4 Ways You Can Sell More by Selling Less

By: Matt Giggs | March 4, 2024

Let’s talk about how you can sell more. I've created four very simple steps or ways, up to you, that you can sell more by actually selling less. How about that?

So you're probably wondering what we're talking about here. For me, estate agency isn't about selling, it’s about serving. I'm not going to say any more than that right now, but I'm telling you you're going to really enjoy this. Most people that I've worked with over the years hate the thought of hard selling, closing, being pushy, all of that sleazy stuff that goes on in our industry.

I know, not everybody does it. But if you want to learn how to avoid it, these are the tips and the tricks that you can take away that are going to help you go into more conversations, so you can serve more rather than sell.

Why should you listen to me? I’m Matt Giggs, and I've been an estate agent for 28 years. I’ve been an entrepreneur, a business owner, and was a brand new trainee at the age of 20. I've sold over a billion pounds worth of property.

I've got an estate agency group, and I've trained thousands of estate agents across the UK to do it the right way. That's what we're here to talk about next – so four ways you can sell more by selling less.

Perception of Estate Agents

So let's talk about estate agents. What do people think of us? What's the public's perception of estate agency? I don't hear you say we’re seen as trustworthy. I don't necessarily hear you say we’re helpful.

What are clients and customers out there, people in their homes looking on Rightmove, what do they think the experience is going to be when it comes to dealing with an estate agent? Are they going to call back? Are they going to try and push me down a path? Are they going to try and close me into something that I don't want? Sell me a mortgage when I want to buy a house?

They’re thinking all of that stuff, right? We have got one of the worst reputations as an industry, and I think some of that is actually justified. But I know there's some brilliant estate agents out there that are absolutely turning that reputation on its head by dealing with people in the right way. And I'm telling you right now that you can be one of them.

People prefer confidence over pushy sales tactics when dealing with estate agents

People do not buy desperation, but they love confidence. People don't like to be sold to, but they love to buy. So, are you someone that they will buy or not? That's our job. We don't own the product that we're selling – we are the service that they need.

But ultimately, if you're there trying to push them down a path, that's not going to work for you. So we've got four ways for you to continue to steer yourself back on track, rather than getting the sale by trying to take someone to somewhere they don't need to go.

Along the way I'm going to share some stories. Actually I'm going to start with a story about a client whose needs weren't met.

When it goes wrong in estate agency

I hate to admit this, but in my organisation many, many years ago I had a nice guy who worked for me who promised a sale that he couldn't deliver on in the time frame that worked for the client – don’t make promises you can’t keep. Instead, manage your seller’s expectations. He didn’t do that, so let’s look at what happened.

The situation was more challenging because the client needed to complete in a certain amount of time, and if she couldn’t, it was essentially going to cost her another £2,000 or £3,000 at the time. So let’s look at whose needs were we really focused on at that moment in time and what actually happened.

She gave us the instruction and after 6 weeks, she still hadn't heard from the agent who worked for me. She was really stressed because she was a single mom who really needed this deal to complete. That was the reason why she took the offer in the first place. Next thing you know, 6 weeks later, not enough communication, no contact really to give her the advice she needed.

I remember sitting down the road from her house at Costa Coffee, and I opened up my email to this absolute rant, this complaint. As an agent, if you've got a business or clients that you deal with, you know that kind of email can literally turn your stomach, and it did mine.

But what could I do about it? At that point, I couldn't change what had actually happened, but I had to take responsibility. It wasn’t the fault of the guy who works for me, it was my fault. It was my fault because I hadn't really drilled this stuff down clear enough into the people that worked for me, which was to absolutely put her needs first. What she needs – that's number one.

Step 1: Understand what your client needs

So the first step as an estate agent is to ask, what does my client need? If you focus on what you need, that's when you start to drift apart. That's when the problems really start.

With the client whose needs weren’t met, I needed to speak to her immediately. And we talked about her needs and what was going to happen next.

That was a great lesson and an expensive one. It ended in a great experience because from that day onwards the estate agent who was working for me spoke to her every day. He chased the sale and updated her. And in two weeks’ time she exchanged contracts. Crucially, she didn't pay us a fee.

I wiped our fee – it was about £4,000 at the time. I wiped our fee because that's the right thing to do when we didn't meet her needs. We didn't deliver what we promised, so that was the outcome of the story.

Take responsibility as an estate agent

As an estate agent, and especially as an estate agency owner, you have to take responsibility in the moment. That was a costly mistake for our business, but more importantly my reputation was at stake as well. So from my perspective, I had to make sure we met her needs.

So that day when I phoned her up after receiving her complaint, I said, “Look, thank you for your feedback. I really appreciate it. From what I understand you're going through a stressful time.”

She was really pleased to hear from me, and I think in all fairness she wasn't expecting me to do what I've just described. When I told we were going to talk to her every day about what's happening, she was delighted with that alone.

That didn't solve her need, wiping the fee and focusing on her sale did. When she understood that, she changed almost instantaneously from seeing us as a villain to seeing us as a hero.

