Great agents excel as negotiators. We’ve said before that the greatest skill you can develop is the art of negotiation. Doing the deal. That is what will separate a great agent from a good agent.
So, if being a first-class negotiator is the goal, then good communication is essential.
Communication should always be “two way”. One sided communication (that is you doing all the talking) simply becomes a lecture.
Here is a great test you can apply next time you are testing your effectiveness as a communicator and negotiator. Simply assess who is asking the questions.
If you are asking the questions you are in control of the conversation. By asking questions you are gathering information and showing interest. That is building empathy.
1. We have two eyes, two ears and one mouth. That means only 20% of our communication should be us talking. Observe and listen. They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
2. Understand where you are taking the conversation. Plan what you are going to say and don’t shoot from the hip.
3. Check the environment. By this I mean make sure the person you are talking to is in a comfortable position and relaxed so they can hear your message.
4. Speak slowly so you can be understood and most importantly don’t deliver too much information at one time. It’s important, as you deliver your message, that you check to make sure the person you’re talking to is both hearing you and understanding. Ask – ”Does that make sense?”
”Do you agree?” “Do you have any questions?”.
5. Do not lecture. If you find you are starting sentences with ”You”, you could be coming across accusingly. Use inclusive words like ”We” “Us” “Our” and in doing this, you’ll be creating a team environment.
6. Other words not to use are never, always, should and shouldn’t. These words can also be taken as being confrontational and certainly are not helpful if they are used during negotiation.
7. If you ask a question, shut up and wait for the answer. Sometimes, after asking a question, inexperienced negotiators will want to keep talking and in so doing may talk themselves out of the deal.
8. Silence is golden. As we said earlier, if you ask a question – shut up and wait for the answer. Sometimes an answer won’t come quickly because the person needs to think about the response. Be patient and as hard as it is with no one speaking, just say to yourself “the first person to speak losers”.
Many people forget that good communication involves listening as well as talking. It could even be argued that listening is the more important of the two: how can you know what to say unless you first know what your audience wants or needs to hear?