Imagine you have just met a potential client. Maybe you had a conversation at a fundraising event or maybe you connected on the phone after receiving an inquiry from them online. Your objective in your initial conversation is to build enough connection to cut through any defensiveness so that they open up and tell you a little bit about themselves and their situation. During this conversation, you want to determine if they might need your services and if so, can you close for an appointment? This is sales 101. It’s old school and it is still a valid approach but what if we reframed it?
Instead of “close for an appointment” what if you were able to set up a time for a discovery session?
Imagine: Instead of this;
“I need to get a quick look at your home so that I can prepare an accurate comparable market evaluation – would Thursday at 6:00pm work or would Friday at 4:30pm be better?”
“Let’s get together for a quick discovery session to see if we are a good fit to work together.”
(Somehow visually separate this without putting in a box – gently separate it??).
A discovery session is used in high level sales, in the legal process, in the tendering process for big consulting companies, in investment banking and financial services and in many other professional organizations offering services to clients. I think it’s a perfect fit for the work we do as REALTORS®.
A discovery session is an opportunity for you to learn important information about your potential client and an opportunity for them to learn about you and the services you offer. It’s a reciprocal process that when done well can establish the basis for a strong business relationship.
The objective of a Discovery Session is to save time and resources for both parties by quickly establishing if the services you offer fit the needs that they have and for each party to qualify or disqualify the other as a suitable partner for the real estate services required.
It is a structured approach consisting of asking the right questions and having the emotional intelligence and empathy to listen to the answers free of your own assumptions and biases. Discovery means observing and finding something unknown. That might be unknown to you but it might also be unknown to your potential client. The process of buying and selling real estate is often mired in a lot of personal complexity and if we aren’t getting to that level with potential clients, we aren’t offering them anything more than what a software program is.