darren-nolander-peopleWe’ve all heard of How to Win Friends and Influence People. If you haven’t read author Dale Carnegie’s bestselling business book, you should. But for now, I’ll give you the CliffsNotes version.

Carnegie’s strategies are based off a theory you’re already very familiar with if you’re a long-time newsletter subscriber. That’s the theory that we’re not in the selling business, we’re in the people business. Carnegie asserts that if you want to deal more effectively with people, then we have to work at understanding them better. Translation: we have to see things from their side.

It’s called empathy, and it’s what will make you a better salesperson and, ultimately, better person. As you become a better person, you not only become more empathetic, but more relatable, trustworthy and likable. Sounds like a winning formula in a people-driven industry, right?

The best part is you can easily start bettering yourself right away. No spiritual awakening, no self-actualization center, no silent retreat needed. Just work on feeling what the other side feels. Embrace their worries and their dreams. Anticipate their questions, comments and concerns. Then use your specific industry knowledge to plow through these obstacles and get buyers into their new homes.

You may be operating from a place of sound logic – based on data you analyze, trends you read about and predictions you trust – but that doesn’t mean your clients are. Humans are driven by emotion, with fear being one of the top emotions. The earlier you realize that, the better off you’ll be.

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t use your logic. You absolutely can – and should. But there’s a time and place for everything. Let them get their “story” out first. Listen intently as they detail why they want to buy a house, their hopes for the future and their worries surrounding this large investment.

Put yourself in their shoes, take it all in, then use your logic, knowledge, research and facts to mitigate their fears. Only then can they get a glimpse at what their financial future might look like if they buy (or refinance) now.

And one more thing: don’t try to change people. You can use logic to combat an emotional response, but that doesn’t mean someone’s fears are instantly going to disappear. So take another path. Run the numbers on a few different scenarios – including their worst case – then provide solutions for tackling those challenges.

Direct them to your online reviews. Show them case studies of borrowers who were in a similar situation where it worked out in the end. Heck, even put them in touch with a few past clients (with their permission) so they can hear it from the borrowers directly.

Part of being a better person is meeting people where they are. After all, we can’t make a better borrower, we can only be better salespeople.

Regional Vice President - Southwest

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