For those of you who deal with leasing in any capacity in the Multifamily Industry and have not realized it yet…surprise! You are a salesperson! It is always comical to me when I will be with a training class and an attendee will tell me that they hate dealing with sales people. This person will either tell me that they do not like the process of dealing with some pushy salesperson, or they do not like having some salesperson trying to act like they truly know them when they do not. Unbeknownst to the attendee is they could literally be describing themselves as a salesperson in a leasing scenario.
Truly closing a prospect comes into play anytime you are trying to get the individual to fill out an application for an apartment after they have already said no. Whether it is that they want to shop around, the price is too high, or a significant decision maker is not present, closing this prospect should be a relatively easy process if you have done a good job as a salesperson to this point. What is it I mean when I say, “if you have done a good job as a salesperson to this point?” In this context I am specifically referring to if you have identified this prospect either as someone that is susceptible to a hard sell, or someone that is susceptible to a soft sell. Let us look at each type of sell individually to see what each specifically means:
Hard Sell: If a prospect is susceptible to a hard sell, this is the type of person that may need a little extra push when it comes to making a decision. He or she may be a little more indecisive about pulling the trigger on a purchase and need that salesperson there to tell them they should do this today, which personifies the hard sell. If I utilize the hard sell, I am specifically telling you do this, because if you do not, then it will be gone tomorrow, as the result of this apartment being our most popular/last available/one we never have. Oftentimes, car dealers get the bad rap of being known as only hard sellers.
Soft Sell: On the flip side of the coin, if your prospect is susceptible to a soft sell, this person neither needs, nor do they want the extra push. This person would rather have the salesperson be there if they have specific questions and ultimately not feel as if the salesperson is actually trying to sell them, or push them to make a decision. These type of prospects are living personifications of the saying that people love to buy, but do not like to be sold to. If you are good at a soft sell, the prospect should almost feel as you are going to be friends after the deal is done, as the result of the rapport you will be building with them.
Knowing the difference between a soft sell and hard sell is only the first step of being able to be successful at sales. The hard part is deciphering between which type of sell is going to work for each individual prospect. The only way you can be effective at determining which sell to utilize with each prospect is by building rapport throughout the entire sales process beginning with first point of contact. If you do not learn your prospect and try the wrong type of sell, then you could end up pushing your prospect away by using a hard sell when a soft sell is needed, or you could end up never getting the sale if you are using soft sell techniques with a prospect that needs the additional push. Regardless of which sell you use in different scenarios, the important thing to remember is that you must always ask for the sale!