I am all for scripting. I think it is a useful tool for you to use so that you are prepared with an answer. However, that’s as far as it goes, because scripting can be a dangerous habit that turns into a cliché. I was reading a BLOG in the Wall Street Journal Online. The question for the professional was something like this. A few years ago my real estate agent said that it was “a great time to buy real estate”, today I talked to my real estate agent and she said that “it was a great time to buy real estate”. What is the truth?
The writer answered the BLOG with something to the effect that Real Estate Agents are in the business of selling real estate, etc. and so forth. Then came the responses from the public. What do you suppose the first response was? “All Realtors® are liars, they are worse than lawyers!” Other responses were not as direct, but certainly not very flattering. I dwelled on this for a few days and experienced several emotions. One, was to take a defensive posture and defend Real Estate Agents, then I stopped myself before I wrote something stupid, because I remember something from my psychology training…”in every statement made in anger, no matter how irrational, there is always a hint of truth”. I further looked at this response, and of course I see the flaws like the word “All”, and it is easily dismissed. However, I began to wonder in my mind, why this person made such a harsh short statement and it caused me to look at the original question that was asked. Then I looked at what the agent said, “it’s a great time to buy real estate”. My wife, a successful agent, has 8 buyers’ agents, she trains them personally on a weekly basis, and also teaches a phone course to buyers agents across North America. She focuses a great deal on “scripts”, because she wants her buyer’s agents to be prepared. One of the common scripts is to use the phrase “it’s a great time to buy real estate”. I think I begin to know where that harsh response came from.
I am a sports fan, not that I like all sports, but the one’s I do like, I am a large fan of. Periodically when I am watching one of my favorites, the reporter will interview a player after the game is over, and the reporter may ask a question like, “how did you do it, in such an impressive victory”. I can tell you what the responses will pretty much be like, “well it was really a team effort”, “we really worked hard in practice this week”, “we made a decision to take one game at a time”, or “we are really coming together as a team”. I can tell you from a fan perspective of wanting something more, it leaves me with nothing when I hear these statements, further, it irritates me to no end. At times I say to myself, “you are such a liar”, you just hit the winning homerun, you just made the game saving tackle, you just threw the winning touchdown, and your telling me all these cliché statements. Give me a break, you did it, I know you couldn’t do it on your own, but still you liar, you feel good about it, and you will brag about it to your wife and friends.
So, how do you think the general public perceives you, when you make such cliché’ statements about real estate? What’s worse what if people have to read your cliché’s on a regular basis on your website? You think they are leaving because you have too much to read, no, they leave because you are using your clichéd scripts to try to convince people to do business with you. Stop the madness!! As a student of human behavior and relationships, the one thing I can tell you is that people want to be “relational”. They want to know that person on the other end of the phone, at the other end of the email, the other end of the website, really truly is trying to understand them, trying to speak to them about their needs, wants, and desires. People DO NOT want to be talked to, sold, or clichéd, they want understanding of their individual unique situation.
I am constantly asked, why doesn’t my website work? Why don’t people ask me for information? Why am I not getting more inquiries? The first thing I do is read, if I read your website and you are too cliché’, or you’re too scripted, I want to click away, because I immediately don’t trust you. Look the number of leads in today’s market are a bit thinner than they were a year or two ago. If people are not staying around your site, or leaving it immediately, it may be because you are not able to communicate to the needs, wants, and desires of your target market, because you are too well scripted. So here’s an idea, try being relational, and here’s a cliché with which you can find a ton of truth in: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”