we shouldn't simply acquiesce with an "I'll see what I can do." Instead, we should dig into each and every one of a prospect's additional requests to understand why they need it, and if it's truly vital. Another example would be allowing a prospect to disrespect our time. When a prospect cancels a viewing or a meeting at the last minute, they'll likely apologize the next time they meet with us. Most salespeople (us) would respond to this apology with "No problem!". I believe this is wrong and I am guilty of it, because it implies that our time is less valuable than the prospect's. Instead, I suggest asking, "Is everything okay?" and then moving on with the conversation. I read this quote while ago. "You should be respected as someone who adds value, and when you let a prospect treat you with disrespect, you show you're desperate
for the business,"

6) Refusing to take a hint:
Statistically speaking, the vast majority of our sales or lease opportunities
won't go anywhere. Sometimes prospects won't even answer your email or
return your call. And that's okay. What's not okay, is refusing to move on, and sending email after email after email after email after email. It was exhausting just typing that sentence -- can you imagine how desperate this kind of relentless messaging comes off to a customer? I think it's safe to say "very."

7) Offering unsolicited opinions:
Few habits are more damaging to our perceived status than giving our unsolicited opinion. It makes us seem overly eager to please. And if your prospect thinks we’re only telling them what they want to hear, they won't trust anything you say.