The Absolute Worst Thing You Can Do With A Script is Stick to It
You’re a thinking human being, so simply because you have a script doesn’t mean you have to stop speaking like one. There are three steps to take when practicing real estate scripts that will prevent you from sounding like an automaton and having a lead hang up or walk away: Memorize. Internalize. Personalize.
Why use scripts?
Even the most anti-script real estate agent likely uses a script, perhaps without realizing it . . . they just haven’t written it down yet.
Every agent has a list of questions they routinely ask or a favorite comeback that squelches objections. But they’d rather have an expired listing than admit they use a script. Somehow they think using a script is for amateurs and agents who don’t know what they’re doing.
But Andrea Blum, whose success includes being among the top 1% of agents in Toronto and the top 5% in all of Canada, argues that having well-written, proven real estate scripts are essential to your success as a real estate agent. And even if you’ve gotten by without using one, then a) you’re kidding yourself; and b) if you used one you’d be doing better than getting by.
Scripts can help:
- Boost your confidence with knowledge of what to say, how to say it, and when to say it.
- Track what works.
- Help standardize your team and scale your business.
- Quickly learn new sales approaches.
Step 1: Memorize the script
Have you ever been on a call with a customer service representative whose script did not account for your particular question? Worse, have you had to endure that representative repeating the same two lines that have absolutely nothing to do with your concern?
It’s infuriating . . . you know they have the answer you need but, no matter how many ways you ask, they refuse to engage you in a real conversation.
It’s not their fault.
Representatives like this have been indoctrinated to the point of not being able to think outside the literal box that is their cubicle. They are trained to say this and only this, and because they’re being recorded on a live line and they need their jobs, you will give up, thoroughly enraged, long before they will.
It’s absurd to refer to an interaction like this as customer service, and it’s a shocking corruption of what a script is supposed to do.
A real estate script is a guide written in pencil. It’s not a divine rule carved in stone.
As an agent, you should memorize a script not to prove you can recite it word-for-word, but to know what you should be saying (you need to do A, B, and C); when you should be saying it (it’s best to do A first, B second, and C last); and how you should be saying it (you should sound cheerful talking about A, concerned when you talk about B, and confident when addressing C).
There are at least a dozen predictable situations during the course of the sales process, and each should have a script you can rely on. You can search online for scripts, or buy proven scripts from reputable writers. To start, you can download any of our free scripts here.
Step 2: Internalize the script
Step 2 of practicing real estate scripts moves you from simply memorizing a script, which anyone can do, to developing a deep understanding of why the script is what it is, which requires studying the script and how it works.
When we understand why we’re asked to do something, or why there’s been a change in the usual, or why something happened, we’re more likely to accept it.
Importantly, we don’t have to like the reason to accept it—it only has to make sense to us. Consequently, even a skeptic will be more likely to accept a script if they understand the reasons why it says what it says and works the way it does.
Another reason for understanding why you should use a script and why one script may work better than another is so that you can adapt the script when necessary.
Jocko Willink, author of Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, commented during a virtual presentation to the staff at ReminderMedia that a SEAL who knows the objective for a mission can amend their orders and still achieve the objective if changing circumstances make it impossible to carry them out.
Similarly, if you’ve internalized a script to overcome objections—that is, you know what you need to do and how to do it—then it doesn’t matter what the specific objection is. The same principles that inform your script inform your actions when you’re in a real situation.
Step 3: Personalize the script
In Step 1, you memorize the content of the script.
In Step 2, you develop a deep understanding of the script’s content. This means understanding the reasons for why it includes what it does, is written the way it’s written, is organized according to a specific structure, is timed in a particular way, and more.
In Step 3, the final step for practicing real estate scripts, you personalize the script and make it your own.
You progress from reciting the script to having a conversation that is guided by the parameters of the script.
You want to make it feel comfortable to you. You might substitute words that are more natural to the way you speak. You might deviate when it’s necessary, but you can also easily get back on track. You want it to flow like a real conversation and, for this reason, role-playing and practicing are great ways to become relaxed, secure, and confident.
If you’ve never used a script, or are uncomfortable using the scripts you have, invest in a proven script and use this three-step process for practicing. All professionals—athletes, musicians, dancers, artists, public speakers—all of them practice their skills. Practice is what makes professionals different from amateurs. Be a professional.
- As an agent, your time should be spent talking with people, negotiating contracts, and closing sales. These are the activities that make money.
- Scripts are critical because if you don’t know what to say and how to say it, then you won’t close deals.
- Be aggressively persistent with your follow-up. The worst thing that can happen is someone says no.
- The brokerage brand no longer matters for agents and their clients. Today, agents want the best technology and clients want to feel like you can do the job, and it doesn’t matter which brand provides them.
Be intentional about learning your script and practice it for 30 minutes every day.
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