In today’s blog post, I want to discuss a situation that most of you are probably familiar with. Stop me if you’ve been in this position before…
You’re at a networking function or you’re interacting with potential clients in some public situation. You give a quick introduction to your services and then hand over your business card – asking your new contacts to “Give me a call” if they ever need or know somebody who needs real estate assistance.
Chances are you might get a few leads from this type of marketing. But the odds are even better that the people you speak to will file away your business card (or even throw it out!) and not give your business a second thought in the future.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to change this default response and easily double the number of calls and follow-ups you receive. Here’s what you need to do…
Instead of saying, “Give me a call,” say, “Would you give me a call?”
It sounds simple, but making this small change actually has powerful neuro-linguisitic programming (NLP) implications. The first is that you’re changing the statement from telling somebody what to do to asking somebody to help you out. Essentially, this is the difference between marketing to somebody and selling them on the idea of doing something.
When you market to somebody, you’re educating them. Education is important, but it doesn’t always lead to action in the same way that selling does. Imagine the difference between seeing a BMW ad on the television and being face-to-face with a BMW salesperson at your local dealership. While there’s no guarantee that you’ll buy a car in either situation, you’re far more likely to be able to tune out the TV ad!
Another powerful element at play here is that asking somebody to help you out (in this case, “selling” them on the idea of helping you) creates both a response and a commitment. If you ask people, “Would you give me a call?” they’re likely to say “Yes” – as few people want to disappoint those they’re talking one-on-one with.
But whether or not they’re sincere in their initial desire to send business your way, a subconscious commitment has been formed. If these people encounter others who need real estate assistance in the future, they’ll subconsciously remember that they’ve committed to helping you. They’ll pass on your information in order to satisfy this subconscious need, leading to more referrals for your business.
Now, all of that said, there’s one thing you need to keep in mind when using this technique. Although you’re changing your phrasing to a question, rather than a statement, it’s important that you don’t change your tone.
When most of us ask questions, we use an upswing – meaning that the pitch of our voices trends higher at the end of our sentences. However, for this technique to be effective, you need to maintain the same type of vocal downswing you’d use when normally delivering the statement, “Give me a call.”
By delivering your question with a downswing in your tone, you further imbue your words with the power of an NLP embedded command. Upswings make you sound self-conscious and uncertain, while downswings convey more of a sense of authority and assertiveness. Since you want your prospective customers to maintain an image of you as a confident, capable salesperson, it’s vital that you not destroy this impression with the use of an unintended upswing.
To get a feel for it, practice reciting the phrase “Give me a call” several times and then translate the same tone you’ve used to the question, “Would you give me a call?” By practicing your tone and increasing your comfort level with this critical phrase, you’ll be able to pull it out at a moment’s notice and will ultimately reap the rewards of getting more “Yes” responses for your business.