That's a choice that we've got. That's the power we have as estate agents to maybe change those situations when you stop focusing on your needs and you focus on the client's needs. Now let’s move on to some positive stories, so I can give you this four step structure to take away.

Step 2: Understand why your client needs it

So step one is what do they need, and step two is why do they need it?

Some estate agents focus here on what the client wants, and wants and needs are very, very different. They're not the same thing at all.

You know I hear agents talking to new buyers that are registering, and they're looking to go and view a property. And the agents are asking “What is it you want?” People don't buy what they want, they buy what they need, okay? But the most important thing is why do they need that to happen?

So if you're selling a house for a client, ask why they’re selling it. Let's dig into the situation. I want to know what their motivation is. I want to know what their time frames are (for more on how this relates to prepping your price, read “How Estate Agents Build Trust in the Valuation Process”). Why? Because that’s going to help me to build step three, which can only come once you've dug deep into step two.

When you're looking at the motivation and time frame, find out more. If you’re my client, I want to know more about why you're looking to sell your home. I want to understand why the time frame you’re looking at is that important to you. I want to know what it is you're really looking to achieve here, because at that point we can establish your goals.

If you went into a business today and you didn't understand what their goals were or what they're looking to achieve as an outcome, what kind of business are we looking at there? An unsuccessful one. I'm telling you right now, every client is like a mini business. They've got to have a vision, which is their goal, their desire.

Step 3: Provide solutions to achieve your client's goals

I was talking to a client the other day about their sale and actually they were buying land to build their dream house on so we talked a lot about that dream house. The more we spoke about that, the clearer the picture became about why they were moving. Then we could work our way back from there. As soon as you've got the vision and the goals, you can start to work on step three: your solutions that will get them to that goal.

Great estate agents serve solutions. They share the solutions that are going to help that client to achieve their goal. Let’s look at a couple of solutions you can give your clients and then at how to use those solutions.

Help sellers look at their houses like buyers

So when you're selling a property and you walk around it with the client, walk around it as if you're a buyer and help the seller see it like a buyer for a moment. Just say, “Let's look at the house. Let's look at the presentation and how the buyer's going to see it when they walk through the door.” That's a solution.

Identify their ideal buyer

Look at who their ideal buyer is. The clue is normally in the seller because their circumstances could be the new buyer’s circumstances. Then you’ll know what buyer you’re looking for and have a better understanding of your seller’s motivations.

How to use your solutions

Your solutions are going to differentiate you from your competition, okay? And that's where the connection is really made with your client.

When I’m with a client at this stage, I'm not talking about how many awards I've won, how great we are as estate agents, and why they should use me because I've got the cheapest fee or I'm going to put it on for the highest price.

Really guys, that stuff's so boring. People don't give a shit about that. What they care about is what they need and whether you are the one that they can trust to get them there.

So at this point in the conversation, we're looking at outcomes and solutions. What solutions you offer and they’re different to your competition. But it's all linked to their outcome.

You don't need to close people guys, you really don't need to close people. I know, I'll get shot down by all these sales trainers who will be saying, ‘Oh no, you need to close people into decisions.’

No, no, no, no! If you're freaking great, you don't need to do that because people close themselves. That's the difference between the usual way and using these four steps. So if you're a sales trainer watching this, that's the difference, my friend. If you think you need to close people, just imagine how that feels on the receiving end.

Step 4: Determining when your client wants to take action

I want my clients to make the decision about the next step, so I ask them this question: When do you need to take action to get to your outcome? When do you, not me, need to take action?

Your focus is on finding out when they need to act to reach their goal – none of it’s about you as the estate agent. When you think about these four steps, they're really simple but they're not built around you pushing and pressuring people into something that doesn't fit their time frames and their needs.

Now let's think about how this feels on the receiving end. Let's turn away from just being an estate agent for the moment. What kind of estate agent would you want to work with?

- one that's solutions focused, one that's obsessed with you getting to your goals, or

- one that wants to talk about themselves, talk about their needs, talk about the fact that they're the best, talk about the fact that they've got the best fee to offer you or the highest price, which we all know is bullshit right?

You've got to think about what you would expect and what you want. You want to be convinced and confident in who you go with, right? That’s how you need to be for your clients today. That is what great estate agency is all about. That's what real estate agency is all about. It's not about that sleazy crap, it's about going in there and being obsessed with getting your client to their goal through your solutions.

Being a great real estate agent really is this simple

So to recap, these four steps are really simple:

1. What do they need?

2. Why do they need it?

3. What solutions do you have?

4. When do they want to take action?

Following these four steps will make you stand out. You’ll sell more properties by selling less. To sell more you’ve got to be focused. To sell more you’ve got to know what you're doing, and believe me those clients are going to trust you when you do.

It's very difficult to lose a listing or lose a sale if you've won trust. That's where your heart and soul has to go into this job, trust. And believe me guys, you're going to smash it out the park if you focus on them not you.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this – I know I've had some fun today. I'm back where I belong in my training room teaching you how to be a great real estate agent. If you did enjoy it, please, hit the like button and subscribe to the blog – then you’re going to get first access to fresh new training articles. If you’re looking for some other great content, check out my YouTube channel, it’s full of training videos.